Scribble Your Way To Fun With This Ingenious New Game

This may be one of the most difficult games I’ve had to describe yet because it is also one of the most unique and creative. I’ll start with the basics; Scribblenauts is a DS exclusive that combines elements of classic action games, such as Mario Brothers, with imaginative puzzle solving brainteasers like those found in the Professor Layton games. Players use the DS touch screen to help the game’s character, Maxwell, collect a Starite (a gold star) on each level. Here is where things get tricky. In order to get the Starite, you have to figure out what objects Maxwell will need to use in order to reach the Starite. The game recognizes tens of thousands of words so once you decide on an object, type the name into the touch screen keyboard and that object will appear in the game. For example, The Starite might be in a high cave on the other side of a section of water. One way to reach the cave is with a jet pack (I’ve used that a few times) but once you reach the cave, how do you get the Starite out if the cave is too small for Maxwell to fit in? That’s what you have to figure out.

Why It’s Fun

You could use the same objects repeatedly to get to the Starite (like I have with the jetpack) but the game rewards you for creativity and awards bonus points every time you use a new object. As you progress through the game, acquiring the Starite becomes more difficult and you will have to get more creative with your object choices, which is what makes the game so much fun. Again to use an example, on one level, I had to place a heavy object on a switch to keep a door open. I had already used a boulder and large crate on earlier levels so after giving it some thought, I jotted down “Fat Lady”, as in “it’s not over until the fat lady sings”. The game took my object note and gave me a large Opera looking woman to place on that switch and it worked!

Scribblenauts’ levels are divided into 10 worlds, each with 11 puzzle and 11 action challenges for a total of 220 challenges. The replay value of this game is only limited by your vocabulary, which means you could play every day and always have a different experience.

Who’s Going To Love It

Scribblenauts has been getting rave reviews all over the gaming spectrum from adults to kids. The game’s appearance and main character (Maxwell) are cute-looking, simple animations that kids love but I’ve also heard from people who usually only play gory, first-person shooters that they love this game also.

This is a great game for parents and adults to play with kids as they can both think of fun objects together to use in the game. Even kids too young to spell can play if the adult does the spelling.

What To Be Aware Of

Don’t worry if you are a terrible speller because the game will figure out what you are trying to type and make suggestions that are close to your misspelled word.

The game won’t allow you to use brand names or curse words and extra points are given when you complete certain levels without using weapons.

Fun Scale

0 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Rated: Everyone 10+

System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Puzzle/Action
Players: 1 (2 with wireless)

SRP: $29.99
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: September 15, 2009
Date of Review: October 1, 2009

*Rating determined by the ESRB


What do you think about Scribblenauts?

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