Almost a year after the American release of Scribblenauts Unlimited on the Wii U and 3DS versions, the game produced by 5th Cell finally arrives in our territory, although it could be played for the PC since December last year. However, for Nintendo consoles, fans of this inventive series can begin to let their great imagination unfold in this new edition. Scribblenauts is a series known for the particularity with which puzzles are solved and for being an adventure that fills the experience with surprises, exploration of 2D characters and scenarios and an immense humor. There is a very strong and strong aesthetic trait in this title. With great ties to animation, comics and even series like The Simpsons, the strong identity of this game does not go unnoticed by anyone. Here almost everything happens a little bit as we want, but it is the consequences of the creations and the bizarre dimension of the results that are impressive.
Longtime fans have known the series since 2009, when Scribblenauts was launched for the Nintendo DS, starting an innovative way of solving puzzles through the touchscreen. The sequel, for the same platform, was launched in 2010, giving a new impetus to the words. With Scribblenauts Unlimited, the leap in product quality is significant, especially in the Wii U version, which in terms of functions is improved by comparison with the portable version and still benefits from a high definition treatment that fits like a glove in the design of the match. Among the most relevant functions is the cooperative mode, which allows sharing the experience of up to four players, each of them touching different objects with which they can interact, although it is somewhat superficial. Then there is the object editor, a useful tool that allows you to work on the available objects, modifying them or changing their structure in a sense that we have in mind.
These are also some of the functions that make it possible to distinguish the Wii U version from the 3DS counterpart. If it does not have a cooperative mode, nor an object editor, the features coming from StreetPass, through which they can observe a series of objects edited by other players with whom they have come across, serve as a bonus and a differentiating factor when compared to the Wii U version. Then we can also count on the benefit of presenting the graphics in a stereoscopic effect, something that enhances the characters, backgrounds, and other elements of the scenery thanks to the depth allowed by the 3D effect. However, the Wii U version has the advantage of transmitting more colors and a clearer definition, resulting in a more appealing visual effect. Despite this, the portable version of Scribblenauts Unlimited also works very well on a laptop and this is one of those games that we can take everywhere and continue to solve these puzzles, away from the TV, with the same ease that we played in the home version.
One of the great elements of Scribblenauts Unlimited is its structure in the form of an open world. In this way the player explores different areas and accesses more adventure scenarios and contexts, without being confined to the same territory and a linear progression. This means that at any time, having difficulties in solving a puzzle, it is possible to jump to another point on the map by simply touching the icon with a drawing of the world displayed in the upper right corner of the touch screen and choosing the point where intend to continue the adventure.
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There are many different territories to explore.
The reason for this opening to the world was due to the improper use that the protagonist (Maxwell) and his sister (Lily) had been making with the magic notepad that had belonged to their parents and had been left to them. Disturbing people’s lives by creating objects that come to life from the words they wrote on the notepad, one of those targeted, furious at the joke, inflicted a spell on Maxwell’s sister, who left her with legs and feet like cement blocks . In order to restore his natural condition, Maxwell will have to restore balance in the world, solving all dilemmas, moral problems and many situations that affect people’s daily lives. Doing so will collect Starites, the stars that, when obtained in sufficient numbers, will be able to return Lily to its original state, so the mission becomes urgent and imperative.
Everywhere Maxwell will go, people are asking for help. To find them, just touch the Starite icon, which soon offers a perspective that highlights the situations that need repair in yellow. The variety of people, requests for help and scenarios is so overwhelming and different, that the contexts themselves seem to be inscribed in chapters that resolve themselves without a line of progression, but rather according to the player’s will and interest. This is one of the most important points and that best serves the ingenious structure of the puzzles, as they can either be solving the problems of firefighters in a barracks, or then move on to the metro station, an urban park or a high school
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As we have already mentioned, Scribblenauts is very inventive in the way puzzles are structured. Once again, when finding a character in trouble, Maxwell makes use of his magic notepad, being able to make one of two hypotheses. The first is to write on the block a name for an object that you want to bring to the reality of the game. It could be a car, a musical instrument, an airplane. Anything. The important thing is that it is appropriate to the problem revealed by that person, because from the moment the object comes to life, there is a consequence to occur. Another possibility is to write an adjective about the person, as a way of making him bigger, small, for example. Everything is possible.
