Super Scribblenauts

Common Sense Media says

The ultimate puzzle game for imagination and creativity.

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

Positive messages

The overall message of the game is that imagination is king. It encourages you to be creative and dream up the most original, unusual, interesting things you can.

Positive role models

In a game like this, in which your own imagination determines a good portion of the content, you really have to become your own role model while you play. And while the temptation to take the easiest route is always there, the game pushes you to take the high road. Challenges may, for instance, require you to reach a goal without harming any of the animals in your way -- even the man-eating ones. 

Ease of play

Some challenges are much more difficult than others, but this sequel feels, on the whole, easier than its predecessor. It has a better hint system, too, which allows you to purchase more clues as you need them. It also shows you your progress as you tackle levels that has multiple stages. How simple you find the game depends upon how well you use your imagination.

Violence

Relatively few of the challenges here actually require violence, but the openness of the game allows for potential violence just about any time. You can create and use just about any weapon you can imagine. Animals and monsters can attack you or one another. Adjectives like "undead," "violent," or "homicidal" can even be added to inanimate objects to make them attack others. All of this is extremely cartoony, though, as the entire game is made to look like children's drawings. Most destroyed items, people, or creatures, disappear in a puff of smoke. There is no blood and the game does not recognize the word "blood."

Sex

The game will not allow you to create anything sexual. It does recognize the words "nude" and "naked," but if you try to add those to a person, the result will be a person devoid of color, not clothes. You can however make anything "pregnant," which means that after being on screen for a few seconds, it will suddenly produce a smaller "baby" version of itself. Enter "pregnant lamp," for instance, and you'll get a lamp from which a smaller lamp will suddenly appear.

Language

Cuss words are not allowed.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The game does not recognize the words for any alcohol- or tobacco-related products.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the action in Super Scribblenauts is almost entirely under your child's control. Exactly how violent the game gets depends on the kind of words they type in. While weapons or monsters are unavoidable in some puzzles, there's still a big difference between choosing to arm a character with a slingshot or a submachine gun. Violent possibilities aside, though, parents would be very hard to find a more creative game for their children. And it's worth noting that this sequel is more focused on brainy, thinking puzzles than action; while there are some standard video-game-like action levels, there are not the main focus.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • using supporting evidence
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • using supporting evidence
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Kids can learn to think logically and let their imaginations run wild as they solve puzzles by writing new objects into a scene. Any word they spell is transformed into a digital creation and then incorporated within the game world. Each puzzle requires kids to complete a task and dream up their own solutions. It's a mix of logic, spelling, and creativity. Kids earn bonuses for using new words, which encourages using fresh vocabulary. They can even design their own puzzles to share with others. Kids are in charge of their own learning in this compelling environment for language play and media creation.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

SUPER SCRIBBLENAUTS is a sequel to the incredibly creative and original Scribblenauts of last year. Just like its predecessor, this new game asks you to find solutions to various puzzling scenarios by adding objects, animals, or people into the scenes. You can type (or write) in pretty much any word you can think of (as long as it's not offensive or trademarked) and that thing will appear. You can create bridges to cross gaps, vehicles to make fast escapes, doctors to help sick people, monsters to scare away thieves, or any of millions of other possible combinations. New to this sequel is the ability to use adjectives to alter the state of the nouns you enter. Your adjectives will affect anything you create, even if the modifier doesn't normally fit with that noun: For instance, you can make a "blue skunk," "angry table," "icy hot dog," or "zombie computer."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The original Scribblenauts was one of the best game of, well, ever -- and Super Scribblenauts manages to top it. Taking the focus off the action levels (which were sometimes too difficult and, frankly, less interesting) in favor of more brainteaser scenarios was a brilliant move; one which makes the game far more fun and fresh-feeling. The puzzles are often incredibly inventive, including ones that ask you to fill in a visual equation (like nice man + white wings = angel). While there are still a few sets of action levels, even those tend to call for some puzzle-solving brainwork (i.e., you can't just create an M-16 and plow through the level). The ability to use adjective adds far more depth to the game. Now, if faced with a scenario where you need fire, you don't need to rely on a candle or torch -- you can create a "flaming sneaker," "burning kumquat," or "fiery unicycle." In the last game, whenever you needed to get to a high place, you had to resort to wings or a jetpack; now you can give yourself "flying pants." It's truly amazing. You can spend hours just messing around with different word combinations in the mission-free playground levels.

Online interaction: The game comes with a level designer which permits you to create your own puzzles to share with friends using Nintendo Wi-Fi.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how kids can avoid violence in the game. For some puzzles, the easiest way out would be to create a weapon and destroy whatever obstacles are facing you. Kids and parents can brainstorm more creative, less violent ways to achieve their game goals.

  • This is a very brainy game that relies far more on intelligence and creativity than fast, dextrous fingers. In fact, this sequel downplays the "action" levels that were more of a focus in the original Scribblenauts game. Do you find a game like this new one refreshing? Or do you long for more action?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:October 12, 2010
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Super Scribblenauts 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.

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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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Kid, 9 years old January 16, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Cool game

My mom thinks its very educational because you have to spell to get what you want in the game. And it is very easy to play too.
I got it for Christmas and I love it!!

What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 10 years old Written byacmrockstar May 17, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

I loved it. it is very educational good for kids.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Kid, 10 years old Written bybubblegumashley8 May 17, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

:)

This game is awesome! It's a good game to play when you're bored or waiting for something.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex

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