Posted by Brad J. (IanAugust)
Your goal in Scirbblenauts is to take control of the games main Character Maxwell and capture Starites. In order to obtain these Starites you could do anything from conjuring up the correct item or trying to reach the Startite that is stuck high up in a tree for example. There is a good amount of variety in the levels and you'll find yourself in some very interesting situations depending on what you choose to conjure into the level. At one point I was riding a killer whale, wearing a brazier and holding a turkey baster. Why? Because I could and I don't need to explain my motivations to you people! This is the magical part of the game and it rewards you the more creative you are in solving the puzzles. In the beginning when the levels are simple the game really does work well. But as you advance and the levels get a little more complicated, the faults of the game start to bubble up. It led me down a long path of frustration.
My main gripe with Scribblenauts is play control. It just doesn't work period. Maxwell and everything in the world is controlled by using the touch screen. If you touch a point on the screen Maxwell will run, jump etc. to get to that point you tapped on. If your trying to interact with an object and the game doesn't recognize it correctly Maxwell is going to go for it full speed. More often than not I would try to use an object that is near a ledge, the game would think I was trying to move Maxwell and there he goes jumping to his death with a giant grin on his face. Sadly the touch screen controls are just not precise enough here. It gets even worse when objects are close together and especially when you're challenged with the task of attaching objects together. I found myself struggling on a regular basis to use Maxwell or to get the objects to do what I wanted. It's not the puzzles that are the challenge here, its the controls that is you enemy in this game. It seems the developers could have easily avoided a lot of the control issues by either assigning Maxwell movements to buttons or by simply letting the player press the L or R button to let the game know that they wanted to move Maxwell with the touch screen.
I would personally recommend renting this game before making a purchase if your still interested in Scribblenauts. The play control alone was enough for me to put it down after forcing my way through over half the game. In the end it ruins the experience and the fun you could be having. If your still not convinced and want to hear more about the game that just wasn't working for me, I urge you to listen to our podcast "The Chopping Block Episode 2: Scribblenuts" being posted on the blog and iTunes this Sunday.