Wednesday, September 16

Game: Scribblenauts (DS) Click for more info

First things first: Scribblenauts is not a game. It plays badly, makes little sense and is presented as anything but. If I was judging it on that basis, I'd give it a two or maybe a three.

But as a toy Scribblenauts really is something magical. The key is in its vast vocab - type in any word and, poof, up appears what you just wrote. Well okay, it won't have anything (you filthy people), but it is surprising what it does have.

But it doesn't end there. Not only do these things appear, but they do things too. Alarm bells ring, God appears out of heaven and submarines, well, submerge. Black holes suck things in, teleporters take you to a weird and foreign land and atomic bombs destroy everything.

But it doesn't end there. Not only do these things do things, they also interact with other things. So the aforementioned alarm bell wakes up sleeping people, God battles the devil, and shelters protect you from nukes (well maybe, I've only actually thought of trying that while writing this now). In short, this game is just a massive scripting engine; it's almost like those artificial life games from the 90s have evolved.

And that's what the game is based on - setting up various interactions in order to complete a mission or grab a level-ending Starite. However the developers seem to have spent so much time giving identities to the 28 thousand or so objects you can create that they've forgotten about the game itself.

Now this could be a shame since it would be nice to have had something to aim for within the game. But the truth is that you're so busy creating your own scenarios (if I give the criminal a gun, will the policeman still arrest him?) that you forget about any game you're supposed to be playing. I've never found a rubbish game to be so amazing.

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