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Review: I SPY Fun House - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 18 January 2008, 14:46

Tags: I SPY Fun House, Koch Media, DS, Puzzle

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Clowns freak me out.

In I SPY Fun House you’re presented with a variety of games and if you’re successful you win a ticket. If you win 10 tickets you then get to play the main game,’ The Prize Popper’ and are able to escape the funhouse. Two thoughts immediately sprang to mind when I read the manual:

1) Why would I want to escape from the place where I’m having fun?

2) What wonders will await me when I complete ‘The Prize Popper’ and leave the Fun House?

Prior to each game you’re presented with a carnival scene that you can scroll across to select a game that takes your fancy. Once you’ve chosen a game it’s time to get that brain in gear.

The first type of puzzle you’ll encounter is straight from the I-Spy books and involves searching for a number of objects hidden amongst dozens of other items on a cluttered scene. The clues to the items you’re looking for are shown on the upper of the two dual-screens and take the form of a simple word puzzle (see screenshot). For example you may have to search for a crown on a king, a monkey, a paper clip, or numerous other random items. These puzzles rely on scanning the littered area scrupulously in order to spot objects that can be extremely small. Once you’ve found them, you click on them with the stylus and the text describing the object is ‘striked out’ on the upper screen. Once you’ve found them all you’re given a ticket which you can eventually spend on the ‘The Prize Popper’, once you’ve accumulated all 10 of the tickets.

It’s not rocket science, but it certainly does test your visual awareness to the max and like the books of the same name it’s probably more fun and suitable to children between the ages of 3-10. I just got a bit bored after the umpteenth visual brain-teasing puzzle. A friend of mine bought me the ‘Where is Bin Laden?’ book for Christmas (bear with me here), which is very much the same thing, and involves searching for Bin Laden and his gang through finely detailed, colourful and cluttered illustrations. Obviously, the subject matter here was aimed toward adults, but it was actually really good fun. This got me thinking. If kids wanted to play this type of puzzle they’d probably have more enjoyment in having a book on their lap and flicking through the colourful illustrations. The game doesn’t really have those vivid, colourful illustrations that jump out of the DS and stimulate your senses. Click the drop-down box for the next page.