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The mini games are fun, and the sandbox levels are great, but there is just not enough of either to justify the asking price, even on Nintendo’s somewhat pricey console. There are a few other problems, but all Scribblenauts Showdown needs to be a really enjoyable party game is more of everything.
If you’ve played the series before, Scribblenauts: Showdown won't be the game you’re expecting. If you haven’t, you might be left wondering what all the fuss was about. Yes, it shares the name and the look of those previous games, but it lacks the all-important creative heart of its predecessors, and ends up being a by-the-numbers affair that goes through the motions in a shallow attempt to turn Scribblenauts' unique premise into a multiplayer party game. It’s certainly not the debut Maxwell and company deserved on Switch, and while its mini-game focus does suit the local multiplayer ethos of the console, it ends up feeling like a discount 1-2-Switch.
Featuring incredibly boring minigames and a unintuitive control scheme, Scribblenauts Showdown is an embarrassing attempt to bring back a perfectly functional and enjoyable dormant series with unnecessary additions to its gameplay formula. Its sandbox mode can still provide a few minutes of silly fun if you just want to type in a bunch of words and adjectives just to see the onscreen results, but the overall package is incredibly shallow and uninspiring. This is one of the most disappointing games of the year so far, a new low for a previously acclaimed franchise.