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Ultimate I Spy
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these I Spy puzzles for the Wii, are harder than those found in Jean Marzollo's books. The intensity of a puzzle is broken up by minigames that pop up when you click on things that satisfy the puzzle's riddle. While there are two-person minigames, this is a game that is really all about doing the puzzles, without much of a story line. Choose it for kids who like visual puzzles. Parents or older siblings can help with the puzzles by grabbing hold of a second controller.
What's it about?
If you have a child who enjoys visual puzzles and you own a Wii, ULTIMATE I SPY may be a good addition to your Wii library. This video game provides 40 different rhyming riddles spread out over ten 3-D locations. To solve a riddle, kids explore an environment, looking for hidden objects that satisfy the riddle. The overall theme is one of unlocking a futuristic machine in which these environments are found. Kids will explore an aquarium, a city made out of paper, a floating scene of magician's tools, and seven other scenes.
Played with the Wii remote (and nunchuk, if desired), kids use the controller to rotate and zoom in on 3-D environments to find the hidden objects. In the process, they will unlock three minigames at each location. Some of those minigames are then available for play as multiplayer games in a separate gameroom. There is also a scavenger hunt which spans all 10 locations.
Is it any good?
Ultimate I Spy does a good job of presenting traditional I Spy puzzles in a fresh new setting. The addition of 3-D environments, which can be turned 360 degrees, makes these puzzles harder than those found in the books by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick. And the addition of playing a minigame to satisfy a riddle is very innovative. For example, in one riddle, you are asked to find "two juggled balls" but you'll only see one ball in the scene. When you click on it, it leads to a minigame where you turn the Wii remote sideways and tilting it back and forth to simulate juggling two balls. When you have juggled long enough to fill up a meter on the side of the screen, the riddle is satisfied.
Because these puzzles are challenging, they are best played by kids who like puzzles and are between 7-12 years of age. Each puzzle has some objects that are hidden so well that it takes careful, slow turning of the environment to find them.
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