This is the third board game that we tried out this month from University Games and the kids are LOVING it. But who wouldn’t? Not only is I Spy the most challenging board game we’ve played to date, but it was also my own personal favorite. As an artist, I’ve always had a huge respect for the skill, creativity and dedication that goes into each of the I Spy books that this game is based on. So I was thrilled to see the same amazing photo illustrations utilized throughout the board game too.
I Spy Eagle Eye Find-It Game
Like all the games from University Games, the quality of materials used to make I Spy are fantastic: A durable box that will last through years of game play, game boards made of heavy card stock with big clear glossy photos and double-sided photo cards. Even the bell is a nice weighty, well-made item. I’m a little confused as to why the insert inside the box has a groove to hold the bell in place (so it shows through the cutout window) but no designated “slots” for the cards or game boards. Obviously this is a small complaint and it doesn’t effect the actual game in any way whatsoever, but I thought it was worth mentioning because it caused me a little trouble. Once the plastic wrap was removed from the cards they slid all over inside the box and I had a few escape through the open window in the lid when I was putting it away at the end of the night. To avoid losing any cards (and for faster setup when you play it again next time) I recommend bundling the cards together with a rubber band when you’re done. But despite the minor box design issue, I was extremely pleased with the overall quality and durability of everything. Clearly no corners were cut in the production process.
This game accommodates 2-4 players and is intended for ages 5 and up. There are various ways to play the game, depending on how many players are involved. The basis of the game though, regardless of which method you choose to follow, is that players race each other to locate items (pictured on cards they draw from a deck) among the thousands of items arranged into fanciful still life photographs on their game boards. Once they find an item, they ring the bell. The game boards and the cards are all double sided, so you can keep playing for as long (or short) as you’d like.
Game play and overall thoughts:
Unlike some of the other games that are chatty and lively to play, this one incited a level of silent focus that I have rarely seen in my children. But WOW do they explode with excitement when they rang that bell! And every time that bell rang the remaining players increased the intensity of their own personal searches tenfold, racing for the highly coveted second place points for the round.
There are a combination of factors that make this my personal favorite among our board games. First, as I mentioned previously, I love the level of detail that goes into the photographs. It’s definitely my favorite thing about the I Spy books too. But I also love how focused my children are when they play the game and the pure joy in their faces when they find the item they were searching for. Ringing that bell is like a little party each time, whether they are in first or third place for that particular round.
Overall, I highly recommend it. The I Spy Eagle Eye Find-It Game is challenging for all players, whether children or adults. I was pleasantly surprised at how well-balanced the competition was between adult and child players too. I was legitimately applying myself but the kids beat me fair and square in two out of the three times we played it prior to my writing this review. Not once did I feel any obligation to “let them win” a round. And the ages of children didn’t effect the outcome either. My barely 5-year-old was just as good as my 7-year-old! The 3-year-old quickly lost interest, but the game was intended for older children anyway… so I forgave her for just repeatedly dinging the bell over and over and over, hundreds of times. :::shudders:::
Disclaimer: This item was provided to me for free in order to facilitate this review. I pride myself on being an honest person though, so my opinion was not influenced in any way. I am also in no way obligated (or compensated) to share it here. I test hundreds of products and only a fraction of them are shared on my blog. That’s because only a fraction of them are extraordinary… in my opinion, anyway!