Saturday, July 03, 2010

TheAssailant6661 Reviews: Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts is a new IP from 5th Cell, the developers of Drawn to Life on the DS. Scribblenauts allows you to let your imagination go wild, by letting you do almost anything (provided it fits within the borders of the E 10+ rating). You'll love the game, and yet hate it at the same time. An amazing game with glaring flaws.

In Scribblenauts, you can guide the main character, Maxwell through 220 levels, split into 2 categories; Puzzle and Action. You can type in anything you can think of (provided it's an object, non-vulgar and non-copyrighted) and use them to achieve the level's objective. You're given a scenario and a hint, given the reins to control Maxwell, and then on screen objects as you see fit. This is what 5th Cell prefers to call “emergent gameplay”.

The game is limited almost exclusively to your imagination, although I found it hard to be creative once I found a good easy way to clear a level. Many times I'd conjure a Minigun touting Abraham Lincoln to clear away enemies, a narwhal to cross water, or a helicopter and some rope.

Not to mention not every word summons something different. For example, ManBearPig will summon the same creature as Minotaur, and adjectives added into the word combination of objects just summons that object that the game thinks is different (an easy way to cheat for Gold Stars, if you're that uninspired).

The controls in the game are also very clunky. You move Maxwell by touching in the general direction you wish to move him, preventing precision control and making some levels harder with added frustration.

Despite its flaws, Scribblenauts is still very enjoyable. I have spent countless hours messing around in the title screen. I've also made some amazing discoveries. Nukes kill all, the LHC creates a Black Hole, Ninjas are better than Pirates, etc. The fact that you can show off the game and do everything in the game right in the title screen makes those flaws a bit more overlook-able and make the game enjoyable for what it is. A game that can't be taken seriously and that provides enjoyment, even when you do fall into that lava pit from clunky controls. Now to just wait for Super Scribblenauts and all that adjective goodness.


Scribblenauts on Amazon
Pre-order Super Scribblenauts on Amazon

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