Quick Impressions: Scribblenauts (DS)

by Cory Birdsong on

Since our monumental E3 show floor video, Scribblenauts has been a pretty hot topic around here.

It comes out tomorrow, and before you go and pick up the game and either your complimentary rooster hat or $15 gift card, check out these brief impressions to temper your excitement and avoid being disappointed.

– The core “item summoning” game mechanic is almost as engaging as you imagine it will be. Unfortunately, you will certainly encounter cases where you can’t get objects to work together in the way you imagine, or the item you summon will not be exactly what you wanted. These situations are rare, but they do exist, and the fact that they are rare makes them that much more disenchanting when they do occur.

– The controls are almost entirely on the stylus and the game suffers for it. You move Maxwell around by touching a point on the screen, and you also manipulate objects in the same way. It is extremely frustrating when you go to grab a tiny object and it just makes Maxwell move forward and off a cliff, or into a pond with piranhas, or any number of other hilarious deaths. (They stop being hilarious when you have to retype three or four words to get back to the point you were in the puzzle before your unfortunate death by controls.)

However, despite these issues, the game is still a great deal of fun, and when it works it feels incredibly satisfying. Highly recommended, but not without caveats.