Super Scribblenauts

aka: Super Scribblenauts: Create Anything. Solve Everything.
Moby ID: 49961
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Description official description

Super Scribblenauts is the sequel to Scribblenauts, a puzzle game for the DS consisting of spawning any object from a database of thousands of possibilities (from "chair" to "God") to solve given situations. It is fundamentally the same game with two major novelties: the possibility to add adjectives (a color, a size, a state, etc.) to the objects we want to summon and the possibility to use the D-Pad to control Maxwell, the protagonist of both games, in addition to the touch screen, the only possible input method in the first installment.

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Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 4 ratings with 1 reviews)

One of my favorite DS games

The Good
The aesthetic they chose is very interesting, you can clearly see what objects and creatures are supposed to be, but it still has a very unique twist to it. Most of the objects and especially the animals look like they are made from pieces of paper that have been nailed to each other in order to make the desired character. It is also very colorful which is always a plus in my book. The animation on the walking and actions is pretty standard and nothing special, but not bad either.

The idea of typing in words in order to create them is pretty original, but that might be because it is very easy to mess up. In old text adventure games you would often type in dozens of different words all with the same meaning in order to pull something like opening a door off (open door/push door/ bash door open/ twist doorknob). Here however I only rarely encountered a situation where I wanted an item that could not be spawned and nearly all adjectives work as well. I actually kind off feel sorry for the people at 5th Cell who spend months designing every single object on the world in every color and form imaginable.

Most of the puzzles are very interesting and creative, in this case interesting means very funny. Even though this game was filled with flaws, I just kept on playing because I really enjoyed solving the weird puzzles. There were two that stand out in my mind: One where you had to put body-parts into a machine in order to create a new body for your character (I ended up filling the machine with very detailed organs) and one where I was in the middle of a witch-fight and I had to spawn monsters in order to beat the one the witch summoned (tip: always use Cthulhu).

Like the body-assembling example mentioned above, I always tried to come up with very elaborate ways to solve rather straightforward puzzles. This game is intended for kids, so it's pretty easy, but that doesn't mean you should necessarily take the easiest route. Don't just free the young boy out of an ice-block by hitting the block with an ice-pick, why not set up a little Home Alone style device that ends with a fireball dropping on the ice-block? The game is easy enough for kids, that is for sure, but it also allows older people to experiment a lot.

The adjectives in this game can be very useful and often the best puzzles (sadly also the worst) required the player to use these adjectives in order to enhance objects. What I like is that there is a very big assortment of ways to do this and each adjective changes the object in a visual way or it changes the AI. For example, if you spawn a man he will just walk around a little, but if you summon a psychotic man next to him, the latter will start to attack the first.

If you get bored of the puzzles you can just go back to an earlier level that had enough open space and just mess around a little and explore the mechanics some more. This is pretty much a Garry's Mod like option where you spawn people to fight each others with various weapons or you try out some vehicles. This kind of playing also resulted in discovering some very interesting words and adjectives which I could later use to solve puzzles, the fact that you could actually spawn a disease and throw it at people was one of them and it helped me out pretty well when I was in a very annoying prison level.

The Bad
The game can be very bitchy about how you spell stuff, I have been trying to spawn a weapon with blood on it for example, but I just can't get the game to understand it. What doesn't help either is the game's cheeky habit of scratching away adjectives it doesn't understand and spawning whatever it did recognize. This often resulted in a big sigh and the sudden desire to feed the game box to a goat. These were mostly temporarily setbacks though and in the end I was pretty glad that the local farm was closed at the moment.

Ever since I had to complete this puzzle I have been so eager to tell people about it that I was worried I would forget it: I was in an adjective level where I was presented with math questions and I had to spawn an item that would combine the two objects in the question, the question was "Man + Clock = ?". Whatever I came up with, I just couldn't find the right freaking answer to the question, so I went to a walk-through where I discovered the answer was "Late man"... Another good example showed up today when I had to combine a yak with a submarine and I tried everything: Sinking, Steel, Floating, waterproof, Metal, but nothing worked. And what did the answer turn out to be?: "Swimming Yak", that doesn't make any sense!, Submarines don't swim! There are plenty of these obscure puzzles and they almost always involve adjectives.

The controls are a bit annoying, you can now either take direct control of click on the screen to make him walk somewhere, the latter I highly recommend avoiding because it might result in Maxwell running into a lava pit when you intended to pick something up on the other side of that hole. Even if you use direct control, you still often misjudge jumps or run into trouble when characters get in your way in the middle of an action or you need to do something sensitive.

The Bottom Line
If you like puzzle games and you can forgive the problems I mentioned, then Super Scribblenauts is almost certainly right up your alley. It is a very funny game with an interesting premise and the big library of items is staggering to say the least. Little children may occasionally need help when presented with one of the more difficult questions and been able to write and read English is pretty important, so keep that in mind.

Nintendo DS · by Asinine (957) · 2011

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Game added by MichaelPalin.

Additional contributors: formercontrib.

Game added January 29, 2011. Last modified January 31, 2024.