Imagine, if you will, a classroom. At the front, there is a whiteboard, and on this whiteboard you see the word “limits.”
Suddenly, the ceiling is lifted upwards and broken off by a flying, heroic dinosaur on which is mounted a boy named Maxwell. He slides down the great creature’s back and tail, and attacks the whiteboard with liberating missiles. The word “limits” is no longer etched on board’s surface, replaced by the words “Yee boi.” This, essentially, is Scribblenauts Unlimited.
The fourth entry in the Scribblenauts franchise, Scribblenauts Unlimited is in a kind of sandbox all its own. Seriously, the levels of creativity with which the user is presented is amazing. The player is given a basic problem: There is a Starite (the object of all hunts) stuck in a tall tree. The playable character, Maxwell, is human and, as such, cannot reach it or fly or anything. So, the player must grant Maxwell something with which he can acquire the Starite; boom, options! You could give him an ax and chop the tree down; you could give him a jetpack and fly to the Starite; you could drink a Flying Potion and float to the Starite; you could fly a helicopter to it, or spawn a mercenary to destroy the tree then spawn a dog to retrieve the Starite for you. Essentially, you can spawn anything you can think of and use it to either physically obtain the Starite, or earn the shimmery star through completing level-specific objectives, such as figuring out a puzzle or helping solve other people’s problems for them (the lazy scoundrels!).
Maxwell is in a world filled with these problems. All you have to do is solve them in any manner you wish (generally); it’s just a set of challenges, essentially. There is no binding story.
As you may have noticed in my previous reviews, a big thing for me is “accessibility”. Scribblenauts Unlimited is a strong player in this field–as I would hope, as it is definitely oriented towards children–because it is aimed at being as open-ended as possible. You can do whatever you want to get from point A to point B. No two playthroughs are the same. For the more creative folks out there, such as myself (is that conceited? I don’t know for sure.), the most enjoyable part of the game is in trying to spawn a more ludicrous creation than the last. Sometimes that means you have an atomic, hairy, golden bathtub, and other times it means you have a giant, evil computer. The more creative you are the more enjoyable; also, children have a bit of an advantage here due to their capability of increased “interesting” and “unique” thoughts.
Though the game is intentionally stylized, I can’t say I’m a huge fan. Sure, the textures are all HD (a change from its ugly 3DS/DS counterparts and predecessors) but nothing is that appealing to me. It is amazing, though, how so many objects fit in the game’s 1.6GB download; that’s a lot of objects for such a small space. The sound is kind of weirdly upbeat, which is great and fits the tone of the strangeness of the game itself. Sound effects are appealing and well done.
Scribblenauts Unlimited has one main weakness: as a kid-oriented game, there are no innapropriate objects, no matter how mild, even though there are tons of weapons. It’s a strange combo, but it’s what’s here. So there there is a limit to the object creation, but otherwise the playing field is still open. Just remember that there is little here to entertain “that kind” of fourteen year-old.
Fantastically open-ended and begs to be played with an imagination, Scribblenauts Unlimited cannot be missed for any reason. You will not get tired of its endless odd combinations of creations that simply shouldn’t exist yet do and do so in harmony (kind of; sometimes NPC’s get weird and start attacking each other…). This crazy game is available here.