Hands-On: ‘Super Scribblenauts’ For Nintendo DS

With Scribblenauts being one of our favorite games of 2009, it is no surprise we were excited to get some hands on time with its sequel at San Diego Comic Con this year. In the E3 Trailer for Super Scribblenauts, we found out that not only would the game receive a control upgrade where players would be able to finally control Maxwell with the D-Pad instead of the sometimes unreliable stylus but they would also be given the option of using adjectives in creating their objects.

These adjectives would influence the color, behavior and abilities of the items created in Super Scribblenauts. In the first game if a player wanted to create a flying pig, they’d have to type “Pig” and then “Wings” and attach the wings to the pig. Now, by simply typing “flying pig”, the game intuitively combines the two into one hovering swine.

At the Con, we got a walkthrough of some of the game’s levels. Super Scribblenauts will feature 120 new levels which Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment described as “deeper, more linear and require a little more thought process”. With the upgraded controls also comes more action oriented levels. While many levels are still focused on problem solving, there are now stronger action elements to the title.

The classic stylus controls are still there but for “twitch” style action levels, the d-pad with the ability to control when Maxwell jumps greatly improves upon what most consider the only flaw of the original game. While Maxwell isn’t going to be as tight control-wise as Mario would be, he is much easier to properly maneuver, saving accidental deaths and aggravating level failures.

There has also been an improved level of interaction available on objects. With creatures, Maxwell now has the option to pet, attack or ride animals. Objects also naturally interact better like their real life counterparts would. In our demo, we had a “pink winged elephant” get sick from eating a “poison peanut” and then was healed by a “vet”. It just proves how insanely complex the coding of these objects must be behind the scenes to have this level of natural interaction.

The adjectives don’t need to be realistic either which adds to the fun of the game. You can make a “vampiric robot” as well as a “robotic vampire”. A “gentlemanly raptor” will walk around wearing a top hat and not rip Maxwell apart because of the description added to him.

With our hands on, we got to try all of these new features in action. From what we played, all of these improvements were drastically noticeable right off the bat. For a veteran Scribblenauts player, they may forget to start adding adjectives to their objects but with the WBIE PR there to help remind us, we quickly got the hang of it. While Scribblenauts encouraged out of the box thinking for unique solutions, this game drives it home. From tens of thousands of objects in the original game, it is staggering to think of all of the combinations now available with the addition of the adjectives. It feels like it’d be literally impossible to ever see them all.

The control change itself is reason enough to buy the game. Even if it was identical to the original Scribblenauts in every single way, fixing the broken control scheme makes the game feel completely different and is so much more enjoyable.

Make sure to check out the two Super Scribblenauts videos below and the horde of screen shots. Keep it here for more on this innovative franchise. We will make sure to bring you all we can about this title as well as get a review of it as well as its release comes closer.

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