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Scribblenauts GamesCom 2009 Preview

I wasn't too sure what to expect from Scribblenauts, a puzzle game that allows you to use whatever your mind is creative enough to think of to beat the level. What I experienced however, is something that is entertaining and unique to the waters of gaming.

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So if you are unaware of this little gem on the DS then allow me to elaborate on the mechanics. You take control of Maxwell, a curious little fellow with a rather dashing cap, his objective is to obtain a star somewhere in the level. Now these could be very easily placed or out of reach behind a multitude of problems, yet the solutions to these is only limited to your own vocabulary. Let me give you an example.

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A cat is stuck up on the roof of a building, the cat's owner is crying as she is unable to get the cat down, you come in with a great idea, type the idea into the keyboard or handwrite your suggestion and it manifests itself into the game world, where you can utilise the, well whatever you spawned to aid you in rescuing the cat.

Well when this very scenario was presented in our demonstration, I naturally had to think of something obscure yet humourous to let the designer input into the game, sadly though all I could muster from my head at the time was a brick. Yes, a brick to be launched at that feline for being stupid enough to get stuck on a house.

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After some laughs at my suggestion, the brick was magically created and promptly hurled at the cat, unfortunately it wasn't enough to persuade puss to remove its furry ass from the slate tiles. So another suggestion of using a fishing rod with a fish attached to its line could persuade the kitty to come down from it's perch, however when casting the rod it had unfortunately got caught in the head of the girl while the cat just jumped down for the fish, owner and pet are re-united and the star.

Whilst containing a vast amount of nouns in the database, it does have limitations. You cannot use copyrighted objects, for example you can't call upon Batman to slay a dragon for you, nor can you use actions against things, another example would be I suggested using an air strike to kill a dragon. However the system is clever enough to get a rough idea of what you ask for, if you misspell a word it will give you suggestions of what it thinks you are after, also if you use a word with different meanings you get the choice of which one you would like. Oh and for those with a mind like a gutter, no you cannot use those words either.

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There are hundreds of levels already on offer in the game via the puzzle and story modes yet if this does not satisfy your needs for scribbling, then the game will come with its own level designer so you may create your own fiendish levels. If this does not quench your thirst then you may share your levels with other Scribblenauter's via the DS's WIFI capability, giving you access to potentially thousands upon thousands of user created levels to pit against your witty vocabulary.
So be sure to pick this one up when it hits our shores sometime in October as not only will you have fun with it, I'm sure it will be a hit with the kids too.

Wedgeh | 10th September, 2009

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