Death and Punishment in Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts is a bit of amazing concept wrapped in silly graphics... in a good way.

The idea is that you have to solve problems, like reuniting a flock of birds, retrieving a star or opening a door, with your little hand-drawn character. The twist is that you do this by writing or typing out a word. Once the word is written that item appears in the world, usable.


When I got a chance to play around with it yesterday a bit the PR folks told me that there were thousands of words in the dictionary. In fact, they said, it was one person's job to go through a dictionary adding items to the game.

Of course I didn't believe them, so I started trying to stump the game. First I wrote night vision goggles. A pair appeared in the air above my character. When I slipped them on his head the screen turned green.

OK, how about inappropriate content? Not sex or nudity, that was blocked out, but what about unsettling stuff? I gave it a try.

Typing in noose didn't give me a rope with a loop, instead it gave me full gallows. Iron Maiden? A little deathbox popped up on screen. Gun: check. Poison: check. Guillotine: check. Wolverine: check, though prodding the little creature didn't make it go berserk. Pillory? Finally stumped.

It's too early to tell if the game will have enough meat to make it enjoyable over long play sessions, though I suspect it will, but the concept, the idea of turning words into reality in a game seems to work pretty flawless and offers enormous potential.



These guys make good games, just a bit oriented towards the kiddies. But the kiddies need their games too.