I was originally going to have this article be a review of Scribblenauts Remix for iOS. In short, this game is awesome. But what makes this game such an enjoyable, almost magical experience that we feel compelled share it with others? What is it that makes the game seem even better when sitting playing with someone else?
To the uninitiated, Scribblenauts is a game in which you solve puzzles by typing in what items you need or want to appear in order to attain the star on that level. The multitude of puzzle levels can be completed in a variety of ways, it’s all down to how imaginative a solution you can conjure up. Watch this Youtube video for a better explanation.
Scibblenauts is technically a single-player game, it has no multiplayer component programmed into it. However, such is the way levels play out you cannot help but say to your friend/partner/sibling “hey. come check this out” and pick their brains for some vocabulary enhancement. It has that rare quality that it can appeal to such a wide variety of people of different ages and sex, because most of the game is created by the player’s imagination. It simply demands to be shared amongst people.
I first played Scribblenauts on my DS, I soon showed it off to my girlfriend at the time who immediately fell in love with the game. It was an experience we could share together and in turn, the game in a way encouraged togetherness as we played. I’d get playfully chastised for being too eager to help her if she paused for thought. Then a few minutes later I’d get puppy eyes staring at me asking for “just a little hint” on what to do to finish the level. One person’s imagination can think up some wonderful creations in Scribblenauts, two people making suggestions and sharing the results is simply videogame magic. It made for some funny “what if we put this in” moments and altogether happy times.
Now developers 5th Cell have ported their stellar title onto iOS devices at the bargain price of £2.99. Scribblenauts is now opened up to a whole section of society that may not own a games system and wouldn’t pay £30 for a game, but enjoy playing lower priced games on their iPhone or iPad. Parents can not only sit with their children and play a fun, inexpensive game, but with Scribblenauts they can also encourage their child’s development in problem solving and vocabulary. It’s a perfect tool for encouraging a child to broaden their thinking and word use, while still having the fun factor a great game requires.
The iPad and Scribblenauts is a perfect combination for sharing. Add in the magic that the game creates and it’s a sure-fire hit with parents who would like to share some gaming time with their kids. The large display of the iPad lends itself well to ‘pass and play’ gaming sitting on the couch.
Scribblenauts for me, like many others, will always be linked to the person I played it with most. Even playing through this new version on my iPhone, I can’t help but think back to when I first played through these levels with someone else. The biggest compliment I could pay the game is that it brings people together, to work with one another and most importantly, just have fun with each other. So go and give it a try. Sit down with your girlfriend/child/friend and play together, laugh and let your imaginations take over.