The variety of Nintendo characters adds more humor to the interventions.
However, it is important to pay attention to your dilemmas and needs, as the reason for the help is often unclear or it is not so easy to find the correct object. If they fail in this assistance, scaring the person with the object they bring to reality, or if they incapacitate him in any other way (fire or drowning), the most certain thing is to lose the possibility of recovering the respective Starite. However, it is not an irremediable situation, because at any moment they can make a fresh start at the level, having the original definitions at their disposal.
However, it is important to underline the following: Scribblenauts is not localized for Portuguese. All dialogues, contexts and explanations are in English, so the answers to all puzzles will necessarily have to be given in the same language. To that extent, it is not a recommended experience for anyone. One of the conditions for accessing this game is precisely the good command of English. We are not talking about a professional level, but a solid knowledge base is desirable, as the mechanics of the game are based on the placement of appropriate words within certain contexts that the player will have to identify, with identifications of the problem in English requiring responses in English. . However, and in an opposite perspective, it can even be an additional challenge for those who are learning and working with English.
In addition, the game has an option that allows you to better identify the word you want to enter, giving a series of alternative results depending on an option you have in mind. If you put “table”, for example and click on the option that opens alternative results for you, you will have other, more concrete and specific hypotheses at your disposal. If you choose to add an adjective, you can add more than one word, experimenting with different hypotheses.
During certain portions of the game, it will be possible to play with other characters; the Maxwell brothers, in some cases mandatory, in others by choice. Another novelty is the magic bag, where you can deposit and store as long as you want some objects. It is not that the bag was used frequently to store rare objects. However, and if it is an object of some interest for future use, you can always keep it, avoiding rewriting the word and thinking about it at another time in the game. So you just have to drag it from the bag to the level.
Jeremiah Slaczka, the game’s creator, had promised that he would add a series of characters and objects from the Nintendo universe. And the fulfillment of this desire of the fans is there, so that they can give life to a Super Mario, Donkey Kong, magic mushroom, Bowser, among many others. Just write the name and let the magic happen.
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Although in many moments it gives the impression that any object minimally connected to the person’s request, results in obtaining a Starite or Starite fragment (for isolated requests within each scenario), the choices are not always right. It is true that the producers made the task easier for the player by adding, in addition to revealing the person’s dilemma, a balloon with an object similar to the one they must obtain. But in some situations the right option is not obvious, so if they fail they will have to drag the unwanted object into the trash bag.
A character with a Starite over her head means a challenge in a row.
At other times, they will only be able to obtain Starite if they solve a series of challenges in a row. For example, there is a guy who tries to hook up a girl. They will have to dress him up for a date, perfume him, give him a transport vehicle (I created a bicycle and it worked), take them out to dinner and, in the end, find a priest to marry them. There are many of these missions that add some more fun to the gameplay, as they are interconnected sequences, full of small animations and that can lead to a complete transformation of the scenario.
Still in these sequences, there is another peculiarity. If they delay in discovering the appropriate object or adjective to change the character, after a while the game unlocks a clue in the form of a clue as to which object they should create. There are three tips and almost always with the last one the right word is revealed, so it won’t be too complicated to get all the main Starites. It is the fractions of starites that are more complicated, although in general, this is not a particularly demanding game.
In terms of animation and graphics, Scribblenauts Unlimited takes a big step forward. But the best is its rich content. All the characters tell a story about their problem and, in the end, it seems more that we spend all the time finding the right keys to enter a multitude of chests, and spreading pure insanity. If we are smart, crazy and inventive in what we want to give to each character, the game offers us an even better reaction, in some cases unexpected, but always endowed with a transformation, an event that vibrates. And that is the great merit of this inventive puzzle game that should be experienced by everyone, even if the main mechanics are the same from the beginning to the end. More than an educational purpose visible between the lines, it is an original production and endowed with a sweeping humor.