I SPY Spooky Mansion

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Puzzles, Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Observation

What we like best:

Riddles are read aloud and highlighted when objects are spotted, reinforcing early literacy skills and phonemic awareness.

What you should know:

As the name suggests, this version of I SPY has many spooky elements and ominous music that can scare smaller children.
Full Review:

A ghoulish mansion beckons kids from beyond a creaking gate—do you dare enter? I SPY Spooky Mansion sends kids on a hunt around a haunted estate with instructions to find a variety of skeletons, eyeballs, rats and other eerie elements in a series of dusty rooms.

But wait—there's a catch! While the game seems pretty self-explanatory, exploring new areas requires that children first solve riddles. As players collect the items on their spooky scavenger hunt, they'll unlock areas of the mansion to continue their quest to find all of the hidden items. This app may seem overpriced depending on how quickly little detectives solve the mystery. Once the game has been beaten, there's no features that encourage children to play again.

The graphics are gorgeous, and will appeal to kids who love sleuthing games—some children will be so entranced by the details, they'll take time to explore the mansion as they move from room to room. If you're looking for something to keep kids occupied for a set period of time—a road trip, doctor's visit or plane travel, for example—this app offers the perfect solution.

Reviewed 2012-09-28 on iPad iOS5 by Tia Benjamin

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Grade:First Grade
Topic:Reading, Games
Publisher:Scholastic, Inc.