Origin of the games
The I-Spy game series was first seen and popularised at American school "Book Fairs" put on by Scholastic. Books were originally made about them, where the reader challenged him/herself to find a certain number of hidden objects on each page in a certain amount of time and then record them. The answers were contained in the back of the book.
From print to PC
After children started to enjoy those, Scholastic realised that they had a great business opportunity: to create games on PCs with even more interactive features than the books, and sell those at the book fairs. This realisation occurred just as the peak of sales in book fairs was taking place, before the international economic recession, and therefore allowed the series to become even more popular. Throughout the years, the games have greatly evolved, and so has the target audience.
About the games
Publication and availability on media
The I-Spy series was originally published on a disk that advertised compatibility with both Mac and PC. Over the years, as the features got more advanced, the video game became only available on PC. The titles include: I-Spy Mansion, I-Spy City, I-Spy Haunted House, and many smaller titles.
The objective of I-Spy games
The point of the games, which are set in several different locations, is for the general visual skills of the player to increase, and also augment the critical problem-solving skills of the player. Over the years, the series has gained in popularity, and its player base has grown notably in size.
Each of the games has many cool features, such as giving the player a magnifying glass to be able to observe the room more closely, etc, as well as a unique artist's rendition of each environment that the game takes place in.
Adopting the Flash format for publication
Recently, the Scholastic company published the games online in the Flash format, and included scaled-down versions of those previously published games. They are available on Scholastic.com (I-spy games index). Interestingly enough, Scholastic has never attempted to publish the games on any popular console, such as the Xbox or the PS3.
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