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Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS Review

By Alex Tomasino

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Scribblenauts is the new puzzle game developed by 5th Cell and published by Warner Bros. for the Nintendo DS that allows the user to use the freedom of their imagination to solve over two hundred puzzles. While Scribblenauts seems almost impossible to make, somehow 5th Cell has managed to put almost every object the user can think of into this game. This is the type of game that almost any person could get a kick out of. All the user has to do is write a word in a box, and that object appears on the screen. They are then allowed a certain number of objects to solve various puzzles any way they want to. It is that simple. The only problem is that it seems only a true gamer can really get the hang of Scribblenauts.

As an avid user of the Nintendo DS, I was truly excited when Scribblenauts out. A gamer hears of a game that can summon almost any object into the game play and they don't have to hear much more; it is an instant selling point. Who doesn't want to be able to write anything into a box and then have it appear on screen? That factor alone will shock and awe anyone who sees the game. When I started playing Scribblenauts I had already been thinking of the various objects I wanted to see. After blazing past the tutorial I immediately started summoning all the objects I had hoped to see in the game, and most were there. The ones that weren't are understandable because hey, it is a game for kids too!

The user gets to play as the main character which is named Max, and apparently Max is quite the hero. Max goes town to town helping people if they are in trouble and gets rewarded for it The user has access to a map where they can choose to go to a town and in that town there will be an assortment of different puzzles that they can solve. The user is always given a hint at the beginning of each puzzle that can be helpful or just plain baffling. Either way it is up to the user to solve the puzzle in anyway they can. The user successfully completes the puzzle when they grab the “Starite” that pops out when the puzzle is solved. Each Starite is worth a certain amount of “Ollars” which can be used to gain access to more towns. Sounds simple enough, but some of these puzzles might take the user a good amount of tries before they can complete them; whether or not it is because the puzzle is hard is a different story.

The look of Scribblenauts is great for what it is. It is not trying to have the best graphics, but most of the objects are clear enough to tell what they are. The monsters in the game are great as well as the animals, mythical creatures, people, vehicles, devices, food; basically everything. It is a simple 2d look that doesn't need to be better than it already is.

The puzzles in Scribblenauts are truly inventive. There are over 200 puzzles and they never seem repetitive. The user will find themselves using some of the same objects over again, but it never feels tedious. Whenever I had to defeat an enemy I would use “God”. Whenever I would need to blow something up I would use “dynamite”. But the user gets points for every new item that they use so there is incentive to be creative.

The one problem that I found with Scribblenauts, and it was a big problem, were the controls. Even though I had completed almost 100 puzzles I still could not get a hold of the controls. There were many times where I failed at the puzzle because I accidentally lead Max into a pit of lava or made him run into something that knocked over a bomb destroying the Starite.  I never felt like I was in full control of the game. This was very frustrating and it would have been much easier to user the +Control Pad to use Max rather than tapping on the Touch Screen. But maybe this was the intention of 5th Cell because it definitely extends the length of game play when learning the controls is a puzzle in itself.

Scribblenauts has major lasting appeal because to totally complete a puzzle the user must solve it three different ways and not reuse any of the same objects. Also there is free roam mode where the user can mess around and summon any object just to see how much there really is in the game. The user can also create their own puzzles which I found fairly easy to do. There is a lot to do in Scribblenauts and it should give an infinite amount of fun to the people that really enjoy this game.

Overall I must say that this title is a must have for all Nintendo DS owners. Like I said this is a game that almost anyone can enjoy. This could be the next Brain Age type game for the Nintendo DS in the sense that everyone who has the system will own it. I would consider this a perfect game if it weren't for the controls. People with big imaginations will fall in love with Scribblenauts when they realize that they can put almost anything they want on screen. So if you own a Nintendo DS there is no reason to wait to buy this game. This is probably the most amount of fun a gamer can get for thirty dollars. Just don't break the system when the controls start to frustrate you.

Scribblenauts Website

Publisher: Warner Bros.

Rating: E for Everyone

 

 

Published on Oct 08, 2009

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