A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn how to solve puzzles by using their imaginations and typing words into the game window. These become objects, which are dropped into the game and used to complete a level. There's often more than one solution. By using problem solving and experimentation, kids can complete levels.
The game is about using your imagination to solve puzzles and defeat villains. Inherently, this gives a good message to players. There is some violence, but it's very cartoon-like (think kids-comic-book-style).
Positive Role Models
Maxwell, the lead protagonist, and his twin sister, Lily, are good role models. These kids want to change the world for the better. As with past Scribblenauts games, Max has a magical notebook that allows him to spawn any object the gamer writes, whereas Lily possesses a globe that allows her to travel wherever she wishes. In the PC and Wii U versions of the game, players also can create their own superheroes.
Ease of Play
This "E10+"-rated game is easy to pick up and play, especially on the mouse-centric PC version. The Wii U GamePad is simple to use while controlling Maxell, and it's also used to type in the objects you want to appear.
Violence & Scariness
The game has some cartoon violence, such as players being allowed to type in words -- such as "knife," "bomb," or "gun" -- and use the resulting objects against the villains. There is no graphic combat, though, nor any blood or gore.
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Products & Purchases
This game is based on DC Comics' popular roster of characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Green Lantern. Gamers also can download a digital DC comic for free -- as advertised on a sticker on the box.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Scribblenauts Unmasked is an inventive puzzle game for tweens and teens wherein kids use their imaginations to write in objects they could use to solve environmental puzzles. There is some mild cartoon violence; a user can type in "gun" and use it to shoot a bad guy. However, most of the puzzles don't require violence to solve, and players also can type in words such as "flatulent" and "vomit" to hear or see them in the game. This game is tied to the popular DC Comics universe.
Is It Any Good?
Yes, this game is excellent for kids (young and old), as it encourages them to use their imaginations to solve puzzles and type in the names of objects, which magically appear in the game. There's more than one way to solve a puzzle, so kids can chat about what worked for them. In the Wii U version, a second player can use a Wii Remote to take control over characters. This game contains randomly created puzzles called Heroic Feats, which adds to the game's replayability. Also, as if access to more than 2,000 DC Comics characters and items wasn't exciting enough, the ability to create characters or modify existing superheroes and villains means additional fun. There's about 10 hours of play here.
Overall, though, when compared to previous Scribblenauts games, this title is arguably the weakest one. Why? Scribblenauts Unmasked is a great idea -- fusing imaginative gameplay with 80 years' worth of comic-book lore -- it doesn't really do much to push the series forward. The puzzles and scenarios don't seem as creative as the game and apps that came before. Scribblenauts Unmasked is an excellent idea, but the execution is less stellar. Still, it's worth exploring, especially for DC Comics fans, because it lets players use their imaginations to take control of the action.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.