Scribblenauts has finally made its 3DS debut this week. The game, which is called Scribblenauts Unlimited is the fourth title in the popular gaming series, produced by 5th Cell, the developers of the equally popular Drawn to Life games.
Fans of the series will already be familiar with the strong cartoon-style graphics and quirky gameplay which has characterised the previous games. However, there are a few changes to the 3DS version which fans should be aware of.
Firstly, the beginning of Scribblenauts Unlimited gives more backstory on how Maxwell initially came to own the magical green notebook, and why he is so keen to look for the tiny little star objects (known as Starites) in the first place.
Furthermore, players are now expected to locate tiny Starite fragments (referred to as 'Starite Shards',) which are then combined to make whole Starites. When ten shards have been earned, one full Starite is granted to the player.
Starite Shards can be earned in a multiple ways. A brand new feature called Starite Vision now allows Maxwell to see which objects or people in each level need his help, thus making it easier to locate the source of each Starite Shard. Tapping on the tiny Starite symbol at the top left-hand corner of the bottom screen will unlock Starite vision. Objects which have uncollected Starite shards will be shown as glowing either yellow or orange.
A special exclusive feature for the 3DS version of the game also allows players to swap hints and solutions to each level via the Streetpass function, and hints are provided for almost every object in the levels, making the solutions for the various puzzles that Maxwell must solve much more accessible than the previous Scribblenauts titles, while still remaining challenging. Not an easy task to achieve.
Another useful new feature is the Object Library, which is located in Maxwell's backpack. This allows players to store and re-use any previously created and summoned objects at any time during the game.
Players can also choose to play as other members of Maxwell's family, as these characters now replace the previous Scribblenauts Avatars. Maxwell's forty brothers become unlocked at various stages of the main game, but the avatars of Maxwell's twin sister, Lily and their parents, Edgar and Julie can only be unlocked after all sixty whole Starites have been collected and the post-game bonus levels are unlocked. Players can also customise their chosen avatar by tapping on the avatar and then selecting 'edit'.
Of course, the main skill in any Scribblenauts game has always been the ability to simply write any given object (with the exception of crude words and/or proper nouns) into Maxwell's notebook and spawn it into existence during the game. The available vocabulary of each Scribblenauts game has grown bigger with each new version, and Scribblenauts Unlimited is no exception.
As well as the adjective system that was first introduced in Super Scribblenauts, players can now attach multiple objects to each other. For instance, it is now possible to create a pig with wings.
Furthermore, players can also choose to attribute other properties to objects, such as movement (e.g. a fast car) and new offensive capabilities (e.g. breathes fire). Players can also adjust the size, material or colour of their chosen objects, making for a much more personalised gaming experience.
With over 22,000 words and adjectives now available for use within Scribblenauts Unlimited, there are just too many combinations for us to list here, but a full list of all the available object words can be found by clicking HERE .
Nevertheless, with all the fantastic new improvements that can be found in Scribblenauts Unlimited, there were two minor nagging details that, whilst not necessarily detracting from this brilliant game, were a tad disappointing.
Firstly, the Nintendo 3DS version of Scribblenauts Unlimited does not feature the object editor, which has been heavily promoted in advertisements for the Wii U version of the game.
Secondly, although the initial backstory cut scenes are shown on the top-screen, and are thus displayed in full animated 3D, the actual gameplay takes place on the bottom screen of the 3DS, and thus the levels in Scribblenauts Unlimited are not actually playable in 3D.
Nevertheless, neither of these two observations can alter the fact that Scribblenauts Unlimited is still a masterpiece of innovative, imaginative gaming and is therefore a worthy addition to the Scribblenauts series.
If you loved the previous games in the series, then you are bound to love Scribblenauts Unlimited just as much. If you are not sure about the game and wish to know more, then why not watch the trailer now? (see above). Overall rating: 9/10.