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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this unique puzzle game allows kids to use their imagination to solve a series of over 200 puzzles. They can write-in the objects they want to use to try to solve a puzzle and those objects then magically appear on the screen. With over 10,000 objects that can be scribbled into existence, there is a lot for kids to explore. Since this game is so open-ended, kids can conjure up combinations that are violent, like weapons to kill cute little animals or summoning Death to dispatch a character. Also, two of the 220 puzzles require you to do something violent like "put down the three rabid animals," but you can simply opt to not solve those 2 puzzles. Because some violence is possible and the puzzles can get challenging, this game is best for kids ages 10 and up.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
SCRIBBLENAUTS is a unique puzzle game because you can spell into existence any object that you want to solve a puzzle. Scribbled-into-existence objects appear on the screen, have rules attached to them, and can be manipulated. There are 220 puzzles spread over 10 themed worlds. The game has over 10,000 words that have items associated with them, including everyday items like ladders, ropes, and ramps, as well as fanciful objects like black holes, Pegasus, and winged shoes. You can even conjure up Death and God. All of the puzzles have the same goal: help cute little Maxwell get to a star. In some, you must figuring out how to manipulate your environment including figuring out a way to get the star out of a tree. In others, you might have to figure out how to accomplish an objective like having Maxwell reach a butterfly. In the latter example, if you scribble a flower into existence and plant it next to Maxwell, the butterfly will fly down so that Maxwell can capture it. The number of objects that can be added to each puzzle is limited. Players earn in-game currency by solving the puzzles, with more money awarded for the least number of objects summoned and/or for solving it in the most creative way possible.
Is it any good?
With this think-it, write-it, play-with-it mechanic, puzzle solutions are limited only by your imagination. This kind of gameplay puts you in the driver's seat by letting you solve puzzles the way you want. If you like to solve puzzles by blowing things up, you can. However, if you would rather explore more peaceful means, that too is possible, and in most cases, will earn you more money. Because you can replay a puzzle as many times as you like, experimenting is encouraged. Since this is such a different way to approach puzzles, Scribblenauts wisely starts with a good set of tutorials.
Scribblenauts is a great game for a family to explore to together because each person can suggest different ideas about how to solve a puzzle. Even non-gamers will find this one interesting to explore. Plus, the game has a Level Editor, which allows players to try their hand at creating new puzzles that can be shared with others on the same DS or via the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi connection. Don't miss this one -- it is one of the most innovative games on the Nintendo DS.
Online interaction: You can share puzzles that you create with others via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. No chat is available.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about innovation in video games. Do you have any ideas for a game that has yet to be created?
With this kind of gameplay, where you are in control of how you solve a puzzle, did you find that you felt vested in the result? How about the ability to create your own puzzles to share? Did that pique your interest as well?