Review: Super Scribblenauts
Last year, a measly game for the Nintendo DS caught the gaming industry completely off guard. No one was prepared to be so impressed by a handheld game. That game was Scribblenauts, and it took home multiple awards when it was revealed at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo. What made Scribblenauts a hit was its premise. Its unique premise revolved around the creativity and imagination of the player. It was a no-brainer that a year later there would be sequel.
The Scribblenauts games puts main character Maxwell in a series of various situations, and it is your job to overcome each situation. To do this, the game puts your vocabulary to the test. If Maxwell is put in a situation where a cat is stuck high up in a tree, you need to figure out what will assist Maxwell in getting that cat down. This is where the imagination and creativity comes into play. Any word (non-trademarked word) you write and input into the game comes to life in Maxwell’s world. Logically, typing “ladder” and then having him climb up to grab the cat would be a perfectly good solution. However, someone like me would rather type “jetpack” and fly towards the cat for the rescue. And that’s the beauty of the Scribblenauts games; there are multiple different ways to come up with a solution.
Now that Super Scribblenauts has arrived, how exactly does it expand on what was established with the first? How else? It is everything you would guess the sequel would be. It expands on the already successful game by adding more words and addressing some of the hiccups the original experienced. Not only more words, but it also adds Super Scribblenauts’ most significant new feature, the inclusion of adjectives. Now you can summon objects from “yellow elephants” to “ice vampires.” The ideas can get ridiculous, and you’re only limited by the number of words want to mix and match.
The issue addressed in this sequel was one that many Scribblenauts fans had a problem with. The original had players use the stylus’ pointer to control both Maxwell and interaction with the environment. This proved to be very cumbersome, inaccurate, and usually resulted in unwanted actions being made. Thankfully, Maxwell can now be controlled with the D-pad, and all other on-screen happenings are handled with the stylus. However, if you are one of the few that would still prefer the original’s control scheme over the new; the option is available to do so.
After playing Super Scribblenauts and being a fan of the original, it is disappointing to see that more wasn’t added. At first sight, Super Scribblenauts looks identical to its predecessor. Recycled graphics, animations, music and jingles run rampant throughout your play, and you will notice. This shouldn’t affect those new to the series, but it is definitely something to take note of for those looking for a sequel that expands on the game in very aspect.
Beating the game isn’t too difficult to do. Like I mentioned earlier, there are many possible ways to clear a stage, and that makes the game pretty easy. Those looking for a good challenge can find it by pursuing gold crowns in each stage. Gold crowns are obtained by clearing a stage three times in three completely different ways. Maybe it’s because I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but some stages take some real brain power to obtain a gold crown.
One of the highlights of Super Scribblenauts is what’s simply offered at the title screen. You can fool around with the canvas and just relax with stuff you want to see interact with each other. It’s real cool how you can create things that would interact with each other the way you think they would. You can do stuff like place a police officer next to a prisoner and then watch as the interesting results unfold. Also, if you still don’t feel like playing through the main game, you can create levels and send them to friends via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. There is nothing better than making your friends feel dumb.
Super Scribblenauts is a great game that expanded on the original in a great way. It is just too bad it feels more like an expensive expansion if you already own the original. It is stuff that feels like it should have been downloadable content if the Nintendo DS actually had that kind of online support, but it’s a great game nevertheless. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and create some flying giant bears.
- Title: Super Scribblenauts
- Platform Reviewed: Nintendo DS
- Developer: 5th Cell
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: Available Now
- MSRP: $29.99
- Review copy info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers, Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review.