Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

First Impressions: Super Scribblenauts

Posted by Tracy Poff on April 9, 2011

Super Scribblenauts is a puzzle game for the Nintendo DS, developed by 5th Cell Media and released on 2010-10-12.

The gameplay is fairly simple: write words in Maxwell’s notebook to create objects, and use those objects to solve the puzzles. Sometimes the puzzles are simply of the ‘think of a word that fits’ variety, and sometimes they require a little more effort. I should say here that I’m not very far through the game, yet, so I suspect the later puzzles will generally be more challenging and less ‘name a part of car’.

You enter each puzzle from the constellation map screen. Having selected a constellation, you’re presented with a list of puzzles contained in that constellation; later puzzles are unlocked by completing earlier ones.

The stars with crowns are intended to be replayed: if you solve the puzzle three times in a row, each time with a different solution, the crown turns from silver to gold, as you see above. This is a pretty great feature, because a lot of the fun is in thinking of outlandish ways to solve puzzles, and the developers clearly knew this. I only wish I could see a list of my previous solutions, but that’s unfortunately unavailable. Probably, it would have been too difficult to make it meaningful–not only the selection of objects but also their placement and what you do with Maxwell can be important.

The puzzles are often amusing, even when they’re not difficult: you can kill the dinosaurs in the above screenshot in any number of ways–I particularly enjoyed using a black hole.

A surprisingly large number of objects are implemented, so feel free to let your imagination go wild. Super Scribblenauts keeps track of how many distinct objects you’ve created, and how many distinct adjectives you’ve used, too, so you can measure just how creative you are, if you’re so inclined. Personally, I’m keeping a list of my solutions for each level, just to see how many ways I can solve them.

Not all of the puzzles are particularly inspired, and some seem a bit obtuse to me, but in general, the game seems to be great fun. I definitely plan on finishing this one.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “First Impressions: Super Scribblenauts”

  1. A good return to form!

    • Tracy Poff said

      Thank you for your kind words. It seems to me that every time I mean to block out some time to write reviews, something new comes up to distract me. This game charmed me enough that I just had to put pen to paper, figuratively.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s