reviews\ Dec 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Ultimate I Spy - WII - Review

As a kid, if you grew up when I did, I’m sure you remember the very famous I Spy books. And as I did, you probably spent hours upon hours of trying to find the items the book told you to find. Well, make no mistake, Ultimate I Spy for the Nintendo Wii will have you doing the exact same.         

Ultimate I Spy is developed and published by Scholastic, Elastic, and Gusto Games. This game has over 10 environments where you can spy and search the areas.  In each environment, you have a list of items you must find in the environment to beat that stage.  It is very similar to the I Spy books. You can play each environment four times, and the game throws a different list of items at you each time. I thought the repeat of environments would get old, but since the game gives you a different list of items each time, it makes it fun and enjoyable because you have to search even harder for the items you are given.    

Ultimate I Spy is very reminiscent of a point and click game you might see on your computer. Of course, this is quite a bit more fun on the Wii because of the motion sensitive controls. But when you are finding all the items in each environment, you will use the Wii-mote to point and click at the items, thus finding them. You also have items you can only find by playing a mini game in the environment. An example of this would be one of the environments in which you have to do a magic trick, so you will enter the mini game by clicking on the magic hat, and doing a trick with the Wii-mote. I was surprised by the amount of mini games in Ultimate I Spy. Some were good, and some were pretty bad. The mini games that were very fun to play were Fish Racing and Fly the Rocket to another planet. Players will find most of the mini games really fun, but there are some that aren’t good at all. Juggling, music, and the magic mini games were not good. They seemed pointless at times.  Juggling, you use the Wii-mote to juggle balls, and you must do it accurately to pass and find the item. The music mini games were a good concept in theory, but I found that the drum beats were offbeat from the music, which made it hard to really enjoy that part of the game. The magic mini games were, again, pretty pointless. They seemed to be used as a device just to find a certain item on the list, which is fine if they are fun to play.

The graphics were excellent to me. The colors and creativity of the environments worked great with the Wii, and were not a problem at all. The sound was very great at times, with some of the mini game sounds coming through the wii-mote, giving a very fun aspect of playing this game. The controls are very easy to understand, and anyone could pick this game up and begin playing immediately. Of course, some of the items are quite hard to find, but overall this game is easy to play.

Ultimate I Spy is very close to the books in searching and finding items and it is definitely classic I Spy. As I said before, some of the mini games just didn’t seem that creative or fun to play. As for the multiplayer portion of the game it is only on the mini games you unlock after beating some of the puzzle stages when you find the items. You can only have two players, and in this aspect, multiplayer is lacking.  

Review Scoring Details for Ultimate I Spy

Gameplay: 7.5

Controls work excellent with simple point and click that works well with the game. The game is enjoyable, but it could get repetitive and boring for some players.

Graphics:  8.0  
Although the Wii isn’t the powerhouse the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 are, Ultimate I Spy delivers some pretty and creative environments to search for your items in.

Sound: 7.5
Ultimate I Spy didn't have much of a musical score, but it did have sound that worked with the game.  The in game sound and sound effects through the Wii-mote were very good, and made mini games more fun to play.

Difficulty: Easy

Concept: 6.5
Although it brought back the classic I Spy fun, it could have used a little more innovation with the mini games that you play throughout the game.
Multiplayer: 6.0  
With only two players being able to play, and only with the mini games, it isn’t that great of a multiplayer experience.

Overall: 7.0
This game brought back memories of playing I Spy as a kid. It is a game that would be great for kids of all ages, and adults that remember playing the books. Although, the game is lacking in its concept and multiplayer, it does deliver the same experience as the books, which is a very good thing.




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