I once mused if it’s even possible to complete a game like Super Scribblenauts, a game that is an unending as one’s imagination, but I must sadly say that, yes, it is finishable. I mean, it has an end boss and credits and a set number of levels. And I saw all of that jazz so I’m calling this one completed even though it’s going to stay in my travel case for a good while so I can continue to play in its sandbox.
Super Scribblenauts is the follow-up to Scribblenauts, a Nintendo DS game that stood on its premise of “write anything, solve everything.” Players had to collect a starite, a floating or hidden star, in each level by writing in the solution. Sometimes it would be wings to fly up to the treetop or maybe a chainsaw to cut it down. The game hosted a large dictionary and numerous levels, as well as a play-away start screen where players could waste hours away thinking of things to write. Scribblenauts was unfortunately hampered by a wonky physics and a terrible control scheme, causing our dear leader Maxwell to fall to his death often. Everyone was pretty bummed out as it could have truly obtained greatness.
Enter Super Scribblenauts, a sequel that worked extra hard to fix the problems in the initial game. Players can switch between a touchscreen-only control scheme or use the much welcomed d-pad. In addition to all the words from the original entry, new words are added as well as numerous adjectives. That pegasus can now be a happy pregnant pegasus; that sword can now be a large flaming sword; that house can now be an angelic polka-dotted house. And so on. Not every level requires adjectives used, but they do help to spice up the words you’ll continually spawn. And speaking of levels, Super Scribblenauts has about half of the amount in the original (120 instead of 240 or so), but this isn’t a bad thing. These new levels are much deeper and many can still be replayed three times in a row for a bonus challenge.
[AHWOOO SPOILERS AHEAD BLOOP BLOOP BLOOP]
But let’s talk about the last level of Super Scribblenauts: 10-5 (Follow the UFO!). I went into it expecting nothing more than a normal puzzle level that, when completed, would round out the last constellation. Nothing more, nothing less. The level opens up with Maxwell’s doppleganger hopping into a UFO, stealing the last starite, and zipping away to space. We’re told to follow him, so I wrote in a UFO of my own, and off we go! Once in space, the constellation shapes we unlocked earlier from completing levels form on the bottom screen with stars. By touching them, they fly up to the top screen to attack our enemy’s UFO. Do this a few times until the doppleganger crashes. Alas, the planetside crash ends up destroying the starite. What’s a boy to do? Well, I then wrote STARITE, collected it, and BEAT THE GAME. Credits began rolling instantly.
Hmm…yeah. A bit like a bucket of cold water to the face. I literally sat unmoving as the credits rolled by, but maybe that was because the credits are actually enjoyable to watch. Maybe. But yeah, it’s a little out of left field to have a boss fight in a game like this, especially when there was nothing foreshadowing such a thing all along. I mean, there’s no story. Are we supposed to care about this doppleganger? I happen to think he’s pretty cool and would get along with Maxwell just fine in the same fashion that Scott and Nega-Scott can bond like brothers.
[END OF SPOILERS BWOOOOOOOOP]
Did Super Scribblenauts achieve the greatness the former game missed out on? No, not quite. It just feels like the game we should have gotten from the beginning. Still, a fun time, and one I’m definitely gonna revisit from time to time. I do love creating a friendly purple dragon and riding it into the sunset.