The concept of Scribblenauts was already pretty great: You can create almost anything out of thin air. Go ahead and have a blast. Super Scribblenauts adds a new dimension to this: Adjectives! Now, you also need to think about adjectives if you want to beat the puzzles in Story Mode. You can give any object any color or adjective, and you can even add adjectives to characters who don't have them, thanks to magic potions! Now, the amazing number of possibilities has become even more amazing!
And thus continues the plot-less story of Maxwell, his magical notebook and the Starites. As I said in my review of Scribblenauts, we don't get any “plot” until the third game in the series, Scribblenauts Unlimited. Not that this removes any fun from the game. Once again, there are two main parts to Super Scribblenauts: Free Mode and Puzzle Mode. Well, that's how I call them, anyway, considering there aren't actual names for them.
Free Mode is as great as ever. You can select one of 9 environments in which to play and experiment with words, adjectives and interactions between objects. What's also great is that many of these environments already have objects in them. It's time to increase your vocabulary! As was the case in the first Scribblenauts game, you can tap at any moment the Magnifying Glass icon located at the top left of the touch screen. This time around, however, the magnifying glass will also reveal every adjective added to the selected object. If it's a curious, friendly lion, or if it's a scared chair, or a fertile princess, or a fast hedgehog, or a nasty snail, you'll know it.
Do you need a particular adjective on an object? Type “(adjective) potion” and you'll be given a potion, which you can then feed to the character or object, and it will gain that adjective. Yes, objects can gain some form of sentience and emotions. I created a scared chair that started running around, trying to escape. Let's not talk about my heroic villain, my mean superhero and my winged, polkadotted bathtub!
|I use it to bathe. It makes my bath time magical.|
|That's a colossal man. He better be|
friendly, or else this is gonna get
I think that's the core fun with Super Scribblenauts: To give odd adjectives to objects. And boy are there plenty of adjectives in this game! Aside from the examples I gave so far, you can make anything:
-Sick, cavitied, cured
-Colossal, giant, big, small, tiny, microscopic
-Blue, red, green, yellow, purple, brown, orange, white, black, striped, polkadotted... RAINBOW!
|Boom! INSTANT KILLING MACHINE!|
Just make sure it's tamed.
I CAN DEFEAT EVIL! I HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE AND DESTROY ANYTHING! I COULD SOLVE THE QUARRELS BETWEEN RELIGIONS! I CAN KILL ANY MONSTER! I COLLECTED ENOUGH STARITES TO DECORATE THE UNIVERSE! I COULD MAKE WORLD PEACE COME TRUE! I GAVE THE CHRISTIAN GOD A GIRLFRIEND! I AM UNSTOPPABLE, YOU HEAR ME?
I AM A GOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDD!!!!!!
Whoah. Calm down, Nic! This is just a game, after all! I.... I think I'll move on to Puzzle Mode. For that one, you tap Start, and you get to a menu with four options: Single Player, Custom Levels, Extras, Credits. Credits are, well, the credits, obviously. Since this game can be technically endless, they had to put the credits in the game somewhere, right?
In the Extras Menu, you can see the Merits (achievements - there's 60 of them), follow a short Tutorial (much shorter than the one in Scribblenauts, anyway; there's only one level here, there were 11 in the original game) or change the controls. Do you prefer to move Maxwell around with the control pad, with the buttons on the right, or with the stylus? The choice is yours to make. Not like it's that big of a choice, anyway...
I don't trust him...
Alright, so Puzzle Mode itself. Maxwell is stargazing and seeing constellations without any stars. How to make the stars appear? By completing the puzzles. Each star in a constellation is a puzzle, and completed constellations form pictures. Constellation 1 takes the shape of a tree, as an example. The second one forms a pencil, the third is a notebook... When you tap a level on the selection screen, you'll get a screenshot of the level giving you a bit of an idea of what's going to be in the level, and the difficulty level. 1 pencil out of 5 means the level should be easy, and 5 out of 5 means you're in for a damn hard challenge that either requires quick wits or a large vocabulary. Either way, you'll need to think.
Most of the levels don't actually “require” adjectives, but those that do will indicate it when you start playing them. You can complete many of the early levels without using adjectives, but after a while you'll start getting more and more puzzles that demand you use adjectives such as colors or particular properties. Keep a dictionary on standby!
