bulby33's Super Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS) review

Indeed it's true—Scribblenauts is, in fact, fun now.

Last year’s "Scribblenauts" wasn’t necessarily a lousy game by any stretch of the imagination, but its incredibly unique infrastructure was so far-fetched from the norm that living up its nearly unreachable expectations was a battle in itself. Thus, Scribblenauts’ potential and uniqueness alone weren’t enough to keep it suffering from a myriad of issues that plagued the otherwise great title. 5th Cell’s vision for Super Scribblenauts, this year’s sequel to the original game, promises to fix the mistakes that beset your enjoyment in the first place. But did they work?

Yes, nearly every facet of Super Scribblenauts’ entirety has been significantly improved over the original. The whole package feels like a more well-rounded experience while giving you a plethora of additions that may even feel unneeded. The gameplay has been greatly streamlined in addition to featuring a helpful tutorial as you boot up the game for the first time. It feels like the package we all wanted Scribblenauts to be in the first place, but that doesn’t make Super Scribblenauts any less of a title. In fact, I strongly believe it’s one of the best DS titles on the market at the moment.

Adjective-noun. Yellow-Elephant. My grade 5 education is paying off.
Super Scribblenauts oozes with an incredible precision to detail that it’s unlikely that you won’t find at least something to adore. Sitting at the title screen alone, haphazardly creating items and creatures as your heart desires is definitely one of the more pleasing aspects of the game, but if you’d rather actually play the game for real it does feature a good amount of depth to keep you busy. The main puzzle mode is probably where you’ll spend the most time with, as it features the bulk of the game’s ensemble, but there’s also an incredibly deep creation mode, too.

But before I go any deeper I probably shouldn’t just assume that everyone is aware of Scribblenauts’ general structure. In one word just think, “imaginative.” That’s right—the game is as deep as your brian allows it to be. You’re given puzzles to solve but Maxwell won’t be able to solve them with just the clothes on his back—this is where imputing words into the item creator comes into play. If you input “helmet,” for example, the game will spawn a helmet instantly. Need to gain the puzzle-ending Startite hanging on that tree? Spawn a ladder, climb up it and grab it.

There’s no denying that Scribblenauts boasts one of the most unique gameplay features of all-time. But as if the general creator wasn’t already enough (as seen in the original title last year), Super Scribblenauts has the ability to add adjectives in front of nouns, too. Awesome I know, right? So if you wanted, say, a evil-giant-purple-bear, an evil, large, purple bear will appear. Just the sheer amount of effort it took to create this massive catalog of words is incredible, but the fact that the game possesses an amazing number of adjectives too is just flabbergasting. A magnificent feat to say the least.

Most of Super Scribblenauts’ enjoyment will likely come from the primary single-player puzzle mode where most puzzles revolve around one simple rule: get the Startite by any means. Sometimes you’ll be given specific situations too, like where you need to use adjectives to combine two completely different items together, like an animal and a building. Not all of your puzzles are in a cookie-cutter fashion, either. At one point you’ll be fighting an evil witch then the next puzzle you’ll be creating aisles in a grocery store. While there’s a good amount of “adjective puzzles” where you have to create an item that mixes the attributes of two different items together, I never found them to be monotonous as they are split between many other puzzles, varying in type.

 The puzzles are much more fun this time.
I found that the creation mode was pretty awesome, too. It’s basically a create-you-own-puzzle mode where you can let your imagination soar. You have the ability to choose between a good amount of designs, including a simple “get to the Startite by any means,” but there’s also some cool designs like, “get the Startite by killing X” or something in a similar fashion. There’s a surplus of visual designs including a forest or cave background, and you can also change the height of terrain as well as add lava or water. Disappointingly there isn’t a good way to show off these levels as there’s no online support featured for this mode. If you want someone to see your level, you’re going to have to find someone in your area.

Super Scribblenauts features a mostly-good presentation even if it’s nearly identical to yesteryear’s title. The art is a mixture of bright, colourful, kid-friendly, children’s book design with cloud’s hanging in the backdrop and such. The sprites animate fluidly and generally look pretty good. The audio is exactly the same as last year, which is a nice mix of charming tunes and fun sound effects. Super Scribblenauts’ audiovisual presentation feels like a lateral step rather than a step forward, but the monotonous design is easy to look past nonetheless.

If you can pull yourself together and put aside the fact that Super Scribblenauts is the game we should’ve played last year, then you’ll have yourself an enjoyable time. The entire infrastructure that we loved from yesteryear’s title has been significantly improved to better suit the vastly superior item generator, and even if the audiovisual presentation is nearly identical there’s no denying that Super Scribblenauts should be in every DS owner’s library.  

Other reviews for Super Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS)

    Angry Albino Refrigerator? Why not. 0

     Scribblenauts was a bit of a letdown for me, because I thought the game was totally fun and interesting when it worked, but that was only about 5% of the time.  Super Scribblenauts promised to improve on that, and give me an experience that was like that good 5% of Scribblenauts through the whole game, plus more.  In many ways, this is exactly what happened, because the things that were most frustrating about the original are no longer issues, and the addition of adjectives into the game make i...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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