7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Scribblenauts Review

ScribbleNauts_NDS_ESRB
The portable video game marathon continues with this unique puzzle game. Have you ever thought that you could complete any video game if it could keep up with your imagination? Well, now you can put that to the test since this game allows you to try and think your way out of a situation. There are naturally some limitations, but it does a good job of making you feel like you’re in control.

There isn’t a plot in this game as you just tackle the missions. There are two kinds of missions in the game. They are puzzles and action levels. Each world has 11 stages of each mode, which comes out to 220 stages…wow right? That’s definitely a lot of stages and it’s cool that the developers put in the effort to include so much content in the game. Some levels may just take you a minute, but others could take a solid half an hour easy if you don’t know how to win. The goal of each level is to ultimately attain the Starite whether it be through exploration or giving someone what they want.

The graphics are pretty good. The artistic style is hard to describe, but it works since the characters don’t feel pixelated. They are still using sprites I believe, but they are clean and distinct. There’s no real guesswork here when it comes to figuring out what is happening. I’m definitely satisfied graphically and the soundtrack is decent. I have to say that it is rather forgettable, but you don’t typically play a puzzle game for its music. It’s supposed to really just be soothing so that your mind can totally concentrate on the task at hand.

Tackling the 220 levels will certainly take a while, but the game also has some other features at the ready for replay value. For one thing, you can buy everything at the shop with your well earned cash. You’ll likely have a lot of money left over from completing the levels anyway so you may as well spend it on something good right? Some new tunes are in there, which can be great since finding new music is always fun. You can also replay every level on difficult mode, this means that you have to complete a level 3 times in a row and you cannot re use words. That sounds nearly impossible in some levels, but it’s probably okay if you are familiar with your synonyms and alternate names.

Now, the one thing that can make completing some of these levels tricky..or one of the things anyway, is that your imagination can differ from the developers. The biggest example of this is the bridge. I love bridged and I kept trying to make them work, but they are never useful in this game. That’s because the bridges are absolutely tiny. I don’t think that they end up helping you out in a single level…which can be pretty sad. That’s the classic example, but you will certainly find more as you play the game. To an extent, this can certainly destroy the illusion that the game produces where you control everything thanks to your imagination, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that they put a lot of effort into the title to incorporate all of the words. I can’t imagine how they coded this since it seems like the game should take up a massive amount of data. I know that game developers have their tricks though so they made it work somehow.

Moving can be a little tricky at first due to two factors. One is simply the fact that this game is puzzle oriented first and foremost with platforming being secondary. So, most of the game developing time probably went to the level designs, but the other factor is that you control the main character with the stylus. It’s been a while since I played a game like that and I certainly miss just using the pad. It’s not terrible though and you will get used to it fairly quick, but you should definitely be prepared for some self destructs. It’s almost impossible to go through the game without such an event occurring.

The game’s difficulty level does make it a little too intense for kids though so I would actually say that it is more suitable for older kids. There’s almost no way for a kid to solve some of these puzzles and at the very least it would take them a while. It’s nice of the game to award us with two free levels at the end since they are both just trolling the gamers. You can literally beat a level by walking a few steps at the end. That being said, most gamers will probably be tricked since there is an elaborate level set up. Who could have guessed that you would just have to ignore it and keep on walking right?

Overall, Scribblenauts is a pretty fun game and it’s very unique. It did for puzzle games what De Blob did for platforms. It opened new doors and it’s good to see that the series is still going strong. I haven’t played many puzzle games so I can’t really compare it to much on that front, but it’s definitely a good game. I imagine that I should have the next game relatively soon although the ad of “120 new levels” is a little alarming since this one had almost double that. I’m sure that there is a twist that I am not seeing though. The game can be difficult and the hints are not usually helpful, but this helps you to stretch out your thinking muscles.

Overall 7/10

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