Scribblenauts, the highly praised DS game, has, surprisingly, come to iOS in the form of Scribblenauts Remix. Needless to say, I got insanely excited. The idea behind Scribblenauts – create anything you can to solve the puzzle – really intrigued me, and to have it on my phone and tablet sounded even better. I’ll be writing this review as someone who hasn’t played Scribblenauts before. For those who have, note that most of the content in this game is from the original version, with some new iOS-exclusive levels mixed in.
The idea behind the game itself is really simple – you are controlling a character named Maxwell who has to complete certain tasks – getting from point A to point B, helping a pirate find his stopwatch, or generally taking care of other tasks. You do this by bringing up a notepad and creating objects. The game recognizes an incredible amount of objects, like “cat” or “happy dancing purple steamroller.” This allows for a ton of ways to complete the levels you encounter. There is often times a very obvious solution, or one that you could create by having some sort of fireproof large boat. The possibilities are nearly endless, and with the title screen being a sandbox, you can spend time just messing around creating whatever you can.
Controls are handled in two ways. The first way involves purely touch, holding your finger on the screen to do various things like move your viewpoint, move Maxwell, or interact with objects. The second mode brings up two virtual joysticks, one for movement of Maxwell, one for movement of the view of the level, with touch being reserved purely for object interaction. I found the second one preferable as, with my bigger fingers, I often pressed the wrong object and either ruined the level or took longer to complete the level. The fact that they included two control modes is a huge plus, and I’m sure that someone with smaller fingers would be able to use the touch-only mode a lot better.
Graphically, this game looks and performs great, especially on the iPad 2. The developers really spent time making this more than just a quick port. The graphics are crisp, animations well done, and everything performs and looks great on both iPhone and iPad. This game, having been released alongside iOS 5, has iCloud support, making switching between your iDevices a breeze. You don’t have to replay the levels on one device if you already finished them on another.
The only real issue I have ran into so far doesn’t have to do with the object creation, graphics, performance, or gameplay elements itself. This game can be easy, almost too easy, and can be completed quickly. There are currently 5 worlds, and after only a few hours of gameplay, I am halfway through the fifth world. If this was a 99 cent game, this would make more sense, but at $5, I would almost expect more gameplay. There is the possibility for more levels to be added in the future, which, if free, would eliminate this point entirely, and there are achievements to chase after in Game Center, but I feel like there should be more levels here.
Regardless of that point, if you do have the $5 to spare and want to play one of the more original games out there right now, Scribblenauts Remix is a good choice. It provides a few solid hours of good gameplay, and with the ability to create just about any object you want to complete a level, your dream of creating a passive flying hippo can come true. I recommend this.