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spacer all reviews > > > problem solving software

I Spy

Scholastic

Ages 5 to 9

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.5
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
4.5

I Spy Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

I Spy consists of eight activities based on the theme originated in the "I Spy" series of books. In these books, kids scour scenes packed with interesting objects to find those referred to in cleverly worded riddles.

This interactive version similarly invites children to solve riddles by finding objects hidden in three virtual scenes: Nature, Wood Block City, or Chalkboard. For a change of pace, kids can also choose to crack secret codes in "Codebreaker," organize and categorize objects in "Oops Hoops!," find missing pieces to rebuild the "Balloon Popper," or make their own I Spy scenes by filling existing backgrounds with objects and creating original riddles to accompany them.

The CD-ROM comes packaged with an "I Spy" book and a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle, to provide the user with three formats for enjoying the age-old game of discovery.

Educational Value
I Spy challenges childrenís problem solving and strategic thinking skills as they strive to solve simple puzzles and create their own word games. In addition, it stimulates the userís auditory and visual discrimination skills, provides letter recognition, and early-reading practice, and allows kids to experience a non-frustrating computer experience.

Kid Appeal
As with the "I Spy" books, this program works best as a low-key, down-time activity. Because of the time needed in searching through the densely packed scenes for strategically placed items, it doesnít work well for kids with short attention spans, or those looking for a high-energy activity. Our young testers enjoyed the program to a point, but eventually became bored with the sameness of the various sections.

Favorite activities were those that brought a new element into the search process. The mousetrap-like "Balloon Popper" lacks an integral piece (or pieces). A clue, in riddle form, helps the user find the object that will allow the contraption to complete its chain reaction. "Oops Hoops!" includes sets of like-items contained within overlapping hoops. Kids place additional items in these hoops based on shared characteristics.

Ease of Use / Install
I Spy installs easily on Windows 95. Program navigation is well-planned and explained, and help is readily available within each section of the program.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This program works best for kids who like doing puzzles and searching games and wonít be disillusioned by the tedium associated with completing such an activity.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other problem solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1x or Windows 95, 486DX 66 MHz or faster cpu, 5 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended), 640 x 480 display with 256 colors, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, microphone and printer optional.

Mac: System 7.1 or higher, 33 MHz 680LC040 or faster cpu, 5 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM recommended, 640 x 480 display with 256 colors, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, microphone and printer optional.

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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