You know when a new gadget comes out and there’s tons of people who wait on line to get their hands on it? Well, I admit I was one of those people when the Wii first came out. I woke up at 2am to camp outside the store until it opened to be one of the first (I was the fifth, in case you’re wondering) to get my hands on a Wii. So it’s pretty cool to have a job creating video games every day!
I SPY Spooky Mansion is Scholastic’s latest Wii game. It is inspired by the best-selling book, I SPY Spooky Night by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick—who basically started the hidden object craze in the early 90s before “hidden object” even became a game genre. Wii is my absolute favorite platform for I SPY games because we can create a virtual 3D experience versus a flat, 2D experience. Since the setting of I SPY Spooky Mansion is a haunted house, we could make the entire house 3D and have players explore it, making it seem as if you are actually walking through each room in the house.
Instead of just having players search for hidden objects, we added mini-games to every riddle. For example, if a riddle says to find “two spinning plates,” you’d have to find those plates and then spin them using the Wii Remote to solve that piece of the riddle.
It was important to pick up elements from the I SPY Spooky Night book, like the trickster skeleton that dares you to enter the haunted house and beckons you from room to room to solve the riddles. That skeleton (We call him “Skelly.”) needed to be in the game because he provides what’s called the “game objective.” Skelly dares you to enter his spooky mansion only to trap you inside. This sets you up to escape the spooky mansion by finding and solving the riddles in the house and playing his clever games. Skelly is quite mischievous and the riddles can be challenging, so you can enlist three of your friends to play along with you to solve the riddles and scavenger hunts. See for yourself in the trailer.
Creating the packaging art is another exciting part about launching a video game. The creative part of me loves this kind of stuff. This cover originally started out as a pencil sketch and evolved to what you see now. Since I SPY is all about finding hidden objects, we wanted a cover where you can actually play I SPY. If you look below, you’ll find a bounty of hidden objects. How many can you find? Try writing your own I SPY riddle below in the Comments.
—Amabel, Scholastic Media Staffer