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Super Scribblenauts: Sean’s Impressions

Posted by: Sean Colleli at 9/28/2010 5:22 PM
If you ask me, the original Scribblenauts was just about perfect, save for its one experience-destroying flaw: awkward controls. Everything was in place to make it a legendary, emergent puzzle/platformer masterpiece, but those fiddly stylus controls brought the rapturous flow to a screeching halt.

Naturally there was only one thing that really needed fixing in a sequel. 5th Cell could’ve just put D-pad controls into the original for a “my bad!” re-release and review scores would’ve gone up at least two letters across the board—the game itself was that big, that good. Being 5th Cell, however, the developers have delivered a real honest to goodness sequel, as far as I can tell from my brief time with Super Scribblenauts.

To get this out of the way first, the controls are great. Problem solved, the game’s potential has been reached. That said, 5th Cell has taken the extra year to add to the original formula, namely in the form of adjectives. That’s right, now you can modify nouns with descriptors for size, texture, even set the emotions, moods and personalities of characters and animals. Or you can just set everything on fire by default. This in turn allows for much more complex puzzles. I tried my hand at kicking off a beach party, and as in the first game I had to do it three different ways to get a special reward.

I didn’t play around with it but Super Scribblenauts will include an improved level editor that now allows you to make puzzle stages as well as action stages. After such a superficial preview I feel unqualified to go into more detail about what promises to be a very deep game, but hey, it’s Scribblenauts with a bigger dictionary and good controls. It’s already a must-buy.