Created by 5th Cell who… .have only made Scribblenauts… it’s SCRIBBLENAUTS UNLIMITED!
The Brief: Player Input Games
There was a time when all games required player input in order to work. Whereas instead of playing the game you would have to guess at what were acceptable commands
Most of the games were RPG games in which you would input text commands and get a response.
Most of these games came with examples of acceptable commands but did not contain all of them. A lot of these early games had a lot of discovery and guessing.
A typical command might be like:
And the typical response would be:
You would have to follow this up by asking what is around and then responding basedo n what is in the area.
There were no graphics and there was only the text.
As Apple and IBM began engineering graphical based programming new games designs were coming around.
Although Prince of Persia would no doubt transform the entire industry away from this way of playing there were quite a few games using the old input format.
One of the most famous of these games was Leisure Suit Larry. In this game you were a sexual pervert walking around town looking for ‘tail.’ You could insert over 100,000 expressions and quandaries per game.
The end result of these sorts of games is that after playing them you would try again just to see how else you could play them.
Scribblenauts continues in this tradition.
Scribblenauts is based around collecting stars. Collecting stars is necessary for completing levels. A star is obtained by helping eight people complete their tasks.
These tasks are given to you by roaming around the map and talking to people or analyzing things around you. There is a ‘star vision’ that will aid you in figuring out where exactly stuff is.
A person will have a problem. In order to solve it you can do one of two things.
The first is create an item they might need or an item that will help them in some retards.
As an example maybe a car is broken down. Well how can you help someone who has a car broken down? Maybe you get booster cables! Maybe you get a mechanic! Maybe you need a robot.
The fun of the game is coming up with creative ways of solving problems. The game will have you type out what you want. If it is not available it will pull up a dictionary involving an adjective and a noun.
So if I type in “Michael Jackson” and that is not available it could pull up “major janitor” as a possible match. It also allows me to choose adjectives and nouns to help with that.
The other way to aid is to add an adjective to a person to change their proportions or looks.
The game plays as a 2D side scroller and uses very cartoonish graphics.
- Child Friendly
- Open Ended
- Steam Workshop
When I was growing up there was this great game called ECO The Dinosaur. It was a simple child friendly game designed to teach you about environmentalism and recycling. It was done from the perspective of a click and point adventure game.
Most child games are click and point adventure games.
This game gives us a child friendly game in which I child can learn to spell, solve simple riddles, and have a tonne of fun.
The game is very open ended. You need to collect 30 stars and there are going to be about 60-70 stars on the map. So realistically you will have a lot of fun just doing whatever you want. if you can’t figure out a problem now, you can come back and solve it later… while solving other problems. I hate linear puzzle games that want you to just sit down and look at a single puzzle until you are driven MAD!
The game has a fantastic sense of humor… unless of course you don’t have one… in that case nothing will have a good sense of humor. In one scene a cannibal came forward asking for food. A child is supposed to learn here that cannibalism is eating humans. After serving the cannibal a human (I chose to feed him a teacher!) the cannibal joked to me “you look delicious too.”
I ran out of things to do… until I saw the Steam workshop. The game gives you the ability to make literally anything. I made V from V for Vendetta for giggles. Other people have made entire Star Wars sets and entire (puke) scenes from Twilight. The game gives a lot of replay value for anyone interested in creating a creature. It could easily end up like Spore which had people creating Simpsons planets that could randomly invade you.
- Weird Story
For more hardcore players this game will not offer much. Total gameplay comes up to just under 5 hours. For a more hardcore gamer this is just not going to offer much of a value. It is a $30 purchase and does not offer any replay value for anyone over the age of 12.
The game has a liberalized sense of the world. By this I mean that everything is neutral of names, cultures, religions, and race. In fact the only thing it maintains is the classical male-female roles and relationships in the world.
In one instance a priest was in a haunted house and he wanted me to help him get rid of a ghost. I was reminded of that scene from the exorcist in which three priests with bibles were reading off prayers and upsetting the ghost. So I typed in bible… didn’t show up. I typed in the word “holy book” and a bible popped up. It’s something that is very specifically designed this way in which it picks up a Christian cultural character but neutralized all the words around it…. or liberalized.
This of course does not stop the game from having female fire fighters with pink hard hats or crying girls wishing their boyfriends were not such jerks.
The story to the game is really really odd. It’s one of these instances where a game developer makes a great game and the story is an after thought in which it tries to explain the story. Through out this game you will never really understand this story fully… because it never makes sense.
Because of the lacking context the game will be a lot less appealing to anyone over the age of 12.
I think this game is fantastic and a must have for anyone under the age of 12 on PC or on Wii-U.
For anyone else though the game is going to be a meh pick. For people who played Scribblenauts on the Nintendo DS are going to enjoy this game. But for everyone else it won’t appear as anything particularly special.