The highly acclaimed Scribblenauts is a unique puzzle-sandbox, which allows you to type in anything you want and get that item (within reason). Of course, this was a match made in heaven for smartphones! Released on iPhone in 2011 and Android in 2013, Scribblenauts Remix takes the format of the original Scribblenauts and condenses it down to a simpler play. But does this condensed version contain mundane gameplay, or is it a hidden gem in the Apple and Google stores?
Iron Galaxy Studios
||(iOS) October 2011, (Android)|
||<£1.00 (Google Play Store)
We’re skipping the story section this week, as there is no real story to report back. Just a lot of fragmented levels!
When you boot the game up, you’re greeted with a sandbox in the background. In this sandbox, you can spawn just about anything you’d like. Santa Claus, a house, books, weapons – You name it! Well, you can name it within reason. The game gives you a very simple text box to write what you’d like to spawn; you type it in and if the game has something for it, it’ll spawn it. A great way to improve your vocabulary, or to just think creatively.
When you click the play button, you get a couple of options. Setting your avatar (which you can do through the front screen/sandbox anyway), viewing your achievements, signing in to some Warner Bros. club thing… Or playing the campaign, which is all a bunch of levels. Each level is part of a smaller world. You merely need to beat the levels to unlock the next world, but you can also do challenges for each level.
Getting through a level is pretty easy overall. It’s all about how you would try to overcome scenarios. One scenario sees you trying to get a warrior, who cannot swim, across some water and without being eaten by a shark. How would you do it? Would you kill the shark yourself with a sword, before creating a bridge over the water? Or would you rather just give the warrior wings? Both methods are valid ways to beat the level.
Once you’ve beaten the level, you are free to move onto the next. You beat some levels, you unlock some more. You also unlock a chance to unlock a golden crown on any levels with the crown icon. These are unlocked by replaying the level three times, but on each iteration, you cannot use an item you used previously. I.E If you were dealing with the warrior scenario described above, one method may be a bridge; one may be a jetpack and the last wings.
Whilst this isn’t a gameplay feature, I figured I’d quickly talk about the DLC in the game. There is a lot of it – and couple this with the fact that the game isn’t free, that may put some people off the game. However, all things considered, every DLC pack is really reasonable. The game itself is absurdly cheap on the Google Play marketplace (So much so, I must have bought it a long time ago, as it said ‘Purchased’ when I first saw it for download. Whoops!*)
A colourful, quirky game which has a great visual style. As ever, we do think seeing is believing, so here is our gallery:
Cute, upbeat and crisp – Three words I could use to describe the background music. Whilst there isn’t much in the way of sound effects, but music itself is genuinely wonderful. It’s happy, it’s positive – but sometimes it adds little quirks which gives off a slightly ominous vibe. All of the songs fit their levels, but often adding a positive spin to what could occasionally be viewed as a bleak situation.
I’m not going to pretend to say that Scribblenauts Remix is quite as fun as the original, as it’s not. The original was special insofar as you have these constant little mini-adventures, trying to help a variety of people with a variety of tasks. Whilst you still get this, all of the mini-adventures are separated by level, making it pretty hard to get drawn into the Scribblenauts world. You may pencil this down to the lack of any connection between tasks.
Okay, so my puns are pretty blunt, but overall Scribblenauts Remix is enjoyable, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original. However, for a short, simple, quick to play experience, Scribblenauts Remix is wonderful. It’s easy to pick up, intuitive and creative. It’s quirky, colourful and a joy to experience. Is it as good as the original? No. Is it as good as the Unlimited version on Android and iOS? No. Is it a great little title however? Yes.
*I say whoops, but the game ended up being very cute and great fun. Would I have paid a meagre 64p for it? Absolutely. Worth every penny and then some. Perhaps I’ll have a peak at the DLCs at some point?