Taking a Closer Look at The Object-Creating Game with Educational Potential
If you or your kid owns a Nintendo DS, there’s a good chance you’re already acquainted with Scribblenauts to some extent.
The first two games, Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts were designed for Nintendo’s portable gaming device exclusively, but the folks over at 5th Cell (the developers) decided it would make a great app too. And just like that... Scribblenauts Remix was born.
The third installment of this charming and addictive series brings along 40 “fan favorite” levels from the first and second games, as well as 10 brand-new brain-teasers for your imagination to grapple with.
Scribblenauts Remix App - The Premise
Scribblenauts Remix is a 2D, emergent, puzzle/adventure app that presents the player with a mind-teaser, but offers no specific way to complete it. Instead, the player has to use their imagination to come up with their own unique solution. And therein lies the beauty of Scribblenauts!
The aim of the game is to reach the star on every stage by navigating sequences of obstacles and enemies. To do so, the player must use their keyboard to type words into the game’s virtual object creator.
For example, let’s say that the star was atop a very tall tree, you may type in “axe” and chop the tree down, or even “dragon”, and fly to the star on its back — and you can use adjectives too. Say, for instance, that you didn’t just need an axe, but a big axe...type, and you shall receive.
You could get even more creative than that if you like. Why not bring a giant zombie beaver into the mix and let them have at the tree? Maybe setting the tree on fire is more in line with your mode of thinking?
Scribblenauts offers tons of creative freedom and can be incredibly rewarding for the avid daydreamers out there, especially seeing as the game’s object library is impressively large.
We were worried that there’d be 10-20 key items with a couple of modifiers each, but there are objects to conjure in the thousands! However, to prevent you from loading up on too many items at any one time, the notepad icon at the top of the screen will gray out, indicating you’ve hit your limit.
Verdict - We absolutely love the freedom of this game!
What’s New in Scribblenauts Remix?
Other than the 10 new levels, there really isn’t all that much for existing fans to get excited about. The visuals are slightly better than the older games, and it now boasts Game Center integration, an online leaderboard.
So, now you can play against people from around the globe. Remix also features cloud storage, but the essence of the game remains the same.
In fact, those particularly familiar with the earlier games may get the feeling that something’s missing, and they’d be right.
Old features such as the “Level Editor” are mysteriously absent from the Remix menu. Whether this is down to limitations in the app format or 5th Cell felt it was unnecessary is unclear. All we know is that it’s gone.
Verdict - More new features would have been nice, but it is called “Remix” after all. It was never intended to be an entirely new game.
Is Scribblenauts Remix Enjoyable?
We had a blast playing this free-thinking, sandbox game! Sure, some easier puzzles feel a tad pedestrian, but unlike most other games, completing the puzzle isn’t really the fun and rewarding part.
The true magic of Scribblenauts remix is found in the vast object dictionary. You and your child will want to spend hours just typing away, experimenting with different word combinations, and seeing what shows up. It really is a hoot!
With 50 levels to complete creatively, it never gets old, yet it doesn’t feel as sugary and addictive as other popular game apps such as the infamous Angry Birds.
In fact, it really doesn’t feel like any other app out there. I think we’re all aware of that tragic feeling of wasted time that bubbles up after getting a new high score on games such as Fruit Ninja.
Well, that feeling never really occurs after paying Scribblenauts Remix. It’s good fun, and it removes the passivity of app gameplay.
Whereas you won’t remember any one particular part of Candy Crush, just a blur of color and hollow achievement, Scribblenauts is - and in the creative spirit of the game, I’m going to make up a word here - reminiscible. Let’s just say that when you summon a small, rainbow Cthulhu...you remember it.
Verdict - Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
Is The Scribblenauts Remix App Kid-Friendly?
Scribblenauts Remix has a pretty wide appeal as far as age is concerned — just watch any of the “big kids” playing it and laughing their proverbials off in one of hundreds of YouTube videos.
The puzzles aren’t too taxing, making it a plausible pass time for the younger crowd, but adults also get a kick out of the whimsical, original gameplay.
The game’s dictionary includes a grand total of zero dirty words, meaning no “adult” objects can be conjured, keeping gameplay clean for innocent young minds.
However, as we’ve already touched upon, there are enemies that need to be dealt with in this game, and to do so, you’ll have to use force. It’s pixelated, sanitized violence, but it’s violence all the same.
You can summon all sorts of weaponry, from guns to swords, which means it’s not all that suitable for very young children, even though they’d definitely enjoy the creative aspects of this game.
For the slightly older child, Scribblenauts Remix can be an incredibly rewarding experience, not just for the fun, but for the educational aspects.
To conjure an object, you have to be able to spell it. The more a child can spell correctly, the deeper the game becomes.
You can think of it as a learning in disguise sort of deal, which is often the best way to teach young people. They pick up the device thinking they’re set for a good time, and they put it down having learned how to spell laboratory, sabretooth, and yacht.
It also offers parents an opportunity to interact with children as they play. You can give them clues to help their thought process along by asking basic questions like “Do you need something you can climb?” or “Do you need something that can fly?”. This kind of parent/child interactivity is known to aid in educational development.
Verdict - We’d say Scribblenauts Remix is for kids upwards of 10 years old. It’s educational, rewarding, and, of course, lots of fun.
Is Scribblenauts Remix Worth it?
People think that creativity is a natural feat, something you’re born with, but the truth is that creativity is just like anything else in this world. The more you practice using it, the more proficient it becomes.
Scribblenauts Remix is the perfect platform for exercising your imagination, encouraging outside-of-the-box thinking that people, both young and...not so young, can then apply to other aspects of their life.
We’ve been thinking of it as an app version of one of those strange games your drama teacher got you to play at the start of class in order to break down some social boundaries and loosen you up before a scene.
It may also be the perfect pairing for creative homework. Treat your child to 15 minutes of Scribblenauts Remix before facing the blank page of an English assignment, and not only will it get the creative juices flowing, it supplements homework with a bit of fun.
This may, over time, create a more positive outlook on similar tasks, encouraging a better work ethic.
It’s unique, it’s devilishly fun, and at this point in time, it’s insanely cheap considering how deep of a game it is. Even though it contains most of the content from the first two Scribblenauts, it’s way more affordable than both of the DS variants — a huge benefit of the app format.
That said, Scribblenauts Remix probably isn’t for everyone. With only 10 new puzzles to solve, hardcore fans of the older games really don’t get that much to chew on for the price (small though it may be); however, there does seem to be some level pack expansions on the horizon.
Those that will definitely get their money’s worth from these games are new players. We almost envy you if you’re yet to discover the magic of Scribblenauts. If we could enjoy it for the first time all over again, we absolutely would.
Verdict - Ultimately, we think that Scribblenauts Remix is absolutely worth it. Still, those already acquainted with the older versions of the game may benefit from waiting for expansion packs or even the next full Scribblenauts release.
Scribblenauts Remix - The Final Verdict
Scribblenauts Remix is a wonderful game that you and your child can enjoy together. It’s educational, super fun, and offers great bang for your buck as long as you’re not overly familiar with the two preceding Scribblenauts titles.
Our one gripe is that younger children won’t get a chance to join in on the Scribblenauts shenanigans due to the mild violence, yet we wouldn't want to change it and ruin the game for children who are old enough to play.
Instead, we’d appreciate a separate, cleaner version for kids under 10, so everyone stands to benefit from a truly unique and exciting app.
We give Scribblenauts Remix 4½/5