For those who have read the I Spy books and played previous games, boy, you are in for a treat! The capabilities of the Wii bring the scadvenger hunt test to heights never achieved before. The Wii really is the perfect fit for I Spy, as it’s pointer controls highlight the experience, and maximize every aspect of what you can do from making the transition from the page to the big Screen.
I really have to praise the selection of levels here. A total of 10 levels are presented, and each one feels unique to the point that they all stand out. Each level must be played 4 times, but there is always so much going on in the level, that every time you revisit, you notice more and more about the level, watching as they change over riddles with your actions. Level four will always be the best riddle, as you see your findings from previous missions usually interacting to build up a spectacle, like pudding over a trail of dominoes or building a baking soda volcano. It’s a really nice touch. Not to mention, the levels look pretty great for Wii Standards. There was definitely a lot of effort put into making these levels look whimsical and full of chaos, and I think it’s a great example of showing how the Wii can still make nice looking games. The music is also quite a nice listen and puts you in the mood to give a good search.
Also to praise here is the mechanics of the game. Instead of simply pointing and clicking, the game offers many puzzles that you need to think outside of the box for. This is what I think puts the Ultimate in Ultimate I Spy. Some riddles require you to pick up items and place them somewhere else, some require clever Minigames, and some riddles you have to decipher and reach a “eurika!” moment to find what they are looking for. These little changes make what was once a look and find into a legitamately fun Puzzle game.
A new function to the movement to the screen is the addition of a 3D Camera. This solves the cheat of just clicking everywhere since there is so much more space and angles to cover, and as a result, there is no punishment for going trigger happy, which I am not the biggest fan of in other point and find games. There are even times you have to cleverly manipulate the camera to find otherwise unseeable objects, and adds to the puzzle experience. I do really appreciate the camera, although, it is a bit clunky, and often leaves you with Thebes impression you are just not seeing everything, which is a bummer.
One other minor let down is the quality of the Minigames. Some are genuinely clever, but others show the game’s rusty edges. Some games go on for a little too long, some require a good waggle daggle from the Wii remote, and others just feel like filler to the riddles. They kind of show the shovel-wear elements of the otherwise really well crafted game.
Multiplayer gives the game plenty of friendly competition, as well as a huge help spotting those really tricky objects. The only gripe is that they cannot control the camera at all, and can only participate in Minigames one at a time, but a group of friends can really make this game a blast.
Ultimate I Spy surprised me. I didn’t think it wasn’t possible for me to like this game as much as I did, but the experience was calming, addicting, and fun, and that’s exactly what a videogame ought to be. It nails the source material and sells the deal by going above expectations. If you see this one going for cheap, act on it. You may be surprise day at how well made it really is.
Length of ownership: 1 year or longer
yes: I recommend this product