REVIEW – Scribblenauts Unlimited (3DS)

Game review by Steve Cullum

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Game – Scribblenauts Unlimited
Version – 3DS
Rating – E10+ for Everyone 10+
Obtained – Review Copy from Warner Bros. Interactive

Maxwell is back in a brand new game for the Nintendo 3DS. He has learned quite a bit since his first outing for Nintendo DS. Is it enough to warrant another purchase, though?

Story and Plot

The first Scribblenauts game did not really have a story or plot. This time, the game is centered around a story. You will learn the backstory of him, his parents, his 41 siblings, and how he first got his magical notepad. Specifically, you get to know more about his twin sister, Lily. All this gives much depth to a rather simple puzzler that did not exist before.

The storyline is a nice addition, but it does take away from the open “toybox” feel of the original. Instead, you will jump right into the story rather than being allowed to play around in various environments. In the end, though, most players will welcome this addition, as it adds to the game’s depth, because you now know why you are completing these puzzles.

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Gameplay and Controls

Along with the new story, you will jump into an all new world. As you explore this open universe, you will encounter people who need your help. How do you help them? You will use your magical notepad that allows you to create an almost unlimited number of people, animals, and objects. On top of all the nouns that were available in previous game, you can now add a string of adjectives to modify the objects. As you help one person to solve one puzzle, you will gain Starites that will unlock more and more of the world.

In addition to touch-screen controls, you are now able to control Maxwell with the Circle Pad. This helps quite a bit, since it gives you more precise control over the main character. On occasion, you will use the action buttons, but your notebook and all interaction with characters and objects takes place through your touch-screen, which works great. One omission from the 3DS version that is present in the Wii U title is the object editor, so you will not be able to create your own objects or characters. However, being able to share your solutions to puzzles with others via StreetPass and SpotPass is a nice addition.

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Graphics and Sound

The vast majority of the game takes place on the touch-screen, which means it takes a 2D approach. This is a bit disappointing, but it does make sense based on the style of controls needed. However, Maxwell and his world do look great even in two dimensions. The 3DS graphical capabilities help him look much better than he did on the DS, since shadows, shading, and more details are allowed.

They have really stepped up their game for music, as many of the songs are full and complicated tunes. You will not find simple bleeps and bloops on this soundtrack. This helps to set the tone as you progress through each world and puzzle. Sound effects are basic, but they get the job done.

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Final Score: 8.5 out of 10

Scribblenauts Unlimited offers a huge amount of gameplay for puzzle fans. It takes what we loved from the original and adds a backstory and more capabilities. The omission of the editor is unfortunate, but sharing capabilities make up for it. If you are searching for a puzzler that will keep you going both on quick and long plays, Scribblenauts Unlimited might be just what you are looking for.

+ Story helps deepen the game.
+ Simple controls.
+ Adjectives expand creativity.
+ Sharing via StreetPass and SpotPass.

- Lack of editor.
- No 3D.
- No open toybox mode right out of the box.

About the author:

Steve has been a Nintendo fan since the NES. He currently owns a NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, DS, DSi, 3DS, and 3DS XL. His favorite types of games are action platformers and multiplayer “party” games. Overall, he loves a game that is pure fun and pulls him in for hours, and if that can be shared with friends, it is even better.

Steve has been blogging for NintendoFuse since April 2008. He started off as an avid reader, and eventually was asked to jump on the team. Currently, he enjoys writing game reviews and sharing breaking news with the fans and readers. You will also find him on the forums as an admin.

Steve – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.