Scribblenauts Unlimited Review

Scribblenauts Unlimited (Available exclusively on Wii U)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: WB Games
Developer: 5th Cell
Release Date: November 18th, 2012

Parent Talk: Scribblenauts Unlimited is rated E10+ for everyone over the age of ten because of comic mischief and cartoon violence. This is a very lighthearted game, much like the Super Mario Bros. series, but requires a certain intellect level in order to progress. Very young children may not have the mental capabilities to complete all the puzzles without a parent’s help.

Plays Like: The original Scribblenauts hit the scene in 2009, and the rest of the series has followed more or less the same structure. Players are challenged by a series of puzzles and the only way to complete those puzzles is by coming up with creative solutions. For example, a vampire wants to stop drinking blood, you might create a glass of tomato juice, and see if that quenches his thirst. It’s an open-world sandbox puzzler wrapped around your imagination’s ability to think outside the box.

Review Basis: Played for hours on end until I had enough to write the review. Was shocked by how much fun I had.

I am now a believer. I had heard about this series before thanks to our very own Justin Joseph. He reviewed the first game in the series and was highly impressed. I never had the opportunity to try it for myself, but can tell you all right now, if you’ve skipped out on the franchise start here.

The Great:

Your imagination is the game’s only limit. Type a word onto the Game Pad and see a cartoon representation of that word magically appear on-screen. Type monkey, and one will pop up. It doesn’t stop there though. You can add words to your different creations. You can write giant, fat, small, etc. and the monkey will change accordingly. Puzzles require this level of thought, but more often than not you’ll have an equally fun time just messing around because, why not create a pink pirate with a laser gun?

The Good:

+ Open-world connects one puzzle hub to the next. Think of it something like the way Super Mario World connected all the different levels and zones. Same thing here.

+ While teenagers and adults might start writing boobies to their heart’s content, the game specifically prevents such creations. So this is 110% kid-friendly.

+ Licensed Nintendo characters are a joy to use. Mario, Zelda and company are all here. Give Link his Ocarina and Epona will appear, give Luigi a fire flower and he can now throw fireballs. It’s incredible!

+ Multiplayer is a cute distraction. Friends can pick up Wiimotes and interact with anything on-screen.

+ Create-an-object editor is extremely robust and easy to use. You can create whatever you want and make it appear in-game seconds later.

The So-So:

+/- While it’s great having the game in HD, it’s played entirely with the Game Pad and stylus meaning it kind of defeats the purpose of having it on the TV at all.

+/- Some of the puzzles are a little too easy to complete. Thankfully the sheer number of puzzles offsets the easier ones.

The Bad:

– Licensed characters are locked out of editing, meaning you aren’t allowed to mix up any of Nintendo’s creations. Want a chocolate Yoshi, well sorry you can’t do that. It’s very jarring because you can edit literally everything else in the game.

The Ugly:

Some of my creations are just…well…ugly.

The Lowdown:

Scribblenauts Unlimited is a superb game and one that’s certainly worth checking out this early on in the Wii U’s life. If you have yourself a shiny new console, I strongly recommend you give this one a whirl as I think you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised by it as I was. It’s a real winner!

Final Score: 8.5/10

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