wess's Super Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS) review

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Angry Albino Refrigerator? Why not.

 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 it that much more hilarious and bizarre.  The problem I have with Super Scribblenauts, though, is that it lost some of the best moments I had in the original along with those problems.

Here's what I mean: in Scribblenauts, you would try to solve some wacky puzzle with a set of items you came up with on the fly, and it would work in theory, but weird physics, awful controls, and stupid NPCs would inevitably muck things up, or something crazy and unexpected would happen and you would die a horrible death.  These moments were sometimes hilarious and/or frustrating individually, but after that happened 10 times per level for 30 levels straight it got to be infuriating.  The fix for this in Super Scribblenauts seems to be to make levels more straightforward, where only very specific actions will allow you to win - which gets rid of the crazy and unexpected things, but also gets rid of a lot of the creative hook of the first Scribblenauts.  Instead of having a few go-to items, the game forces you to play by it's rules, and sometimes even things that logically should work just don't.  Of course, there really is no downside to the reworked controls, but it gives more of a "Duh" feeling than coming off as something that should be applauded.

It may be a bit unfair to talk about Super Scribblenauts entirely in comparison to it's prequel, but I also feel like it is a game that was conceived and designed with the sole purpose of addressing the complaints about the original, so it is kind of linked more strongly than most sequels.  For the most part, while I feel like Scribblenauts really desperately needed a sequel to get everything fixed, this didn't quite meet my expectations, and since Super Scribblenauts seems like such a reflex reaction to the mixed reception of the original, it's hard to say if it's really possible for Scribblenauts to really be a top notch game.


Other reviews for Super Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS)

    Review: Super Scribblenauts 0

    The original Scribblenauts, released in 2009, was highly anticipated for the originality of its mechanics. In concept, it was the puzzle game all puzzle games had wanted to be. When done right, a puzzle game rises above solutions like mix item A with item B to get passed obstacle C, but presents problems which the player can approach from many angles. This was the genius of Scribblenauts in concept: the item used to solve a puzzle was limited only by the player’s imagination.But developer Level-...

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    Fantastic. 0

    If you have a creative bone at all in your body or love puzzle games you should be playing super scribblenauts. It's a fantastic game. Some might say the art style is kiddie and then, assume, the game is also kiddie. Not the case, this game is made for everyone. Sure kids will have a blast with it but I'd like to see them try and get gold crowns on each of the levels. This game is just plain fun. It's probably the most fun I've had with a game this christmas (other games I got include Civilizati...

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