Review by MidgardDragon99
"Excellent Game, Don't Believe the Hate"
Sometimes a game comes along that has so much hype, the young and easily influenced will immediately dismiss it as terrible if it isn't perfection. This is one of those games, and it's a wonderful piece of gaming originality and imagination, so don't believe the hate.
What does Scribblenauts have, then? Imagination, charm, humor, fun, innovation, and more. It's not easy to describe the game, but (with a few exceptions) if you can imagine it, you can do it. Want to create a black hole that destroys creation? You can do it. Want to go back in time? Sure thing! Want to put God against Cthulu then destroy them by activating a black hole via the Large Hadron Collider? Yep, you can do it.
What does Scribblenauts lack, then? Well, not much. The only feature in the game that could be improved is the controls for moving around Maxwell. Sometimes you'll tap to move an object and "miss" the object. Since Maxwell is also controlled by the stylus, this will often cause Maxwell to react and try to move around. This can be a simple annoyance in some levels, but becomes deadly in levels where, say, Maxwell is surrounded by lava. But who hasn't played a game with minor control or camera issues that they still found enjoyable? It's one of the most common complaints in modern gaming and rarely do you please all of the people all of the time.
So we know Scribblenauts has the imagination, and by extension the gameplay (minus the controls), what else does it have going for it? Well, everything else serves the gameplay and attempts to not get in the way. The music is neither offensive nor particularly spectacular. The graphics are just cartoonish enough to fit the massive amounts of items into the game and still be artistic and pleasing to the eye. Regarding graphics and music, you can use "Ollars" (earned for completing levels) to purchase new tunes and "avatars" which you can then play as instead of the default Maxwell avatar.
The longevity and replay value is really a huge selling point for the game as well. There are infinite numbers of solutions to most puzzles, and the game challenges you to find as many as possible by including an "advanced" mode where you must solve the puzzle three different times never using any one same item. The game also features a "sandbox" mode on the title screen where you can unlock several different locations simply by experimenting with everything you can do. This creates a near infinite gameplay mode.
Finally, the game features both a level editor and the ability to trade levels online via the DS's Wi-Fi connection. I have not experimented much with this myself, but the level editor seems fairly in-depth and the Wi-Fi trading easy enough to use. I imagine this will add even more to the longevity for those who like to create their own levels in games.
In summary, Scribblenauts is not a perfect game. The controls can be frustrating, it's true. But is that flaw easily forgivable in the wake of the sheer imagination and innovation put into the game? Absolutely. Pick it up today, and do yourself a favor, pay attention the 8/10 and up reviews, those rating this below that are obviously those that got caught in the hype machine.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/21/09
Game Release: Scribblenauts (US, 09/15/09)
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