Also, as you complete levels, you'll notice that some of the stars in the constellations have crowns on them. Others don't. Do you remember the first Scribblenauts? Each and every puzzle and action level had to be completed a total of three times. The game kept track of each object you've been using, and you couldn't use the same object twice. Here, it's the same thing, but it's only the crowned levels. Oh, it's still going to be difficult, especially with the adjective levels, but at least not every single level has to be completed thrice. The game will also keep track of the number of different objects and adjectives you use.
|The hint here is to destroy the monsters that appear|
by using monsters who have the opposite adjective
to them. Complicated...
As was the case in the first Scribblenauts, Maxwell doesn't as much fights off the forces of evil as he helps people, regardless of their problems, and takes on some rather surprising careers. One Starite demands that he goes through cop training. In another, he helps Santa, who lost his list, to deliver gifts to four houses. It's just a random selection of people that Maxwell helps thanks to his magical notepad. Yeah, there's still no plot here, but there's a final boss nonetheless.
|I told you I didn' trust him!|
Still not enough? You can make your own levels! Choose 1 of 9 environments, and then choose between 16 different actions Maxwell will have to do to complete the level. Then, edit the field, add the items that will already be on the field, add water or lava if you want, set the color of the sky, a different background image, a different set of tiles, a difficulty, a title, an introductory text... After which you can test your level. And then you can save it. Great!
Oh, Super Scribblenauts is still a super awesome game, just like Scribblenauts was awesome. And no, before you ask, you're not always allowed to pummel your way through a mission by killing the enemy party, because it's an automatic loss. You need to be smarter than that. Whenever I play in Free Mode, I summon big monsters, I make them fight, I toy around with the adjectives, I create a utopia or a dystopia, I make unnatural abominations (like a fast snail, or a small giant, or a flying pig, or a nice lawyer). I play around with the people and creatures, their sizes, their other attributes, and that's so much fun! That's the core fun of Super Scribblenauts, simply going a step beyond its predecessor and offering more options than you'll ever get to see during your lifetime. The puzzles are fun as well, no surprise there, and I actually think they're a little better here. There was just something about the 220 levels in the original Scribblenauts game that kinda annoyed me. Perhaps it was the mix of puzzle and action levels... or perhaps it was the fact that every single level, aside from the Tutorials of course, had to be completed three times... Here, there's only what, 120 levels? I'd say between 120 and 130. It's still pretty impressive, and you're gonna have a hard time beating the crowned levels three times. But it's still a lot of fun, and the challenge is there, so that's pretty great.
Some bugs from the original game have been ironed out, though a few more may have been added due to the adjectives. The art is still pretty much the same, and the music isn't much different, but once again both fit the feeling of the game really well. The only problem is that, while you can get corrected the names of objects, the game won't ask to correct adjectives spelled wrong, which means you'll have to spell it right or see it get crossed off. In the end, I greatly enjoyed Super Scribblenauts and I strongly suggest it to anyone who believes that the pen is mightier than the sword. But if your pen lets you summon a mighty sword, that's awesome. The victory of vocabulary over vile violence!
So, you've got a near-unlimited list of nouns. You've got a large list of adjectives to use on these nouns. What's the next step: Adverbs? Prepositions? Verbs? Idioms? Jargon? Nope! The sequel to Super Scribblenauts is called Scribblenauts Unlimited, and it lets you create your own objects. Sadly, I won't get to try it, since it's on the Wii U. However, the game after that is Scribblenauts Unmasked, on the Nintendo 3DS, in which you can call forth over 2,000 characters from DC Comics, including variations on the same characters (like different forms Superman took over the years), villains, secondary characters, and even obscure characters almost nobody knows about except big-time comic fans! That's pretty damn impressive. When's the Marvel edition? ...Joke aside, though, it sounds really great, but it's not for me. I don't know enough about comics, I wouldn't be able to use that game to its full potential. As such, Super Scribblenauts might be the last Scribblenauts game I'll review. But we never know... Something could happen and make me want to review any of those two games... After all, nobody can predict the future.
Next week, someone else will be writing for the site... Who? Why? You'll find out soon!