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Scribblenots

Wow, am I ever disappointed with Scribblenauts.  The game had such potential to be one of the greatest games of all time.  It's a puzzle game where you can summon just about anything you can think of, from Aardvarks to Zygotes.  The object library contains over 22,000 words and objects can be combined together to create new objects (rat flail!)  Every puzzle has nearly infinite solutions, the only limit being your imagination.  I was really looking forward to this game.

Unfortunately, the controls are simply horrendous.  Touching objects, especially small ones, can be very tricky, and getting rope and glue items lined up requires absolutely precise stylus control.  But the worst part is the main character, Maxwell, himself.  To move around, you use the touch screen, not the D-pad.  That means the slightest miss-tap on the screen will cause Maxwell to happily throw himself into a pool of man-eating sharks, leap out of a airplane in mid flight or casually toss a pickax into a barrel of explosives.  Over and over again, I'd nearly finished a level only to have Maxwell run off on his own and get himself killed.

The puzzles get a bit boring after a while, and although you can summon just about anything, you'll find yourself using just a handful of objects.  I think I end up using WINGS in nearly every level.  Most of the levels you can just brute-force your way through.  Just summon DEATH and he'll kill everyone for you, then you just waltz through the rest.  Once you finish a level, you have to play it through again, but now you have to do it three times in a row, coming up with unique summons each time.  But even then, you often end up just using variations on a theme; such as summoning CAP, HAT and CHAPEAU each time around.

The start screen is actually the most fun part of the game.  It's a sandbox where you are (mostly) invulnerable and can summon anything you want just to see how things interact.  I find myself spending more time here trying to think of new words to try and new interactions.

It's still a worthwhile purchase, it's just not the absolute must-have everyone was hoping it would be.

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