Scribblenauts Unlimited Review

Genre: Puzzle Game

Platform: Wii U

Developer: 5th Cel

Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive

Released: November 18th, 2012

I won’t hide it: I’m a big Scribblenauts fan. The series developed by 5th Cell managed to capture the heart and minds of all who played it with a simple yet captivating formula which focuses on players’ creativity to clear puzzles and complete the game. It’s almost old school in its pick up and play attitude: there’s almost no story, just gameplay. The series had two Ds entries before finally making the jump onto home consoles and Pc. Let’s find out if Scribblenauts unlimited is still as good as it was on DS or if the format didn’t translate so well on bigger screens.

Saving your sister

Scribblenauts Unlimited premise is not so different from its predecessors: our hero Maximillian must gather Starite scattered all over the world to prevent his sister from being turned to stone. The game is incredibly light on plot elements and the few there are, they’re very light hearted, going together so well with the colorful world of the game. Maximillian’s quest is only an excuse to trigger the new trip into the world of Scribblenauts and you shouldn’t be expecting nothing more: if you’re a veteran of the series, you know what awaits you plotwise

You name it, You have it!

Scribblenauts is all about creativity, and Unlimited stays true to the formula, with a couple of tweakings that manage to improve it a bit. The game is no longer divided into small stages: all levels are connected like a 16 bit era platformer, making the game feel a bit more wide open. Each stage cointains more than a single puzzle that, once completed, will net Maximillian a Starite piece. This is where things get fun, and I really mean it: players will be required to complete all kinds of puzzles, from saving a cat on a tree to clearing trash, moving objects across the stage and so on. Puzzles are all diverse and so are the solutions: to clear them you must use any object you have in mind, write its name and get it on screen. You can create almost anything and almost anything can solve the puzzles: the key here is getting creative. In Unlimited you can even get more crazy in your item creation by adding adjectives to items, creating some really crazy and funny combinations. If something exists in your mind, it can probably be materialized in Scribblenauts and it’ll probably help you complete a puzzle.

You want Mario? You’ll have Mario

Exclusive to the Wii U version are characters from Nintendo franchises like Mario and Link and the way they interact with other objects shows the amount of care 5th Cell included in the game: try making Mario eat a mushroom and he’ll become bigger; if you give Link an ocarina, he’ll call Epona into the stage; if you’re feeling evil try summoning a devil and Ganondorf and see the results of their encounter. The Nintendo characters however don’t have the same degree of customizations as all the other objects: you can’t put any adjective in front of their names to customize them and that’s a bit limiting. Still, it’s fun to give a man needing a friend a Toad or Princess Peach.

A portable game on home TV?

Graphics wise it’s great to look at an HD rendition of the Scribblenauts style: graphics are clean and detailed. However you’re hardly going to look at them too much, since you’ll proably use the Gamepad’s screen to control and play the game. It’s almost as if the game is still true to its handheld formula and the big screen treatment is just an extra. Not really a fault since that’s how the game works and on Wii U, it works great.

Final Thoughts

I often thought that the Scribblenauts series was made for handheld consoles and the Wii U jump could damage the game: my fears were all put to rest when I played the game the first time. It’s just as good as it was on DS, and it’s even better thanks to the adjectives mechanics which can really make your fantasy go wild. If you’re a fan of the series, get it without thinking too much about it: the formula is the same as before, it’s still as fun if not even better thanks to a more open world structure. The only fault I can find in the game is that I found puzzles a bit easier than before, probably to allow newcomers to enjoy the game to the fullest. Except for this small fault, the game is probably the best Scribblenauts entry and one of the best Wii U titles currently available


  • Huge amount of puzzles
  • Perfect to play on the Gamepad
  • Great graphics
  • Objective editor stimulates creativity
  • Great freedom on how to solve puzzles


  • Puzzles are easier than in previous entries
  • Nintendo characters are limited

[xrr rating=9/10]

9 out of 10 

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