Scribblenauts

25 09 2009

I came into Scribblenauts with high expectations but was met with disappointment. I kept wanting an amazing game to emerge but it just isn’t there. Like so many other game sites have stated the core mechanics of Scribblenauts are amazing. The size of Scribblenauts dictionary is extensive and the fact that all these words have a graphic with appropriate scripting is truly impressive. Perhaps it would be simpler to say Scribblenauts succeeds as a toy but not as a game. On more than one occasion I found myself typing in really random things to see what I would come up with. I found it slightly annoying that the graphic for the word you write isn’t shown until after it’s been placed into the world.

There’s no story to Scribblenauts which is kind of a shame as I saw a ton of potential with the game’s main character (something along the lines of Phinneas and Ferb). Levels are split evenly between puzzle and action and the sheer number of available levels makes it easy to skip around past some of the more confusing ones. Levels are really quick (some taking 5 seconds) which sounds good in theory for a DS game but I found that it hampered creativity. I simply had to create one item and then move on to the next one where I created another. I’m assuming this probably ramps up in the later levels but I lost interest so early that I’m afraid I took the game back to BlockBuster much earlier than anticipated. Action levels are a test in frustration as the controls are finnacy. I found flying to be particularly unresponsive leaving me confused on how I was supposed to correctly do things. This is further compouned by the fact that the game doesn’t pause after you spawn an item making it difficult to use any items while not standing still. Most likely a result of the extensive library certain items will not work in a logical manner. Because of this I found myself using items I knew would always work, such as a ladder, instead of trying to be creative and think of weird ways to solve puzzles.

I can’t stress enough how amazing Scribblenauts core mechanics are. If only a better game was built around  them.

score: 75% | metacritic: 83

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