A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
- Subjects: Language & Reading: spelling, using supporting evidence, vocabulary
- Skills: Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination, producing new content
Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, solving puzzles, thinking critically
- 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
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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