September 24, 2009

The Making of The 39 Clues™ App!

Posted by at 9:51 am in Games, The 39 Clues | Permalink


I’m Sam, producer of The 39 Clues Madrigal Maze App for the iPhone™ or iPod touch®! We know a lot of Ink Splot 26 readers who are 39 Clues fans so this blog will give you a sneak peek into the new app. When we started working on The 39 Clues app, we knew we wanted to tell a different side of The 39 Clues story. If you read the books, you know about the Madrigals — the shadowy group that thwarts the Cahills in their search for the clues. But what is it like to actually be a Madrigal? Our app explores the idea of becoming part of this secret organization.

The app puts you through a recruitment test to become a Madrigal. As you’d expect, it’s not easy. You get locked inside a labyrinthine Aztec pyramid and have to survive all kinds of perils in order to get out. The game is a test of wits and strategy as you attempt to successfully navigate a series of 39 mazes inside the pyramid. As you progress, each maze gets more challenging.

We wanted a combination of pulse-pounding action and brain-teasing puzzles, just like the books. You know how Amy and Dan are racing speedboats through the canals of Venice one minute, then solving an elaborate puzzle the next? Our game has the same feel. On one level you’re weaving through a pack of guard dogs, and on the next, you’re figuring out the right path that won’t trigger deadly boulder traps in the maze. You’ll have to be very quick and very smart to make it all the way through. Some mazes even have time limits on top of all these obstacles.

Level 23

But how hard is too hard? When the game was almost done, we tested it with kids and adults and adjusted a lot of the levels. We wanted to make sure that the early and middle levels were fun and not too hard for the casual gamer. We won’t lie to you, though – some of the final levels are very tough. We’ll be interested to see how many players make it all the way through!

Level 33

The final ingredient of any great 39 Clues story is secrecy, and we worked with the books’ editors to work in some good secrets. If you make it to a certain level of the game, you’ll unlock a secret Madrigal Encryption Key on We don’t want to say too much, but if you’re interested in the Madrigals, you’ll definitely want to get that Key before you finish the game!

— Sam, Scholastic Interactive Staffer


    we would like to complain about how unfair it is for people who do not have ipods. we do not get the oppritunity to become madrigals and that’s just unfair! if you want to make money out of this, why don’t you sell clue cards or gift cards with a code that let’s you become a madrigal? it would give everyone a fair chance of becoming a madrigal.

  2. S

    I wish that I had an I-Phone, so I could add the app. I hope that I get one, but that will never happen. The website is really good though!! :) :D

  3. Yourself

    OMG the app is sooo much fun! I hope they come out with another one like a sequil or somthing!

  4. Will

    I reckon they should make a video game formatted on all the main Console platform but get it made by the top animaters and game creaters as i think lots of people would buy it and if u buy the game u get a few clues or same as this u might have to complete the game to get some card clues or somethin like that. Scholastic should consider this as i think it would be a great idea.

  5. the 39 clues

    COOL!!!!! I have an Ipod my father is thinking about buying the madrigal game! P.S can I have the code for madrigal maze card ‘Sam’.

  6. CODE NAME:Jackell

    I am the biggest 39 clues fan you will ever meet. I go on the39clues site at least once a day. I’m a VIP Agent. I have all the books. There are only 21 cards I don’t have(not including agent cards and replicators).I have 21 out of 22 clues(almost 22 out of 23 because mission 6 comes out next week). At my old school every one would borrow 39 clues books from me because I was allways the one who would get them the day they came out. I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t get Madrigal Maze. I realy need to get that card so I’ve beeb searching the internet for free demos for it but no luck so far.You must have such a cool job, making iPhone apps.Well, I better go. You Rock Sam.
    Jackell, The39clues

  7. Justin

    What if you want the card online and you don’t have an Ipod touch and you dont want to buy one either?

  8. _Lucian_

    That stinks though! Cause if you don’t have an Ipod touch thingy like me… You have to save up what like $199? Then you have to spend about $5.99 for the game, so I would have to do A LOT of babysitting.

  9. SM

    I love the Madrigal Maze. I like it so much that I have played the whole game 5 times!
    Do you know IF you will come up with an update that provides new mazes?
    Would like to know!!!

  10. lipgloss10101

    I read all the 39 clues books. I wish I had an iPod to get the application so I get the App. My favorite carachters are the Kabras

  11. qcboy

    i loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove the 39 clues i’m the BIGGEST fan EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. isaiah

    i think it is a great idea to make an app for the iphone so people can read the book instead of carrying it around every where u go

  13. linda

    The 39App sounds breathe taking. I would love to get my hands on one. I just wonder if I have enough money. If I did get one than my dad would let me play it for half of the day than take it because it looks so interesting!!

  14. Tyreik

    i would like to say that i would read this book because i like video games and if you made a book out of a video game i would buy it. thank you for waiting to read my comment

  15. Phenom39

    I’d love this App! If only I can get it! I need Madrigal Maze in the Australian App Store!
    PS. I LOVE THE 39 CLUES!!!

  16. katie

    i love the books 39 clues i have read every one and hope they come out with another one!!!!!!!!!!!!! 39 clues shouls start a blog website for the 39 clues fans!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love you , sam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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