A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Products & Purchases
The game is an extension of the Nintendo DS hit.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.