Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Scribblenauts

This week I'll be reviewing Scribblenauts, which received an American release earlier this week and has a European release set for October 9th.
Scribblenauts is somewhat of a ground breaking idea in the gaming industry, it allows the gamer to take control of what they want to do, spawning creatures, weapons, vehicles, buildings, deities and even Internet memes, sadly it's limitations are drawn as to how all of the weird creatures react with each other, generally speaking it's just a "Kill, run away, watch or ignore", but even with such limitations you are offered a lot of fun merely in the way you spawn things, a prime example of this would be if you were to spawn a Werewolf and then a Man - the Werewolf would attack the Man and upon hitting him, turn him into a Werewolf, the same thing would happen with a Zombie and a Man. I also found out that people will interact with instruments, which then lead to me forming a little (Somewhat useless) band, where no one played their instrument at the same time and apparently the drummer required other people to hit his drum kit.



Scribblenauts does allow you to play around with lots of things though, it has a built in dictionary which contains over 22,000 words, of course there are some repeats such as simple things like box and crate, items that are too similar to be able to define - Or at least, worth bothering to define.
The aspect of the game that really attracted me was the idea of messing around and seeing what words they'd included; Back when they started showing videos of footage with God fighting a Kraken I was obviously interested, my interests were perked even more when someone showed me a video of Rick Astley popping up out of nowhere, doing a little dance and exploding - This was followed by footage of LongCat and TacGnol fighting; This of course lead to my first experience on Scribblenauts seeing how many internet memes they'd included - I can personally certify that Longcat, Rickroll, TacGnol, Ceiling cat, keyboard cat, Leeroy Jenkins, All your base are belong to us, Over 9000 and a bunch of other Caturday cats are included within the game.



The actual main aspect of the game isn't ACTUALLY dossing around and playing with the engine; It's more about puzzles, with 220 levels based over 10 themes, all of which rate you upon how many moves it takes you to finish that puzzle. These puzzles can range from anything from getting past a witch that you aren't allowed to hurt to saving a Lumberjack from a forest. Within these puzzles you have the entire 22,000+ words to play with and to help solve the puzzles - The problem with this is you can spawn some ridiculous items to cheat through the levels; I personally found that when ever your task is to kill something, you simply spawn a black hole and watch them get sucked into, which always works as long as there isn't anything valuable around the thing you need to kill.

The graphics within the game are not especially impressive, but the game's engine and gameplay make up for that, and whilst I'd like to defend the game based on how much fun it is, the graphics really do bug me, I'd have been much more happy with this game If they'd have been a LITTLE more attractive and whilst they are quite cute and do look like they've been drawn by a seven year old with a little bit of talent, they lack something; And whilst I don't think the graphics should have been amazing, I'd have liked a little more form to the sprites.



Another issue I found with the game is restriction on how much you could spawn within the free play mode. At one point I went to spawn a group of Zombies, a shotgun, a helpless child and a chainsaw, but 5 Zombies in and I'd pretty much hit my limit this lead to many tears, but I still ripped some Zombie's a new one.



All in all the game is highly entertaining and you'll find yourself sitting and playing with the sandbox mode more than the puzzle mode, I doubt you'll even want to play through the entire puzzle mode, I know I sure as hell didn't. As much as I'd like to say "DAY ONE PURCHASE, GO, GO, GO!" I'd be misleading you, wait for it to hit the bargain buckets and get it cheap, it's worth it for the Sandbox and possibly the puzzle mode If you're REALLY into puzzle games.

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