By John Walker on August 31st, 2012 at 8:30 pm.
Was this already a known thing? 5th Cell’s absolutely amazing Scribblenauts series is finally seeing a version released on the mothership. No one had told me. The utterly magical platform-game-meets-actual-proper-magic is going to be on PC, as well as Wii U and 3DS, and Scribblenauts: Unlimited going to be using Steamworks to let you share the madness you create.
It’s the fourth game in the series – the first being the show stealer at E3 2009 when insane queues of journalists lined up to play the barely highlighted DS stand in the Warner booth. With all the game’s PR being done by game hacks whispering to each other, “Have you checked out Scribblenauts? You have to take a look!”, it was something that delivered on an insane promise – the typed in a word, and there was an animated cartoon of it that would appear in game. Sure, you could beat it, but you’d have to be pretty specific or cheat with a proper noun. Put in “cthulhu”, and yes, an octopus beast would appear. Tap in the most ridiculously specific dinosaur species you could think of and it would roar onto the screen and fight the sleepy god. Or maybe just drop in God.
There was a purpose to all this – to collect stars – but in the first version of the game this was mostly ignorable. (I reviewed it here.) It was the second version, with the introduction of adjectives, that saw it realise its potential – by this point the puzzles weren’t focused on platforming, but instead the direct use of the nouns. You need to scare someone? Why not try “angry clown”?
This version promises to be deeper still, with an adventure mode and a large open world to explore, while still getting character Maxwell to collect the Starites he’s clearly so dangerously addicted to. And you can customise objects you’ve created, even join them to others, in what I am still absolutely convinced can only have been achieved by programming witchcraft. And Polygon are reporting that the PC version is by far the better. Unfortunately there’s no release date, because there’s still no release date for the Wii U.
Here’s the creeeeeeeeeepy Wii U family having a play: