Product Type: Warner Bros. Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... game could be. Your job is to help the main character, Maxwell, solve puzzles to collect stars. To help him solve the puzzle, you... more
Let your imagination go wild!
Super Scribblenauts (DS)
Member Name: BitterFusion
Super Scribblenauts (DS)
Advantages: Original idea, tough puzzles, fun game
Disadvantages: Tough for younger players, some limitations to adjectives you can use
What do you do?
'Super Scribblenauts' is the sequel to the original 'Scribblenauts' game for DS. Having never played the original, I cannot make comparisons between both, but I understand the premise of this game is fairly similar to the original.
As with 'Scribblenauts', you are playing as the somewhat dorky looking Maxwell (pictured above), who is in possession of a magic notebook. Anything written in the said notebook will come to life, and can be used to help solve levels. However, unlike the first game where you could only write nouns in the notebook to make them come to life, 'Super Scribblenauts' allows you to put adjectives in front of the nouns to create pretty much anything and everything. This can mean anything from, 'yellow rhino' to 'tiny shiny spotted blue flying diseased angry pig'. Almost everything you enter into the notepad can be created (with the exception of any profanities/unsuitable material), and therefore your only real limitation is your imagination.
So, that's all well and good, but what's the point??
'Super Scribblenauts' is a side-scroller, in which you help Maxwell to use his magic notepad to complete various levels, which are essentially puzzles, to collect 'Starites' (quite simply, a fancy name for a star). The method of play is left to you to decide - you can either opt to use the stylus or the directional pad to move Maxwell in levels, but you'll need the stylus anyway to click on people and items, and to enter a word into the notepad. I play with both the directional pad and stylus, and find it no bother to use both to play, but it's nice that you're given the option as to which you'd prefer to use.
Levels vary massively, and so whilst in one, you might need to create items to help make you the ultimate super spy in order to infiltrate a party and steal some vital intelligence papers, in others you'll need to use your imagination to create a creature that shares features with other animals (e.g. create a creature that shares characteristics with a snail and a turtle).
The difficulty of each level is noted as you begin the level, but despite this, I found that some levels were much easier to solve than others, regardless of the supposed level difficulty. I think the ease of this game will depend on how you think about overcoming a level - think about it too hard, and you might miss the obvious, while not being creative enough may also hinder you.
On completion of a level, not only will you earn a 'Starite', but you also collect 'Ollars'. These are essentially points which can be exchanged for hints in levels, and believe me, you're going to end up using a fair few hints! The 'Ollars' can also be exchanged for new Avatars, so if you get tired playing as Maxwell, there is a huge catalogue of other characters to choose from!
You can also create your own levels by entering Custom mode. Unfortunately, I've found this option to be too complex for my simple mind, but you are given the opportunity to script your own levels, which I'm sure some people would love. I, however, prefer the puzzles and are far happier to stick with them.
I was pleasantly surprised by 'Super Scribblenauts'. I had heard about its predecessor, but hadn't really given it much thought until I found it for a very reasonable price on Amazon's Black Friday sale. I'm not regretting the purchase yet!
The artwork for 'Super Scribblenauts' is very cartoony, but this suits the game perfectly. While it may not be the greatest example of video game graphics you've ever seen in your life, you've got to commend the developers of this game for having designed the vast amount of characters that are available on this game to the level that they have. Each character and item is wonderfully designed and once you've added all the extra items you've conceived to a particular scene, things certainly get colourful and vibrant!
Equally, the soundtrack to this game is not fantastic. It is merely background noise that does remind me very much of Sims background music - it's constantly on loop, is generic and doesn't really add all that much to the game. However, as someone who generally has the music on mute, I find that this doesn't really impact all that much on gameplay.
The real success of 'Super Scribblenauts' is in the concept of the game itself. Aside from the similarities it shares with its predecessor, 'Scribblenauts', this game is a totally new and interesting game concept, of which the possibilities are monumental and seemingly endless. Come on, who doesn't love the idea of being able to create a 'jumping pink fluffy evil sofa'?! Having experienced the hilarious possibilities that can be achieved from use of adjectives in this game, I now think it would be difficult to play the original 'Scribblenauts' knowing that I would be unable to add these attributes. It's such a wonderful idea for a game.
That said, it's not without it's negatives. With the vast amount of adjectives in the world, it is probably unrealistic to expect all to work when creating something. For example, when I initially tested my 'jumping pink fluffy evil sofa', I used the adjective 'bouncing' instead of 'jumping', which was rejected by the game. As far as I'm concerned 'bouncing' is a perfectly valid adjective, but it is apparent that the game has some limits to what it can create. This becomes a little frustrating when you're trying to solve a particularly hard level, and are struggling to think of any synonyms for what you're trying to create.
On the subject of synonyms, the game has a good, if not frustrating, replay value. Some levels are awarded a silver crown upon completion. This means that if you replay and complete the level three times in a row using completely different words each time to come up with a solution, then you'll be awarded a gold crown. While this is great in terms of elongating gameplay, it becomes very difficult to think of enough solutions or alternatives in order to get that gold crown, and I must admit, I have had occasionally had to cheat by looking at a walkthrough on the internet for answers, as clues in the game are often unhelpful.
Indeed, there seems to be no limit to the amount of clues you can purchase, as you will earn a fair amount of 'Ollars' for every level completed, regardless of whether you've completed it before or not. This seemingly unlimited means of earning 'Ollars' makes them meaningless in a way, and I personally would have preferred it if it were harder to earn 'Ollars' and the clues were more useful.
However, ultimately, this is a really great and original game, purely for the amusement and entertainment factor. It's great fun entering a series of adjectives for your object and seeing the object come to life. I would, however, warn you not to be fooled by the cutesy graphics - this is one tough puzzle game at the end of the day. The game has a 12 rating, which apparently due to the violent content and wifi capability. While I do not personally agree that the game is violent (it makes a point of failing you on a level if an innocent is harmed), I would agree that the 12 rating is fair, as I think many young children, and especially those who cannot spell well, would struggle with this game. Basic common sense, as well as a good vocabulary is required to fully enjoy the game, and thus I think young children would get frustrated/bored of it very quickly. For those, however, with an over-active imagination, let it run free with this game!
Summary: Fun game
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