What is Scribblenauts Showdown?
Scribblenauts Showdown is a word-based puzzle game and mini-game collection that'll push your mental dictionary to the test. Whether you're solving puzzles in the game's Sandbox mode, or taking on your friend's across the game's many mini-games, you'll make use of your character's magical book to create almost any item you can think of just by writing it, with the game's built in dictionary recognising some 35,000 words!
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How do you play Scribblenauts Showdown?
Scribblenauts Showdown is a game very much divided into two halves. On the one hand, you have the mini-games - a collection of over two dozen quickfire, competitive games that see you and a friend face off against each other - or see you taking on the computer. These in themselves are divided into two different types - Speedy, and Wordy. Speedy games don't involve the game's dictionary, and instead see you running around with a basket to collect apples falling from the sky, or throwing a clock to your opponent in the hope that you're not left holding it when it goes off. Wordy games, on the other hand, make use of the game's dictionary. In Super Sprint, you have to ride your creation down a race track, and might have to think of an animal (or person) beginning with N, for example; while in Drone Drop, you'll need to think of the heaviest item you can that begins with a certain letter, before attempting to deliver it by drone to a number of bases around the map. The game's titular Showdown mode bundles these mini-games up into a boardgame, where winning mini-games will let you progress around the board.
The game's Sandbox mode, on the other hand, is much more puzzle based, and offers more freedom. With eight different levels on offer, each will provide you with a list of ten different puzzles that need to be solved, from the obvious ("Man's Best Friend - The travelling business man needs a companion"), to the slightly more cryptic ("The Band Played On - One musician is not like the others"). In order to solve the puzzles, you'll need to create something that resolves the situation - like creating a dog for the businessman - but many of the puzzles offer you a lot of freedom, and can be solved in many different ways.
How easy is Scribblenauts Showdown to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Scribblenauts Showdown requires a strong reading ability, and a strong grasp of the English language. As a huge part of the game involves creating items by spelling out a word, you'll need to be a decent speller to do well here - although the game does suggest words to you once you've entered the first three letters, which does reduce the spelling requirement a little.
Though many of the puzzles are able to be solved in several different ways, a specific way of thinking is often required, and you'll need to be able to approach problems in a logical way.
In terms of mature content, there's little for parents to worry about in Scribblenauts Showdown, with no swearing, no sexual content, no blood and gore, and only very mild cartoon violence. Though the in game dictionary recognises some 35,000 words, there are no rude ones amongst them, with the age rating coming solely from the use of weapons. As rough as the violence gets is cartoon characters using cartoon weapons against each other - maybe firing a gun, a grenade launcher or a rocket launcher that fires a very slow projectile, with no blood, gore, or realistic impacts whatsoever.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4