November 3, 2010
On a whim (and partly as celebration for making it through another Pigskin week) I bought Super Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS. It was only $29 on Amazon with free shipping and I’ve heard good things about it. Last night while working through the tutorial Erin came over and started watching me play. Well, it’s quickly become one of our favorite games to play together. You can read the reviews if you want a more indepth description, but it’s an absolutely hilarious game that’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever played.
In a nutshell, the game presents you with a level starring Maxwell, the erstwhile hero. He has to do different tasks in each level in order to claim his prize (a glittery star). To do this, you type in any noun you can think of and it magically appears on the screen (Jetpack, dinosaur, jockstrap, hang glider, waterfall, sleeping pill, chainsaw, eyeball… you get the idea). In addition, you can add adjectives to the words you type in order to modify your incoming creations (how about “zombie eyeball”, pink hang glider, flying chainsaw, distinguished dinosaur (with a monocle), etc). It’s initially a bit disconcerting to have so much freedom in a game, but after a while you stop trying to solve the levels in the obvious way and start trying really goofy solutions to see what happens. It’s rare that I stump the game with things it can’t create.
Case in point: last night we were trying to get a little guy safely off of a tall cliff. The obvious solution was “parachute” and sure enough, typing that in created a chute that the little man used to jump safely off the cliff. Mission accomplished! But we went back and tried the level a few other ways to see if we could use other things to accomplish it. Jet Pack worked great, as did Hang Glider and Umbrella. The funniest part of the night, though, was when we typed in “Bungee Cord”(it worked) and attached one end to the cliff and one end to the little dude. When he just stood there and did nothing we typed in “Lion” and created a roaring lion that chased the guy around and then off the cliff… where he promptly got hung up by his too-short bungee cord. Raucous laughter.
This is such a fun and funny game, and it’s made better by playing it together and discovering what we can do in this huge sandbox. Thanks to the creators for this little gem.