Game Review: Super Scribblenauts
Release: October 12th, 2010
Developer: 5th Cell
Available Platforms: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
The original Scribblenauts took the gaming world by storm with its ability to generate an amazing number of people, places, and things. Testing its library of nouns became a game unto itself, making way for epic battles of zombies versus pirates, ninjas versus dinosaurs, and even God versus Satan. And that was just the start screen. Now, with the release of Super Scribblenauts, 5th Cell has added adjectives to the mix, allowing the possibilities to expand exponentially.
If you missed the first game, here are the basics. You are in control of Maxwell. His job is to generate objects that will satisfy various puzzles. These puzzles could be as simple as giving a man a parachute so he can safely jump off of a cliff to as complex as figuring out what type of mythical creature can defeat an Ugly Nuckelavee. (Yea, I had to Google Nuckelavee.) Added to the mix this time around are adjectives. This allows you to generate things like an ice dragon or small Cthulu. This opens up different possibilities for puzzle solving. Generating an object is as simple as pulling up the virtual keyboard and typing it in with the stylus.
Super Scribblenauts does a great job of easing you into the gameplay. Whether you played the original or not, you will be summoning flaming swords in no time. 5th Cell not only included adjectives, but made some drastic improvements to the controls as well. There is now an option to control Maxwell with the d-pad, which was my main gripe from the first game. The puzzles are clever and challenging. The jetpack isn’t the solution to most of the puzzles this time, either. The true test of any puzzle game is how smart it makes you feel when you figure it out. Super Scribblenauts is in line with Portal in my mind when it comes to making me feel super smart.
Of course, there are times when I’m apparently not smart enough to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. There are adjective levels that task you with filling in the missing piece of an equation or giving Maxwell a certain item that will satisfy several different types of people. Even the hint system doesn’t always help in some of the harder levels. This doesn’t mean you can’t continue, as Super Scribblenauts is constantly unlocking new levels for you to dig into.
Super Scribblenauts definitely lives up to its name. The addition of adjectives add more depth to the game while keeping what makes it so special. The control changes, level editor, and new adjective puzzles make Super Scribblenauts much more than just a straight sequel. Being able to summon an angry elf, pretty ape, or blue professor is just plain fun. If you played the original and loved it, then you need this. If you own a DS, this should be at the top of your list to pick up.
I just wonder what 5th Cell will do for the inevitable sequel. And if it will be called Ultra Scribblenauts.