Friday, October 9, 2009

Scribblenauts DS

Scribblenauts is a puzzle game where you solve a level by making items appear. And you do this by typing in the name of the item which makes it appear in the game, which you can then give it to an NPC, or use it to interact with other objects in a level to solve it.

The puzzles are very easy to solve in the beginning but it gets progressively harder as you unlock more worlds. The stages get bigger and the conditions for victory get more complicated. You can also repeat levels, repeating levels are challenging because previous items cannot be reentered and used again. There's quite a good list of achievements to aim for and extra stuff to unlock.

The sheer number of possibilities is what is so amazing about this game. Want to cross a river, you could use a boat, or ride a submarine. Need to turn a dinosaur into food for a caveman, create a lightning storm. (I tried keying in GOD, and true enough a wizen man in white appeared and killed the dinosaur) The game has a pretty big dictionary. The clues can be vague at times and sometimes it can be puzzling why the level isn't solved when you seemed to have fulfilled all the requirements for solving it.

The main frustration is the controls. Sometimes you can't drop an item where you want it, or things just won't move where you want it too. It would be nice to be able to ask an npc to move or to pick up something -- but they are basically not in your control at all and they can kill themselves at times. Still, it's so cool that you can type just about any kind of item to make it appear in the game, you'll just keep at it. It's a great game to talk about with friends, because it's interesting to hear the different solutions they come up with to solve a level.

Conclusion: Innovative, unique and quite addictive because of all the possibilities you can play around with.

Edit: Updated with more comments on gameplay.

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