Scribblenauts Remix

Common Sense Media says

Vocabulary-building word puzzle game shines on iOS.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

A fairly extensive tutorial explains the game more than adequately, but some puzzles are particularly hard to figure out. Players can get up to three clues per puzzle to help them move along. 

Violence

There's a bit of mild cartoon violence, as Max can summon guns, knives, and other weapons and sometimes has to fight other creatures. There's no blood or signs of suffering, though. Defeated enemies (or vanquished allies) disappear with a pop. The game, however, rewards players for finding non-violent solutions to the puzzles. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is an extension of the Nintendo DS hit.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Apple’s Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party’s Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender’s email address. With iOS 5, players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Scribblenauts Remix is the first iOS installment in this popular puzzle series that encourages and rewards players for using their imagination. Faced with puzzles, players must write in the objects they wish to use, giving lots of leeway as to where things can go. (The game has a vocabulary of thousands of words.) The game is largely a "Best of" collection of content from the first two games in the series, so fans who have both might be a bit disappointed. Because of the game's open nature, players can opt for a peaceful or violent solution. And the sometimes difficult nature of the puzzles makes this app less than optimal for younger players. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Open-ended situational challenges surprise and delight but could frustrate some kids. Kids will keep trying and ask for help to get the job done.

Learning Approach

The depth of available puzzles, objects, and associated vocabulary is fair. Kids are empowered to devise creative solutions. The hints sometimes define narrow ones, and no true sandbox mode exists.

Support

A fantastic tutorial eases kids into the experience, but navigation and controlling objects can be frustrating.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination

Kids can learn logical thinking, exercise their creativity, and boost their spelling skills as they brainstorm innovative solutions in this puzzle game app. They'll put their imaginations to work as they type in their proposed solution, and use the object they've requested to solve the puzzle. If the object doesn't do the job, they can keep trying until they find one that does. Kids are validated for choices that could work even if they aren't the best possible answers. Scribblenauts Remix is a welcome departure from the true/false, right/wrong framework that can make kids feel boxed in and limited.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The app presents a variety of colorful, brainteasing puzzles. Kids type in words to conjure up objects, then use those objects to solve the puzzle. For example, in one puzzle, players need to get a star off a tree. They can summon an ax and chop the tree down, or create a ladder to climb it, or type in "jetpack" to fly to retrieve it. Even if they don't arrive at the "best" answer, if their chosen object works, they can solve the puzzle and move to the next.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Scribblenauts series is one of the most unique to come along in years, so it's delightful to see it make its debut on iDevices. SCRIBBLENAUTS REMIX is a best-of game, combining the highlights of the first two Nintendo DS titles (along with 10 new puzzles) and offering a wonderful mix as a result. Veteran players know the drill, but newcomers to the game will be astonished at the wide variety of ways they can solve puzzles. (It is, in fact, just as fun to play with the game's dictionary to come up with ideas as it is to solve the puzzle.)

Some of the puzzles are tough, but an integrated clue system will help people along. The real joy in the game, though, comes from seeing how creative you can be in your answers. Climbing a ladder up a tree to get a star is easy and obvious, but it's so much more fun to ride a friendly dragon to the top to retrieve it. If you're not playing this, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Families can talk about...

  • Help kids think about categories of objects. For example, if they need a container, you could say, "A bucket is a container. What are other types of containers?"

  • For kids who are stumped, ask questions about object properties: "Do you need something that's flat? Long?"

  • Make a dictionary available to kids for spelling help.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 12, 2011
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:136.00 MB
Publisher:Warner Bros. Entertainment
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Scribblenauts Remix was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 5, 14, and 17 year old Written byBaldwin April 12, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

A different kind of videogame

This game is great because the goal is so different from other video games. You aren't following a pre-designed path or figuring out the "right" way to beat the level. You have to come up with ideas of your own. That makes it hard to get at first--my son initially said "this is boring, it doesn't tell you what you have to do." But when I suggested he could give the guy almost anything he wanted--like maybe a flamethrower (just saying)--the lightbulb went on and the challenge shifted to how outlandish he could make his solutions. The limitation is the player's own imagination and vocabulary, and I think there's even been a couple of times when it helped teach my son how to spell a word correctly.

Now we actually have the most fun just playing around without a goal, seeing what crazy & funny things we can populate the empty levels with. And then blowing them up.

Kid, 11 years old June 4, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

This game is awesome

This is one of the best fun word games you could find on the App Store in my opinion. There is some violence though. You can type in a Bazooka, and it will give it to you, meaning you can shoot people. You should buy this game!!

Kid, 11 years old June 22, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Great!

This app is great! It's pretty good, considering it's only $4.99 . Just watch out, make sure you're child is typing somethings kid-friendly. For example, you can shoot people, and sort of, have kids, so make sure you're watching your kid.

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