I Spy Super Challenger

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
I Spy Super Challenger Game Poster Image
Traditional hidden object games plus new logic puzzles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

These are games that make you think and the biggest lesson that comes out of here is: Using your brain is fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no characters, but the disembodied voice of the narrator/emcee hands out plenty of positive reinforcement while kids play.

Ease of Play

The game has multiple levels of difficulty, designed to suit kids from ages 5 through 9. The traditional "I Spy" hidden object puzzles can be a tad harder than usual because of the small screen with no zoom and no way to pan.

Violence & Scariness

This game is based on Jean Marzollo's I Spy books.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Spy Super Challenger offers kids a series of very brainy puzzle games that can be quite fun. Played on the Leapster Explorer or the LeapPad Explorer, this game encourages kids to use logic and observational skills. In addition to finding hidden objects in cluttered scenes (a task made somewhat tougher by the small size of the screen), there are four other games, too, most of which require kids to use logic to figure out increasingly complex patterns and form not-so-obvious matched sets.

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What's it about?

I SPY SUPER CHALLENGER for Leapster Explorer presents a collection of five brainy games. The first is the classic \"I Spy\" hidden object search, in which you scan a cluttered field of tchotchkes for specific items. There's also a game in which you stretch strings to separate marbles into even groups; another in which you catch matching bugs; a game in which you must organize random-seeming items into logically matching groups; and one in which you launch objects from one side of the screen to hit matching objects on the other.

Is it any good?

As a hidden object game, I Spy Super Challenger is okay. It would have been better had you been able to zoom in on the screen or pan the camera because sometimes you're looking for very tiny items. But still, it's fun. Where this game shines, though, is in its supposedly secondary features. The logic, matching, and sorting puzzles can be quite challenging in the most enjoyable possible way. They all start out very easy (simple enough for kindergartners to handle), but as you move along they really start to give your brain a workout. When you have a collection of objects to match, you don't know if you're supposed to match them by color or shape, or perhaps by sorting out all the animals or all the things that belong in the ocean. There is often more than one category an item can fit into, so you'll need to assess the entire lineup before making your choices. It's incredibly entertaining for kids who like a mental challenge.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons learned from each of these educational games. For instance, when using strings to separate marbles into even groups, what mathematical skills are you really learning? How can you use such skills in real life?

  • Do you like playing I Spy video games or do you prefer doing these puzzles inside the books?

Game details

  • Platforms: LeapFrog games
  • Price: $24.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: LeapFrog
  • Release date: September 6, 2011
  • Genre: Educational
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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