I Spy Castle




Explore a castle by doing hidden object and other puzzles.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game makes kids think. It promotes the idea that using your brain can be fun.

Positive role models

The knight who leads you through the game doesn't have much in the way of a real character, but he's certainly not a negative example in any way. He's always helpful and ready to offer tips when needed.

Ease of play

The controls are relatively simple, as are most of the mini-games. The hidden object puzzles can sometimes prove pretty tough, but you're allowed to ask for hints after a certain amount of time passes.

Violence & scariness

There is a jousting mini-game, in which the player needs to spin a wheel fast in order to power up a wooden knight on a horse. The wooden knight is then launch into a joust with another wooden knight. One of the two will lose and be knocked down in a puff of dust. These are not real people, though -- just flat wooden puppets.

Not applicable

This is the latest in a very long series of I Spy games. The games were spun off from a book series of the same name.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that I Spy Castle offers kids a chance to explore a medieval castle and discover its secret history (which has to do with a king who once had a magic sword that called dragons to it). The experience consists mostly of hidden object puzzles, some of which can be quite challenging. But kids will need to use logic to figure out how to enter several locked areas. And a handful of mini-games will test their manual dexterity.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary


  • patterns


  • physics


Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning Approach


What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary


  • patterns


  • physics


Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn new vocabulary, sharpen their observation skills, and practice logical thinking all while playing I Spy Castle. Faced with all types of challenging hidden-object puzzles, kids find patterns, create paths, and determine the arcing trajectory of an arrow. Some of these seek-and-find puzzles can be real stumpers, but they make learning new words fun.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

Kids say

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What's it about?

In I Spy Castle, an armored knight guides you through a mysterious old castle where dragons once lived. The dragons left when a wicked magician took the king's dragon sword. Now that you're exploring the castle, will you be able to find out what happened to that magic sword?

Is it any good?


I Spy Castle represents a nice mix of hidden object puzzles (which the I Spy series is famous for) and more traditionally "video-gamey" aspects. In each room of the castle, you'll uncover a mini-game, like archery or jousting, which adds a nice element of variety. You'll also collect certain objects along the way, and when you hit a locked door (which happens pretty frequently), you'll need to figure out which object to use to get past it. The blending of these different elements makes this a very entertaining adventure.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about medieval history and use this game as a way to bring up real world history. Where in the world were there real castles? Who lived in them? What was life like back then?

  • Families can also discuss how games can make learning fun. Have you ever played a game that taught history before?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 25, 2011
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E for (Nintendo DS)

This review of I Spy Castle was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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