E3 2012: Scribblenauts Unlimited Hands-On

Scribblenauts is certainly one of the more original franchises in recent years. A game where you write things into existence in order to solve puzzles. However developer 5th Cell is looking to take things to quite another level of imagination with their latest entry. We’ve had some time to play with it, and we can tell you how it’s all working out.

The basics of the world haven’t changed much. Visually the game looks much the same, as it’s always been a 2D art style and that’s not really the most important aspect of the series. What has changed is that the world actually has a story now. Maxwell, the series protagonist has a motivation for all of his crazy puzzle solving adventures. Namely that his sister has been turned to stone and he needs to collect Starrites in order to cure her. Simple enough.

There is also now a hub world. In this area you can interact with NPC’s and what’s more, take on sidequests. Doing so usually involves using your abilities to solve some minor problems they have or tasks they set out for you. Completing them will give you a piece of a Starrite Shard. However, the old calssic style puzzle areas still exist and can be accessed from the central hub. Solving these will get you a full Starrite.

And yet, none of these is what makes the ne game such a step forward. You Scribblenauts has an amazingly impressive dictionary from which it can create virtually anything you want. However, every now and then, you would run into a word that wasn’t in their dictionary. Well, now when that happens, just create it! You see, the game includes the fully features object creator the developers use to create the items for the game. That means you have access any existing creatable item and make new ones of your own.

The interface has two modes. One is very simplistic, so anyone can work it. However, there is a more advanced editor where you can modify actual behavior and make complex designs from scratch. Even this one is pretty simple and straightforward to use once you’ve figured it out. This means the game has the potential to live up to it’s name and provide a truly unlimited gameplay experience. I’d say that’s definitely worth checking out.


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