E3 2010: Super Scribblenauts Hands-On PreviewBy Paul Semel - Posted Jun 15, 2010
What We Already Know:
Taking a cue from Capcom, Warner Brothers Interactive has announced that the sequel to Scribblenauts -- the much beloved side-scrolling, puzzle-driven platformer for the DS in which you type in words, and that item then magically appears to help you get around -- will be called Super Scribblenauts. But amid all the jokes that the third installment would be dubbed Super Scribblenauts Turbo HD Remix (…in 3D), the developers at 5th Cell, who created the original as well as the equally inventive Drawn to Life, revealed some interesting information about the game.
What We're Seeing Now:
For starters, the controls are being tweaked. While you can still move with the stylus, you can now also use the DS’s d-pad, which, as evidenced from actually playing the game, is way more accurate and thus fun. The irony of this is that the game is actually more about the puzzles this time out. You can even buy more hints, if the one freebie you get for each of the games 120 levels doesn’t help you out.
But the biggest change is that the game now lets you use adverbs, which, as you hopefully remember from grade school, are words that modify other words. So instead of just typing in “pig,” you can now input “portly pig” and get a real porker to help you out. You don’t even have to be realistic about it, as the 5th Cell guys showed by creating an “angry armed barrel.”
How this works was illustrated by a level where our hero, Maxwell, is in line to buy a limited edition version of his favorite video game, but he’s at the back of the line. So he uses scribblenautics to convince those ahead of him to let him cut in line, giving the special forces guy a “pink gun,” and a “flying guitar” to the rock star.
Though, as with the original, not every word works, especially if that word is naughty. When trying to convince the rock star to step out of line, for example, “cocaine pile” wasn’t allowed. Though even when a phrase is allowed, you have to be careful. “Tour bus” worked, but it crushed everyone to death, while “horny groupie” didn’t give us Pamela Des Barres but an all-blue guy who just ran off.
Besides the controls and the adverbs, 5th Cell also revealed that the game’s internal dictionary was far larger than the one in the original, including more than 10,000 adverbs. They’re also including a level editor in the game, though they didn’t go into too much detail about how it would work, or whether you’d be able to share your creations through the DS’s Wi-fi.
Super Scribblenauts will be out on the DS this fall.