Review: Super Scribblenauts
Super Scribblenauts
Super Scribblenauts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scribblenauts was one of my favorite games of last year, along with the Professor Layton games.  Scribblenauts had an absolutely brilliant concept — solving puzzles by writing things into existence — but, unfortunately, the controls made the game a bit more irritating than it should have been.  Even with that downfall, I still wanted MORE, so I’m happy that the brand new Super Scribblenauts provides MORE…. AND fixes the controls.

In Super, you can go between the old-style controls (though I’m not sure if anyone alive chose that option), or use the stylus to control the camera and the keypad to control Maxwell, the little guy with the graphomania.  This solves a LOT of the problems with the game.  You’re not able to control Maxwell if he’s off-screen, but that’s a minor complaint, compared to the original game controls where when trying to do something, you’d send him wandering blindly off to his death.

The other main difference is the addition of adjectives – including the ability to stack adjectives several deep if you so desire.  It’s pretty handy, and it lets you use different types of lateral thinking to solve the puzzles.  There are also some “Adjective Levels” that require modifications to certain objects to beat it.  Unfortunately, not all of these Adjective Levels are organically solved — one comes to mind where I’d solved the level more or less… except that it told me I needed to use an adjective on one of the objects I created.  So I picked a random adjective that had nothing to do with anything, applied it to an object, and beat the level.  Luckily, this isn’t the norm for the Adjective Levels, but it’s still annoying.

Super also changes up the method; in the original, each world had two versions — one set of Puzzle Mode levels and one of Action Mode levels, the difference being that the Action Mode ones often involved more timing-based solutions and Maxwell going out to do things, while Puzzle Mode was, well, straight-up puzzles.  In Super, the bulk of the puzzles are what the old game would classify as “Puzzle Mode” with only two Action Mode-style worlds available, and those are treated more as bonuses — you can beat the game solving only the 10 normal worlds.  While I tended to prefer the Puzzle Mode levels in the original, it was nice to have the Action Mode ones, since those require a different mental toolset.  A more balanced split would have been better in Super…. but mostly because that would help with the desire I had after playing the original… namely, a want for MORE.

In fact — I’m not sure if it’s just that I sat down and devoured Super, if I was just in that mindset when I started, or what — but the puzzles this time around seemed a bit easier too.  Like I said, I’m not sure if this is perception or reality.  Still, it didn’t quite seem as tough as the first one — which probably helped me feel like I wanted even MORE after.  So, hopefully pretty soon we’ll get Super Duper Scribblenauts, with even more levels and, I dunno, adverbs.  I don’t care, as long as there’s MORE.


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