Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
Here we are five titles into the franchise and we are now getting the ability to manipulate some of our favorite characters and worlds with Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. While personally I would have preferred a Marvel version, beggars can’t be choosers when given the opportunity to rewrite, create, and travel to all of the famous locations in “nerd” history. As should be obvious, I had a chance to get down and dirty with Scribblenauts Unmasked on the PC and I am going to break it down for you to let you know if you should spend the time and money for the game.
After all of their fun adventures before, Maxwell and his sister Lilly are having a normal dispute on who is the best DC character. During the dispute Max’s notebook and Lilly’s globe open a wormhole that boom tubes the duo into the DC universe where they can actually end the argument once and for all. Unfortunately when they were transported there all of the Starites that power the magically globe have been lost or stolen by the DC Universe’s villains. The only way to get home is to create and alter the denizens of the world and their locations to reclaim all of the lost Starites.
If there was one thing that annoyed me the most was the scrolling of the game world if I happened to leave my mouse in an odd location. I’m talking that if I just altered a creature in some way and then just left my mouse to go back to running/flying around it would begin to scroll the screen in whatever direction I was last pointing. It’s not that it was hard to get back to where Maxwell was located, but it was just annoying as all hells to have to stop what I was doing to scroll back. I just kind of wished that it wouldn’t auto scroll and require me to actually click something to look around the level. Don’t think this is game breaking at all though, just more of an annoyance.
Maybe this is just the adult in me, but another thing is that I felt a little hindered in adjectives and objects to create. I fully understand that it is near impossible to think of everything, and I do applaud 5th Cell with what they have, but in one instance I came across a mission where a character was asking for a hero’s cape. I quite literally typed in “hero’s cape,” also “Superman’s cap,” and was greeted with the “did you mean this” kind of list. The closest option I had was just “cape” and that did not complete the mission at all. It just felt odd that I had to create “Superman” to have his cape stolen by this character for the mission. Maybe the description was a little ambiguous. Maybe I was thinking like an ‘Adult’. Either way this happened a few times and it was a bit annoying to have to try and go a roundabout way to do something that could have been solved with a few choice words.
First and foremost, they did their research on everything DC and most of it was included in the game is some form. While I am sad I couldn’t bring Dogwelder into play, there were just as obscure and minor characters added in. There were even versions of the most iconic of DC characters I had never even heard of included into the list. I found myself going through the Batcomputer, where everything was listed out, almost as much I played that actual game just to bone up on all of my DC knowledge. This alone would be worth the price of admission as most compilations like this cost double what Scribblenauts Unmasked does.
On top of the character and item list from DC, and as I mentioned above, there is just an insane amount of additional adjectives and items to be added to the game and its characters. The addition of the reputation system that penalized you for reusing the same words over and over also kept me trying new combinations and searching online for synonyms and antonyms so I could keep everything fresh. I think I actually learned a few things by just toying around with the long list of adjectives and nouns available in the game. This also brings me to the last thing I loved about the game.
It’s not often that I find an edutainment title that keeps me engaged. Even though that is not the core genre of the Scribblenauts franchise, it certainly is an aspect that can’t be ignored. In fact I used it with my six year old to help with her spelling and reading development. She got to have fun while learning how to spell the add-ons and items she was creating in the game and didn’t even realize it until much later. Yes, the game is touted as a puzzle/action game but it has the very basics of edutainment hidden under it all and it tricks you into learning while having fun. I love these kinds of things.
I’ll cut to the chase here, I fully recommend Scribblenauts Unmasked for any DC fan or gamers who have young children. Also if you have been a fan of the franchise, but that should be a given. While the controls and look of the game are very basic and easy, I think almost anyone can find entertainment here. Mix in the education of DC universe, spelling, and adjective use and we have a nice little mix of everything we gamers could, neigh should, have. I completely enjoyed it even with the annoyances I ran into, but as the word states, they were more annoyances than hatred.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure was developed by 5th Cell and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC on September 24th, 2013. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.