Scribblenauts Unmasked - A DC Comics Adventure

Common Sense Media says

Imaginative puzzling fuses with comic book characters.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor safety concerns. There's an option to create and share content through the Nintendo Network, but it's only through approved friends.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading comprehension
  • spelling
  • vocabulary
  • following directions

Science

  • physics
  • animals
  • engineering

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • building

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • making new creations

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • achieving goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids use their imaginations to solve puzzles. Players type in the names of objects (including adjectives, if desired), and they appear in the world. Through experimentation, gamers will figure out how to solve levels.

Learning Approach

Kids must read the scenario for each level and then type in words for objects to appear. In addition to being empowering and adaptive, the game has inherent learning potential and keeps kids engrossed and challenged.

Support

A tutorial explains how to play. If kids need hints, they simply click to reveal some. If a created object doesn't work, they can toss it in a trash can and start again.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading comprehension
  • spelling
  • vocabulary
  • following directions

Science

  • physics
  • animals
  • engineering

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • building

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles
  • applying information

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions
  • imagination
  • making new creations

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals
  • achieving goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

As the name of the game suggests, SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED - A DC COMICS ADVENTURE fuses the popular Scribblenauts series with characters, items, and story lines tied to the DC Comics universe. Maxwell and his magic notebook are back, and he can type virtually any word or phrase -- such as "purple cat" or "wooden sword" -- to see it appear and help accomplish missions. Maxwell is joined by his twin sister, Lily, who can zip around the world with a globe and visit iconic locales, such as Metropolis, Atlantis, Gotham City, Oa, and many others. Their goal is to stop the villains' evil plots once and for all. The game houses more than 2,000 DC Comics characters and objects, all drawn in the charming Scribblenauts art style and used to solve puzzles, confront enemies, and unlock new areas. Fan favorites include Superman, Lex Luthor, Batman, the Joker, Aquaman, the Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, and players can access the in-game Batcomputer to read up on all the characters and objects in the game. The PC and Wii U versions are the same and, unlike the Nintendo 3DS game, let you create your own superhero (or modify an existing superhero or villain) and share your custom creations, if desired.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • By combining the imaginative game series of Scribblenauts with the popular DC Comics universe, kids can create and use objects starring their favorite comic book characters. But is this a shameless marketing ploy? Is it the same game re-skinned with DC Comics heroes and villains? Why do you think Warner Bros. did this?

  • What do you like about playing puzzle games?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Windows
Price:$39.99 to $59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:September 24, 2013
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Cars and trucks, Dinosaurs, Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Superheroes, Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Bugs, Cats, dogs, and mice, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Horses and farm animals, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Ocean creatures, Pirates, Puppets, Robots, Science and nature, Space and aliens, Wild animals
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Windows)

This review of Scribblenauts Unmasked - A DC Comics Adventure 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; OK 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, 11 years old October 26, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great for superhero fans!

It's pretty good, but you can use firearms, and other adult weapons, but there is nothing gory, since enemies just fall over and disappear in a puff of smoke. You can make Vomit and Farts, which is why I put language since there's potty humor objects.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old October 4, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

go imaganation

scribblenauts is a great game it lets out your imagination even better you use it for puzzles..........BUT the weapons are quite violent like the gun is ok but knife shooting guns luckily its saved by its cartoonish looks.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old August 25, 2014
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

this is a very fun game that expands your creativity

a perfect game for comic fans of all ages! some of the puzzles are really challenging! this game is fun.
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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