Scribblenauts – Complexity in Simplicity

3 min read
5

Scribble!

There’s one game that was showcased at E3 that I can say blew my mind. It’s not an HD blockbuster concerning a pale angry Greek’s beef with deities, It’s not a tale about a bulletproof treasure hunter’s exploits, nor is it a comedic rock-opera with one too many umlauts in its name.

No, the game that has me trying to stuff my brains back in to my ears is a simple side-scrolling platform game, for the technically weakest current gaming platform, the Nintendo DS. 5th Cell’s Scribblenauts is not only the most ambitious DS title to date; it’s one of the most ambitious games ever conceived. The game, like most new DS platformers has you controlling your character with the stylus – solving puzzles, trying to collect “starites.”

The difference here comes in how you solve the aforementioned puzzles; Write the name of an object on the touchscreen and it comes to life – complete with the physical attributes you’d expect from it. Need to ascend to a higher area? Write “ladder” and one will appear, allowing you to climb it. Of course, the solutions to these puzzles are limited only by your own creativity, so summoning a jetpack, or employing a trampoline would work equally well.

The game features 10,000 unique objects, each with their own properties and artwork; a feat that took a team of 5 people 6 months of dictionary and encyclopaedia scouring to collate. I’m assuming some sort of sorcery was also involved somewhere.

The game is scheduled for North American release in September, with a PAL version due in early November. Hopefully I’ll have managed to relocate my grey matter back inside my skull by then.

Here’s a  NeoGAF user’s profanity-laden, but astonishing preview of the game :

“So listen to this story. I was in the early levels; I didn’t quite have an idea of how ridiculously in-depth the database was. I was summoning things like ladders, glasses of water, rayguns, what have you. But I reached a level with zombie robots, and the zombie robots kept killing me. Rayguns didn’t work, a torch didn’t work, a pickaxe didn’t work. In my frustration, I wrote in “Time Machine”. And one popped up. What the f*ck? A smile dawned on my face. I hopped in, and the option was given to me to either travel to the past or the future. I chose past. When I hopped out, there were fucking dinosaurs walking around. I clicked one, and realized I could RIDE THEM. So I hopped on a f*cking DINOSAUR, traveled back to the present, and stomped the shit out of robot zombies. Did you just read that sentence? Did you really? I F*CKING TRAVELED THROUGH TIME AND JUMPED ON A DINOSAUR AND USED IT TO KILL MOTHERF*CKING ROBOT ZOMBIES. This game is unbelievable. Impossible. There’s nothing you can’t do.”

Source : NeoGAF

Last Updated: June 17, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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