Scribblenauts is the video game equivalent of your first kiss: it's awkward, it's sweet and it's utterly memorable.
- An incredibly charming and interesting gaming experience, puzzles are brilliant and the dictionary is massive, tonnes of potential here
- Limited number of on-screen objects, movement controls are fickle, some objects don't interact the way you want them to
Scribbelnauts is like the [MOLE] on your girlfriend's face or the undercooked centre of your mom's [MEATLOAF] -- you accept the imperfections because you love the other aspects of it so much.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
You'll remember it for years to come and every so often, you'll think back upon it and get a little flutter in your stomach. It's one of those games that you can't help but like from the minute you pick it up. Despite a couple of issues, its ability to amaze and confound is incredibly potent and I highly suggest you play it.
I first fell in love with Scribblenauts at E3 after getting a hands-on demo and after playing through most of the review build, I can confirm that it's as addictive and ground-breaking as I originally thought. Navigating the well crafted levels and figuring out the best way to solve the ingenious puzzles was a true joy. I also found myself laughing out loud several times at the game's inherent charm and humor.
The game has a ton of built-in levels which fall into two categories: puzzle and action. You solve both levels by either acquiring an out of reach Starite-star pieces that serve as the in-game goal-or by fulfilling certain conditions. The objectives can range from mundane tasks like helping a young girl get her cat down from a tree or dealing with three trick-or-treaters who walk up to your door. For that puzzle, I gave them a treat by creating some [CANDY] and on a second attempt, I gave them a trick by conjuring up a [GHOST]. You can be as straightforward or as esoteric with your solutions as you want, which is the game's true charm. Each level has a par rating which dictates a minimum number of objects and using less than that nets you more points. You also earn ollars, which acts as the in-game currency, and you can spend it to unlock new levels and skins. You also get merits, which are like achievements, depending on what objects you used and how.
And of course, the in-game dictionary is absolutely stellar, with an insane number of items, both useful and obscure, for you to play with. I often found myself defaulting to reliable standbys like [JETPACK] and [SUBMARINE] but it was comforting to know that I could conjure up a [STOT] or an [EGG BEATER] if I really wanted to. There are some genuine surprises in there as well and I'm sure gamers will be finding little gems for a long time to come; be sure to try [TIME MACHINE] and [YOUR MOM].
The dictionary is really flexible and will even offer suggestions if you misspell a word or if an object has several different variations; [HERO] will bring up both the sandwich and a costumed superman and you can select which one best fits your needs. Trying to find something that isn't in the dictionary is a game in and of itself but your time will be better spent navigating the pre-built levels; there's also a robust level editor that let's you craft your own puzzles and I can easily see industrious gamers creating levels that match the developer's efforts.
One Size Fits All
But as much as I loved the game, there were a few issues that kept cropping up. For one, there's a limit on how many objects you can have at any given time, which meant no Rube Goldbergian contraptions. I was also disappointed by the limited interaction possibilities. For instance, one level had me contend with an angry guard bear; eschewing the obvious solution of [BEAR TRAPS] and a [GUN], I conjured up a [HONEY POT] and a [SLEEPING PILL]. I then tried to dose the sweet nectar and put the bear to sleep but I couldn't mix the two.
It's a lot to ask the developers to think of every possible combination considering the huge number of objects in the game, but it was disappointing that a logical plan was foiled right out of the gate. Of course, the game is flexible enough that I found several other ways to overcome the angry bear; in this case, I conjured up a [TANK] and blasted it away and on another attempt, I chased the bear away with a [BEE].
When I Move You Move
I was also disappointed by the way character movement was handled. The main character Maxwell is controlled by the stylus and not the directional pad-that controls the camera. You tap the spot you want him to move to and away he goes. Unfortunately, it's pretty spotty and one misstep will send Maxwell to his demise. The physics are also a bit wonky, resulting in some unexpected shenanigans. For instance, a metal [CHAIN] somehow weighs a million tons and will affect objects you attach it to in bizarre ways.
Now, these complaints may seem like deal breakers and they do diminish the enjoyment a little but it's like the [MOLE] on your girlfriend's face or the undercooked centre of your mom's [MEATLOAF]-you accept the imperfections because you love the other aspects of it so much.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
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
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- TPSystem AdministratorVIC
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- TPCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPTechnical ArchitectVIC
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other