Trade Paperback Writer: Scribblenauts DC

By Adam Smith on April 26th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

IGN bring news that the next Scribblenauts game, to be officially announced at E3, will use the DC license. Even without potential legal problems, Scribblenauts has always been somewhat shy of licensed characters due to Max’s inability to summon into existence specific people and places, described by proper nouns. The series has previously included Nintendo characters, although only on the developer’s own platforms, but otherwise it doesn’t share its universe with anyone. How much can a license add to a game where a little imagination can create equivalents of so many characters though? I jumped into Scribblenauts Unlimited to create my own DC universe. The results are below.

I decided to make Batman first but the game doesn’t recognise bat as an adjective, which is fair enough. I went with the closest suggestion instead and ended up making this guy.

He’s a Bad Man but that doesn’t mean he should fight alone. I created a suitable sidekick.

After being punched by the Bad Man repeatedly, I decided to dispose of him with a lit bomb, remembering how much Adam West had been confounded by just such a thing. I wasn’t entirely successful.

He took the bomb, lobbed it at me, set me on fire and then left me for dead. I considered this my own infinite crisis and reset the level, diving back into the multiverse and starting from scratch. First things first.

Can’t be done. What’s the closet thing?

Really Scribblenauts? Really? I think I’ll go for an aquamanile instead. Whatever it might be.

That’s what it is. When I tip it over, water spills out. OK. It’s a statue of an animal with a hole in the top and it’s full of water. I should have known. This is quite rubbish. I need something to make it fizz and spark. Here’s a psychotic jester.

He just kind of leers at me. I was expecting violence. In order to deal with the (non)threat that the joker poses, I decide it’s time for Superman to hit the scene. My first effort – Super Man – is just a really big chap, so I make a flying man as well for good measure.

Killer Croc is the first name to work written as it should be. It’s not perfect, but, hey it’s an angry crocodile and it attacks giant superman immediately, although he kills it with a couple of blows. The joker dances at the edge of the fight. I think he’s aroused.

Oops. The joker has a green lantern now and he seems to be thinking evil thoughts. This could be quite a good storyline. What will he do?

Before he has a chance to discover the powers of the lantern, the joker finds something else that he’s more interested in. It’s a clay face.

He lobs the clay face at the chap running away on the right there. Despite being completely peaceful when confronted by supermen, the joker is happy to pursue a new arrival in the universe, Mild Mannerly Reporter, who is an odd and cowardly individual. He wears a monocle.

Feline Woman, who is gray and a bit ghostly for some reason, doesn’t involve herself in the fight, but the joker is eventually chased away by the Master Freezer, which hops, skips and chomps, eventually devouring him.

A Teen Titan and a Penguin make friends, and that’s when I realise that there is, definitively, no need for an actual license. My world is perfect.

And it really is my world.

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17 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    I still don’t get how the workshop characters work. I’m pretty sure I have superman, link and nito yet none shows up in my notebook.

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    Anthile says:

    At least Scarecrow seems to work just fine.

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    Bluerps says:

    It doesn’t have to be licensed characters, but some new content for this game would be really nice.

  4. Skabooga says:

    This is fantastic. Even the limits of the game still lead to mad creativity.

  5. Flavioli says:

    Game journalism at its best.

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    DrScuttles says:

    Being based on the DC Universe, doesn’t this mean that Adam will need to reboot the entire thing every few years?

  7. MashPotato says:

    I want to hug this post.

  8. sinister agent says:

    The thought of this lovely thing becoming a tedious advertising udder is a mildly depressing one.

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    Lacero says:

    It’s a shame the best games article I’ve seen in years* has only 9 comments so I’m going to say thank you.

    *what does a hyperbolic commenter look like in Scribblenauts?

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      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      It has an enormous wobbly head and it carries a keyboard under one arm which it uses as a weapon. Its soulless eyes stare unblinkingly. Like a colossus it strides the land, bellowing its challenge to other commenters. When it meets another commenter they battle with bludgeoning keyboards for territory and breeding rights.

      If confronted by an angry commenter, do not attempt to flee, for it will immediately attack if it senses fear. If it makes a pun, you must immediately pun back at it. If your pun is accepted it will be your friend for life. Fail, and it will cry “WHAT A SHAME”, “DEADFACE”, and similar remarks as it dismembers your corpse.

      • The Random One says:

        If the commenter enjoys your pun, look at your keyboard. A printout of a recently posted picture will be sitting next to it. Look behind the picture, and you will find the Staring Eyes tag.

        That tag is item seven out of ten. They must never warface together.

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          phuzz says:

          I have no idea what I just read, but I love it.

          • Kaira- says:

            It’s a reference to… whatchamacallit… The Holders?

            [E] If you dig in deeper, be prepared to see the word “halfway house” over and over again.