Super Scribblenauts on the Nintendo DS offers puzzles that are richer and more interesting than those of the original
- Adjectives further expand this creative and innovative experience, controls finally match the quality of the concept, hint system helps in major binds
- Much smaller number of levels than the original, hints are sometimes too vague, would've liked more extras beyond level editor and player skins
The original Scribblenauts was an eye-opening example of what can happen when a developer thinks outside the traditional game design box. Its clever use of words and items hinted at its vast potential, but some mechanical shortcomings got in the way of the fun. Super Scribblenauts not only addresses those issues, but adds a nice layer of complexity with the addition of adjectives, making for a game that finally showcases the imagination inherent in 5th Cell's bold design.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
While most folks would likely agree that Scribblenauts' innovative approach of using words to spawn puzzling-solving items was nothing short of fantastic, the execution of last year's Nintendo DS hit sharply divided players. Some critics, like GamePro's own Tae K. Kim, embraced the overall vision of the game and saw past its technical flaws, while others (myself included) were too frazzled by poor controls and other qualms to give it enough time to properly sink in.
Thankfully, Super Scribblenauts lives up to its name with an enhanced second effort that finally delivers the series' charming potential. One might argue that adjectives are the biggest addition here — the "Super" in Super Scribblenauts, if you will — but for me and assuredly many others, the most notable change is the ability to control Maxwell in a meaningful way. In the first game, your only option was to tap the screen to move the hero, who would then shamble several steps in that direction, regardless of what hazards lay in his path. Not only was it frustrating to be bound to haphazard stylus controls, but many puzzles also required precise movements, and it was far too easy to unintentionally lead Maxwell into a pit or off a ledge.
Thankfully, Super Scribblenauts rectifies this mistake with the ability to control Maxwell with the d-pad or stylus (you can swap between the two at will from the pause menu), plus his movements are now minute, letting you control him as you would a character in a traditional side-scrolling platformer. It's a night-and-day kind of difference, and one that lets you fully focus on conjuring up splendiferous pairings of nouns and adjectives.
Just as adjectives greatly expand our language possibilities, they serve a similar purpose in the game, letting you describe people, animals, objects, and more in varying manners to solve puzzling situations. But luckily, you aren't bound by the rules of reality here: I used the term [COURAGEOUS RED MACHETE] in one stage (when tasked with imbuing a man with courage), and the resulting crimson blade hopped around with immense vigour. Up to 10 adjectives can be added per item, so run wild with your descriptions — you'll need them for the new adjective stages, which present objectives like creating items bearing the characteristics of multiple others, or solving equations by filling in blanks.
And if the scope of the Scribblenauts experience only seems to frustrate you, take heart: a new hint system — which allows up to two hints at a time in exchange for earned Ollars (in-game currency) — eases the process, and is perfect for those mind-bending stages where an otherwise reliable [JET PACK] and [CTHULU] seem worthless. Plus, the level editor sports a shiny makeover here, with greater customization options for building epic puzzles and sharing them online or with nearby pals.
Super Scribblenauts' puzzles are arguably richer and more interesting than those of the original, due to the use of adjectives and an expanded dictionary, and clever homages (the nods to Super Mario Bros. and The Wizard of Oz particularly stand out). But the sequel is otherwise slimmed down, with just 120 new stages — a noticeable drop from the bountiful 220 levels in the original. Puzzle stages account for the vast majority of those, though a series of challenging special stages unlock as you progress through the core levels.
But expert scribblers will no doubt find Super Scribblenauts' enhanced approach a major net positive over simply receiving a larger batch of levels, while the rest of us finally have a user-friendly way to experience this immensely creative idea. It's satisfying to see 5th Cell finally realise the series' potential beyond the conceptual level, and with the nuts and bolts finally secured, I'm hoping a future third entry can really expand on these fertile roots.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT