IGN Review of Super Scribblenauts
If you were at all disappointed with the first Scribblenauts, rest assured they fixed everything for the sequel. Maxwell is now easily controlled with the D-pad, eliminating the frustration caused by pointer controls. The promise of Scribblenauts is now fully realized: this is a delightful and impressive puzzle game that allows players a lot of room to get creative.
Scribblenauts' trick is that it will produce just about any non-trademarked object you can think of onscreen and that object will behave as it should. For example, you can create a zombie. If you also create a brain, the zombie will eat it. A major new addition in Super Scribblenauts is the ability to add adjectives to the things you summon. So if you create an exploding brain, the zombie will be blown apart after its meal. It's really a fascinating system and a lot of fun can be had outside of Super Scribblenauts' levels just playing around creating stuff on the title screen.
The game knows thousands and thousands of words -- more than you will ever use. Ever heard of a cassowary? It's a flightless bird found in New Guinea, and it's in Scribblenauts. As if that isn't impressive enough, Super Scribblenauts lets you make a Gigantic Robotic Vampiric Cassowary that will suck the blood from any living thing nearby.
Once you get into the actual game you'll have to use your vocabulary to summon objects that will help our hero, Maxwell, find the star in each level. Typical example: you are presented with a beach scene and a couple people looking to throw a beach party, but they lack the proper party supplies. Merely summon a volleyball net and a flying disc (Frisbee is trademarked) and you'll have an instant rager and Maxwell will have his star.
The beauty of Scribblenauts, though, is that there are many, many ways to solve these puzzles. Instead of a volleyball net and flying disc, you could use a beach ball and a bonfire, or hotdogs and soda. Everyone playing Super Scribblenauts will have their own experience.
The fact that there are so many solutions means that the game is a little on the easy side, though. There were only a few levels that stumped me, and even then there is a hint system that lets you buy answers. But you don't even have to buy the answers – the hints will unlock automatically if you just wait a few moments. Of course, no one is going to make you look at the hints, and I'd rather have hints available than be hopelessly stuck.
For those looking for more of a challenge, beating a stage just once is not the end of that scene. First completion will earn you a silver crown, but for a gold crown you'll need to solve the puzzle three times in a row using new objects each time. It doesn't take very long to see the credits roll in Super Scribblenauts, but solving all of these advanced challenges will be a significant test of your vocabulary and imagination. There is also a level editor that allows you to create your own puzzle situations and then send them to friends via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Moving Maxwell around these playgrounds is a breeze with the D-pad. A level where you have to slink past a sleeping dragon without knocking over any precarious piles of clutter would have been a nightmare with the touch controls of the first Scribblenauts. If, for some reason, you actually liked those touch controls, though, you still have the option to use them here.
Super Scribblenauts' E10+ rating means there are some pretty tame words that are excluded from the dictionary. You can't summon blood. You can create a pretty girl, for instance, but not a sexy one. These restrictions, along with the relative simplicity of the basic campaign, might make Super Scribblenauts seem like a game for young adults. But this adult was genuinely delighted time and time again while playing. When tasked with creating a second Prehistoric extinction event, I summoned an erupting volcano that caused the dinosaurs to burst into thick slices of deli meat. Super Scribblenauts knows how to make us smile, and that's all that really matters.
©2010-10-08, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved