I’m sure by now you’ve atleast heard of Scribblenauts, after being awarded “E3 2009’s Game Of The Show” by several major publications Scribblenauts instantly became one of the most highly anticipated DS games ever. Developed by 5th Cell, makers of Drawn To Life and Locks Quest, Scribblenauts is one of the most ambitious games ever made. Put simply, your objective in Scribblenauts is to solve environmental puzzles and collect “Starites” but writing down any (non-copyrighted, non-offensive) object/animal/person that you can think of for assistance. The object you write down will instantly appear in the game world and it will act more-or-less as it would in real life. So for example a lumberjack may need your help cutting down a tree, you can choose to call upon a beaver to chew through the bark, or burn the tree down with a lighter, or take control of a Bulldozer and knock it down, the list goes on. Scribblenauts contains 220 puzzles in all and each can be solved in numerous ways so getting through the game in its entirety will take a very long time. The amount of objects 5th Cell managed to cram in to this tiny DS cartridge is mind blowing, there are over 20,000 objects in total ranging from an Elephant to a Sledge Hammer and you’ll no doubt spend a lot of time writing down obscure items just to see if they actually appear.
Playing through Scribblenauts I’ve discovered that I more than likely have mental problems, presumably caused by daddy issues. Let me explain, when I was tasked to help a kid bust open a Piñata at a birthday party in my head I know all I need to do is hand the young’n a baseball bat and be on my way. However before doing so I spent around 20 minutes thinking of new ways to massacre the little squirt and all his little friends. I’ve called upon a Cannibal to attack them, I’ve glued meat chunks to their heads then made a blood thirsty lions gatecrash the party, I’ve even gone as far as putting on a balaclava myself, grabbing a knife and… well lets just say things got messy. Even when my conscience finally kicked in and I gave the kid the baseball bat I knew he needed I still couldn’t resist the urge to throw a grenade in his direction just to see if he would attempt to deflect it. Of course he didn’t it, he just died, and honestly I was glad he did. Moving on, some of the puzzles in ‘Nauts can be extremely tricky, especially when an object that “should” help you fails to do what you want it to, there are always multiple solutions at hand though so just take the time to think things through thoroughly and eventually that Starite will be yours.
By far the best part of Scribblenauts is the title screen where you have a blank canvas to condure up a bunch of random objects and have them all interact with each other. Ever wondered who will win in a fight ManBearPig or a Giant Enemy Crab? simply summon them both and watch them square off! I’ve spend hours upon hours just goofing around on the title screen, giving God wings and have him perform aerial fights against the Devil above a couple land mines was hilarious and I had fun trying to initiate a threesome by drawing up a Wife, a Mistress and a Bed. If you’re waiting for the part where I say something about the game sucks, here it is… The controls in Scribblenauts suck! I’ve been following Scribblenauts for over a year now and the only negative thing I’ve heard anybody dare utter about it were regards to its unresponsive controls, so why has the game still shipped in this almost broken state? Instead of controlling your character (his name is Maxwell by the way) with the d-pad as one would assume you actually direct him but tapping on the screen, bear in mind that you also pick up and manipulate objects by tapping on the screen so as you could imagine there will be several instances where you try to interact with an object but instead Maxwell comes charging over to it like a doofus, putting himself in harms way. Maxwell seems to have a mind of his own and getting him to be where you want him to be or do what you want him to do requires way more effort than it should. It really is a testament to the rest of the game that I’m still rating it very highly despite such a major flaw but Scribblenauts is truly a game like none other. It is a game that must be played by all, and hopefully all the buzz will translate in to sales and from here on the Scribblenauts franchise will continue to grow even beyond the DS.