“Create Anything, Edit Everything”
I had no idea what Scribblenauts was until my nephew handed me his Christmas wish list that had over well over 100 items on it. When I saw “I want, Scribblenauts, the new one” I had no idea what that was. So I called him to ask, and the reply I got was, “duh, it’s a video game”. Thanks kid, now I know how my parents felt when I told them the same thing twenty years ago, with my multipurpose interjection of “DUH” in any of MY information they were privileged to be enlightened upon. I need to face the music, I’m just not cool anymore 🙂 Without further ado, and to advert any insult to injury, I just went ahead to look up this so called “video game”.
Hrmm, a “doodle” game, I thought how dumb is that? Until I looked into it and found out it was an award-winning franchise! Filling myself with a bit more of information I found out Scribblenauts was first released in 2009 for the Nintendo DS. Rated for everyone 10+, it is a side scrolling game, where your character goes on adventures while having to solve multiple puzzles along the way. Unlike the normal jump up and grab, shoot down or hack and slash, instead you must TYPE what you want or need. An example given was a star stuck up on the top of the tree and you want it. Simply type, “ wood chipper” and voila, your character now is wielding a wood chipper and runs it up to the tree to use it and get the star down. Of course there are tons of other options you could think of like “fat bird “to weigh down the star, a “woodchuck” to do it’s thing or something as simple as “ladder” to climb up and just grab it. No matter what option you choose, you use YOUR imagination to come up with a way to get it. This is both fun and important to the player as they feel creative and inspired to think of different ways to solve a multitude of problems or situations.
In 2010 Super Scribblenauts was released and with many new additions. Standing out the most was the adjective system introduced into the game. Here you could modify objects and make them take on behaviors, personalities and overall different characteristics. So imagine you have a dog with you and you decide to give him some more character. You could “edit” him as “itchy” dog. And now your dog will be scratching at himself. Or a cat labeled as “cuddly” that constantly snuggles up to you.
So here we are with the “new one”, as my nephew called it also known as, Scribblenauts Unlimited. Just released less than a month ago, November 13th to be exact, this game is only available for the PC, Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U. Notice, it’s not for plain ole DS anymore. I find that to be both a good idea and a bad one. Good, because of better graphics, however bad because if you don’t own one of the newer systems then it’s a no go, unless of course, you get the pc version. Anyways, the freshest new installment of Scribblenauts, features unlimited creative options. Meaning, the player can keep adding on, changing color, subtracting, attaching, making furry, making bald, with a spiky back or a turtle shell, there are no worries on restrictions to the modifying imagination! Players may also “share” a creation they’ve made. A good example is a gift you want to send to a friend. Perhaps you make a box filled with confetti. You wrap it in Christmas wrap and a tiny silver bow. Click share, and send it to a friend. They can open the gift and receive the confetti. Then your friend can re-edit your gift. Fill it with bubbles and make the box huge. They wrap the gift in a cheetah print design and a giant rainbow colored bow, then click send. Now you’ve got mail!
I think this game is amazing, and any kid, 10 years old or 50 years old would love something like this. Who knows, maybe someday, this imagination training will come in handy. Instead of calling the fire department to get your cat out of the tree, you can just use that wood chipper that’s been on a 5 year siesta in the shed!