by Ryan D Lowe
reviewed on NDS
Visually the game looks very much like its predecessor, which in no way is a bad thing. It still has all the visual charm and appeal as its predecessor, meaning it looks like a world created from a children’s story book that was cut apart to create an abstract pop-up book. The colors are vibrant and the music is a cut above what Scribblenauts was able to achieve.
The game houses a brilliant little physics engine that is fantastic to tinker around with. You can build contraptions as well, really testing your imagination to the fullest. Although the first game had a solid physics engine, it would occasionally break objects, including the prized Starite. However, throughout Super Scribblenauts I couldn’t even once dink the engine no matter what I tried. Even with the physics engine being the marvel that it is, Super Scribblenauts doesn’t always perform as you would expect. We are now into the second game of this franchise and I still can’t create the bait and cage trap that would be so useful in many of the more challenging action stages.
Speaking of which, the action stages truly steal the show and really add the “Super” to Scribblenauts. Unlocking after completing the harder challenges of the main game, the action stages are an optional part of the game and offer sometimes ridiculously difficult challenges. Many of these will have you scratching your head as you try to piece together something that will nab that shiny Starite without blowing it to bits.
Creation at its Finest
You can tell the team at 5th Cell listened to its fans and community and built the sequel around what they were clamoring for. Small nips and tucks are obvious throughout the game. One shining example of this are the flying items/objects. In Scribblenauts, the Jet pack item would only last a couple of seconds before giving up on you and send you hurtling down to a likely death. This problem has been thankfully addressed and you are no longer at the mercy of mechanical failure.
The level editor from the previous installment makes its return in the sequel and offers brand new scripted templates which expand the types of puzzle that can be created. The puzzle formats range from a race to the finish line to more traditional puzzle levels. You have control over the actual design and are given a small toolset to build the area as you see fit. The editor is powerful, but more elaborate puzzle ideas will have to be put on the back burner. For instance you can’t employ switch operated doors within a race course. In the grand scheme of things, however, these are very tiny complaints about an overall wonderfully designed package.
Super Scribblenauts shines throughout, with its silky smooth presentation and great new challenges. The newest entry in the franchise is full of fresh ideas and challenging gameplay. I was initially worried the game would feel more like an expansion than a full-fledged sequel but I’m glad to say that I was wrong. The game is as solid as it can be and provides hours of fun, even after you beat it. One to get.
Rare sequel, that shines brighter than the first.
Um. No co-op play?