#267 The Mystery of Scribblenauts

Good news everyone, a few days ago I received my confirmation email that I was accepted into the Hearthstone beta. I would like to believe it is thanks to the charm I have when I met Blizzard at this year’s PAX East, or it could be my ability to write about videogames to a ridiculous degree that got me the invite, or maybe it was my profound ability to opt-in to the Hearthstone beta test pool. Wither way expect  a first impression from me next week about the beta.

For today’s post I want to talk about a game I played while the Heathstone game was downloading and setting up, Scribblenauts.

I picked up this  game from the Steam summer sale and I only picked it up to get prepared for Scribblenauts Unmasked, the game that claim will have every major and obscure DC comics character from the DC comics history.

Listen game designers when I type in "Green Lantern" I want this game to ask which one? Alan, Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, or Simon.

Listen game designers when I type in “Green Lantern” I want this game to ask which one? Alan, Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, or Simon.

I downloaded and installed the game after a bit of playing I soon came to the realization that Scribblenauts is like a point a click game without the adventure. You choose which themed zone of the map you want to go to and in a small area populated with NPCs that have a simple problem and  it is up to you to help them and make them happy. In proper point and click adventure games where you have to explore the area for that solution in this game you open up your magic journal and summon the item you need. 

a bunch of monsters in a haunted house wants to throw a party, spawn a DJ

a bunch of monsters in a haunted house wants to throw a party, spawn a DJ

There is almost no challenge in the game you just need to read what the problem is then find the best fit solution. After I came to that conclusion I then asked myself, why can’t I stop playing? Currently I am on track to 100% completion with no desire to stop playing the game.

I think major draw is because Scribblenauts has boiled the idea of success and rewards into its purest form, you see someone standing in front of a field of corn that drops clues of wanting popcorn so summon a sun and BAM! the corn turns into popcorn, the NPC becomes happy, it adds another tick in your game’s progression  and you move on to the next problem.

But I think the true appeal comes from the very subtle references the game developers added into Scribblenauts when they where creating the puzzles. For example there is this one puzzle at a Dinosaur park where you have to help a scientist get dinosaur DNA sample out of some amber to get into a cloning device. 

It nice to recreate non-Jurassic park

It nice shot for shot remake of non-Jurassic park

and I am not one hundred percent sure but I think they also added a Sarah Jane Smith (from the BBC’s Doctor Who) Easter egg in a puzzle about the Butterfly theory.

I dont know, It looks awfully close to the  character when she first appeared on the show.

I don’t know, It looks awfully close to the character when she first appeared on the show.

Lately I have also been playing a game against Scribblenauts of trying  to make the most obscure answers to problems presented and see if Scribblenauts accepts the answer.  A woman needs someone to take along to the movies, the proper answer would be a boyfriend or a best friend my answer a cat, BOOM still got credit. Another example I had a puzzle this alligator saying “I haven’t had a bite in weeks!” the normal solution would be any create any type of food or prey but I wanted to see if a pair of dentures would work, following that age-old comedy joke and much to my surprise I still solved the hungry alligator’s problem.

Although it may be because alligators eat almost everything you give them.

Although it may be because alligators eat almost everything you give them.

That’s where Srubblenauts really shines, the fun is not from the game you get at face value but the undercurrent of references and humor that younger players might think about, the same way a well written Saturday morning superhero episode or a children movie can still entertain the parents who were dragged along my their kids.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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1 Comment

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One response to “#267 The Mystery of Scribblenauts

  1. Pingback: #278 My first impressions with Scribblenauts Unmasked | Be MOP

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