Monday, December 8, 2008


Scribblenauts is a game recently announced on IGN developed by the guys at 5th Cell, who are responsible for the innovative Drawn to Life and Lock's Quest. IGN got the first videos and an exclusive interview with one of the developers (found here). The game looks really awesome. So today, I decided I'd write up my two cents on the game.

First of all, let me explain the overall concept. You're Maxwell and the goal of each level is to get to the Starite (think of it like the Stars in the 3D Super Marios). Instead of platforming, shooting, or brawling your way to the finish of each level, it's up to your imagination to get each Starite. The innovation in the game is that anything you write appears.

In the first trailer (found at the previous link) it shows the Starite up on a tree. Then it shows all the different ways to get it down. First, the player writes ladder, and a ladder appears. The ladder's placed against the tree and Maxwell climbs it and gets the Starite. Then it shows Maxwell creating a football and throwing it to knock down the Starite. And finally it shows the player write "beaver" and a beaver appears and then sets off to cut down the tree, once again completing the objective.

The concept has a huge amount of potential. The developers specifically said that they're working to make any noun you can think of (inappropriate nouns excluded of course) available in the game. Things even interact with each other like they would in real life. Wood will burn, animals will eat other animals, etc.

Scribblenauts is supposed to have hundred's of levels. And even if you beat the game, think of how much replay value there is! Just going back and trying to solve each puzzle in a different way than before presents a challenge. Plus the game sounds like an awesome sandbox game. Just boot it up and get to experimenting anything you want. In the interview with IGN, Jeremiah Slaczka (one of the game designers) said that pretty much anything will go. He said if you wrote the word "tsunami", a huge tidal wave would actually sweep across the screen, probably killing your character. So think what would happen when writing other natural disaster like hurricanes or tornadoes. Or see how different animals interact with each other. The lasting power in this one seems incredibly strong.

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