How To Spell “Win”: Preview of Scribblenauts

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Scribblenauts CoverHave you been playing your DS like I asked you? For shame. You’re officially running out of reasons not to pick up the touch-screen wonder as Scribblenauts is coming out in the middle of September.

Scribblenauts is one of the most promising game concepts I’ve seen. You are tasked with helping Maxwell, the protagonist, find Starites, little…well stars. The game is divided into action stages where the Starites are clearly visible and just involve grabbing them in any way possible, and puzzle stages where you have to figure out how to make the Starite appear.

The method of gameplay revolves around typing in any proper noun you can think of to make said item appear. The game has roughly 10,000 words programmed into it, so you have quite a few options to choose from.

Cruise your way to victory young Maxwell.

Cruise your way to victory young Maxwell.

Does that not sound appealing yet? Think of a noun? Bam, probably in the game. Cactus? Bet it’s in the game. Canoe? In there. Turtle Shell? Rutabaga? Sasquatch? I’m willing to bet they’re all there and that you’ll be able to find at least one situation where you could make use of them.

Here’s a concept: Say you need to get across a cliff. How do you do that? You could type in “Helicopter” and fly across. You could type in “Rope” and swing across. Or you could type in all sorts of things and attempt to fill the gap with whales and dinosaurs and jet skis and then just walk across.

Just a few words options to choose from.

Just a few words options to choose from.

In an interview with the head developer, he mentioned that he’s seen people complete levels in ways he wasn’t even aware the game would allow. There was a level where there is a cat and a dog on each end of the map and you have to get the dog past the cat without causing trouble, so someone typed “Shrink Ray,” shrunk the dog, typed “Satchel,” then carried the dog across the level unnoticed. Even the developer wasn’t aware you could do that.

That’s depth.

Scribblenauts won a number of “Best of Show” at E3, beating out console games left and right. That’s an accomplishment all in itself.  My advice:  go get it when it comes out mid-September.

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Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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