aka: Hirameki Puzzle: Maxwell no Fushigi na Note, Scribblenauts: Schrijf 't op en los 't op., Scribblenauts: Write Anything. Solve Everything., Scribblenauts: Überlege - Schreibe - Löse, Wordplay

Description official descriptions

Scribblenauts is a side-scrolling action game based on puzzles. The goal is to have the character Maxwell overcome obstacles by summoning objects based on a dictionary of more than 20.000 words, partly based on the concept of the real-life game Mad Libs. This is done by writing an object's name on the touchscreen, letter by letter. When the word is recognized, the object spawns in the world, where it can be manipulated or act on its own. This leads to an endless amount of possibilities to progress through the game. For instance, when an item needs to be retrieved from a tree, you could summon a ladder to get it out, a football to hit it, or just a helicopter or an albatross to fly over there. There are also more bizarre examples, such as summoning a time machine, going back in time to fetch a dinosaur egg, make it hatch and then use it in the future to defeat an army of robot zombies. The list also includes weapons, historical people, and even references to popular cultures and internet memes. Profanity and trademarked objects are not recognized. There is also a spelling checker included to offer suggestions.

This game is a logical sequel to the gameplay mechanics of Drawn to Life, an earlier title by 5TH Cell, relying on the same concept of emergent gameplay, where the actual game is more of a toolbox, shaped through the player's interaction and different in each session. During the game Maxwell needs to collect starites. To do this, two to four objects are often summoned at the same time. There are general, slow puzzle levels, but also faster action levels filled with enemies, platforms, switches and traps. Often, the summoned objects and characters need to interact with each other. Players can earn "merits" for not using weapons in a level for instance and finding a more creative approach. When a level is completed, a silver star is awarded and the Free Play mode for the level is unlocked. When the level is then completed three more times, using a different approach each time, a gold star is provided.

By solving puzzles, Ollars are awarded, the game's currency. It can be exchanged for different avatars or visual changes. The game includes a level editor and support for Wi-Fi to share the levels. The existing levels can also be edited and the way certain summoned objects interact with each other can also be modified.

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

134 People (124 developers, 10 thanks) · View all

Directed by
Technical Director
Lead Designer
Art Director
Lead Programmer
Senior Programmers
Gameplay Programmers
Dictionary Programmer
Audio Programmer
Graphics Programmer
Network Programmer
Programming Intern
Creative Director
Lead Designer
[ full credits ]



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1001 Video Games

Scribblenauts appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The developers were accused of racism, as typing in the word "Sambo" would produce what looked like a watermelon on screen. 5th Cell claimed this was simply a coincidence as the word Sambo is an Ecuadorian name for "fig leaf gourd" and the supposed watermelon is actually a gourd.

Japanese version

The Japanese version of the game has summonable cameos of characters from other Konami games, such as Old Snake, Alucard and the Vic Viper.


  • 1UP
    • 2009 - Best Puzzle Game (Editors' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Puzzle Game (Readers' Choice)
  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #3 Best Dexterity Game of the Year
  • AceGamez
    • 2009 - DS Game of the Year
  • game Developers Choice Awards
    • 2009 - Best Handheld Game
    • 2009 - Innovation Award
  • Game Informer
    • 2009 - Best Puzzle Game
  • GamePro
    • 2009 - Best Innovative Game
  • GameShark
    • 2009 - Most Overhyped Game
  • Gamespot
    • 2009 - Best Puzzle Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Original Game Mechanic (Readers' Choice)
  • Gamespy
    • 2009 - Thinking Outside the Box Award
  • GameTrailers
    • 2009 - Best Innovative Game
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Best DS Puzzle Game
  • Machinima (Inside Gaming Awards)
    • 2009 - Most Original Game

Information also contributed by M4R14N0

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 42471


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Alaka, formercontrib, Zeppin, Big John WV, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added September 17th, 2009. Last modified June 17th, 2023.