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Game review: Scribblenauts Unlimited is about a cutesy wonderland in which words become objects

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Game review: Scribblenauts Unlimited is about a cutesy wonderland in which words become objects

Developer: 5th Cell / Warner Bros Download: Android, iOS
Category: Games Price: $4.99

Ever wished you could literally "pull" objects out of your imagination and see them materialize before your very eyes? Good news – you don't have to be some omnipotent God of creation to pull it off. In Scribblenauts Unlimited, what you get is literally what goes on in your head. Sounds heady, right? Let us explain!

Described as an "emergent action puzzle" game and originally released in 2012, the fourth title in the franchise only came to Android and iOS in December last year. You play as Maxwell, a boy who must free his sister from an immobilizing curse by collecting Starites – magical items left by people whenever they are happy! The action takes place in a large "overworld", which encourages exploration as it's ripe with different areas and NPCs that will present challenges and ask all sorts of favors. You'll go about solving these by harnessing protagonist Maxwell's ability to spawn objects by typing nouns in a magic notebook. You meet a shark with an aching tooth (don't be weird about it), you type in what you think is the solution, and eventually collect that precious Starite. Onward to the next adventure!

As the game's bread & butter, the object spawn system is complete to the point of us experiencing genuine marvel at the freedom of spawning seemingly everything we could come up with, and watching it behave as expected. Of course, that's also the point where Scribblenauts Unlimited becomes a tad limited, for attempts to materialize vulgar, coarse, and otherwise indecent words will be silently brushed off. Don't worry, there's still plenty of crazy, totally family-friendly fun to be had. Scribblenauts is the kind of game in which you can make a dog with wheels and simply roll with it! This sort of comic wizardry happens by attaching adjectives to objects, giving them various extra capabilities and customization options.

It isn't just the imaginative and inspired gameplay to love about Scribblenauts, though. The cartoony visuals are a perfect fit, giving the game an uplifting atmosphere of childlike enthusiasm. Speaking of which, young children are going to have a great time with Scribblenauts, while adult players may find the whole thing too cutesy and straightforward after spending some time immersed in the game's world. If that's the case, you should immediately take advantage of the game's object-spawning mechanics and force your imagination to come up with alternative solutions to the mundane challenges presented. But most of the times, you'll find it best to keep your ideas simple, which may put a limit on how much entertainment you'll be getting.

Still, given the amount of content, which is on par with versions for other platforms that are priced much higher, Scribblenauts Unlimited has a fair tag at $4.99, and offers plenty of good times for the low price. You'll get access to all of the game's stages and features, while additional player avatars and extra levels (in which you are free to mess around without following the plot) are available as in-app purchases. The mobile port itself is of excellent quality, with the presentation looking sharp and the touch controls hardly ever presenting a problem.

Overall, we think Scribblenauts Unlimited is a delightful game that plain works on mobile, and we recommend it to both children and inner children looking to creatively waste some spare time.

Pros

  • Beautiful presentation
  • Imaginative gameplay
  • Plenty of content

Cons

  • May be too easy
  • Might be limited to some
  • Could get predictable
PhoneArena rating:
8.5

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