Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1
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Well, that took long enough! Two years after the DS version came out, the creative action-puzzle game Scribblenauts is available for iOS! The goal of the Scribblenauts Remix is basically to get the protagonist Maxwell to collect an item in each level called a starite. This is done by either solving a riddle in each level to make it appear, or by finding a way to collect it if it's already in a level. The tools used to solve these puzzles? Anything. Literally. By typing in the name of an object, it can be created and used in the level. Dancers? Yes. Helicopters? Yes. Dragons? Yes. Philosoraptor? Yes. Cthulu? Yes! The only limits are proper names, abstract terms, and crude objects.
Scribblenauts is at home here on iOS. The touch screen is fantastic for the manipulation of objects and scrolling around the level. Typing in object names is much quicker here than with a stylus on the DS. Being able to create fantastic objects, and then use them in creative ways to solve the puzzles the game throws at players is the fun of this experience. The levels that allow for creative solutions are the ones that feel truly special. For example, one level requires that a button be pressed to raise a gate to collect the starite. What did I do? I made a red object, put it near the button, and then made a bull. This game is one of creative solutions. The number of objects, along with the adjectives that can be used as well, is absolutely astounding. There is very little that can't actually be made or done with the objects in this game. There's a sandbox mode for playing around with objects with no restrictions, too. The game is a universal app, and supports iOS 5 features for sharing to Twitter, and iCloud support for syncing game progress across devices!
Scribblenauts Remix sadly has only 50 levels in it, 10 of which are brand-new. The levels don't track the par number of objects, completion time, or even style points that the DS versions did; or at least, they aren't displayed. Points, called "Ollars", are awarded, but the amount is never quite clear, and there are no merits awarded for completing levels with certain criteria. There's nothing to spend the Ollars on, either, no bonus costumes or music! There's a lot missing here, and hopefully updates add in more reasons to replay levels, along with new levels that are added to the game. The levels that are here never get to be completely challenging, either. The core Scribblenauts gameplay is here in iOS, but now is the time to build on it. Also, the lack of an ability to use a time machine to travel back in time to ride dinosaurs is an absolute disgrace. Who decided to take this out?
It's hard to be disappointed with Scribblenauts Remix; after all, it's what I've always wanted on iOS. There just needs to be more here! This is a wonderful start, and those who haven't gotten to play Scribblenauts yet owe themselves to go and play this right now.