Jul 9, 2013
Anyone who has ever owned a Nintendo DS may well have come across Scribblenauts. Essentially it’s a puzzle game set in a 2D platformer style world where the player has to solve various objectives- be it getting past a locked gate or chopping down a tree- to receive a star and advance to the next level.
What makes it unique is that it’s possible to create just about any object to complete the goals. Simply tap the keyboard icon and type out a word and it will appear on the screen ready to use- just as long as it’s a noun and isn’t anything objectionable or trademarked. Even better it’s possible to add adjectives, so rather than merely creating a giraffe it’s possible to conjure up a ‘tiny, angry giraffe’.
Scribblenauts Remix plays in exactly the same manner as the original DS games and in fact having played the original games I’d seen much of what Scribblenauts Remix has to offer already, as it consists of 40 old levels and just 10 new ones.
Re-used content aside it’s a sublime experience. Being able to create almost anything is hugely liberating and fun, while having a touchscreen keyboard actually makes it a lot quicker to type things out than in the DS versions. The other controls are slick and more or less perfect as well. Press against the right edge of the screen to move right and the left edge to move left. Maxwell (the player character) will automatically climb up ledges and swim across water so things are kept simple. Once an object or creature has been created simply tapping and dragging it is all that’s necessary to use it or equip it.
It all works brilliantly well and it looks great too. The levels are also surprisingly varied, with goals such as causing the extinction of the dinosaurs without resorting to weapons or meteors. The flip side is that as it’s possible to create just about anything it’s also very easy. Occasionally it’s necessary to think outside the box but normally almost any level can be completed with ease- and often in dozens of different ways.
Thankfully the real fun doesn’t come from the challenge; it comes from experimenting and messing around. It’s basically like having a bottomless toy box. For example I found myself wondering who would win in a fight between a fire breathing lion and a mutated T-Rex, so I created them and found out (it was the T-Rex). It’s a cliché but the only real limit to the fun was my imagination- and I suppose the small scale of the levels. The re-used levels are a shame but for anyone who has never played Scribblenauts this is pretty much essential- particularly at the low price of just $0.99.