Preview: Scribblenauts 2

Adjectives have never been more important

Preview Scribblenauts 2
21st April, 2010 By Ian Morris

The original Scribblenauts was one of the most innovative DS games of last year. A puzzle game with a difference, the game set you the task of retrieving a star, which you were free to go about reaching by any means necessary. Giving you an incredible level of freedom, Scribblenauts gave you the ability to write practically any noun you wanted, and it would create it in game. If you wanted to ride a dinosaur to get a star from a tree, you could - if you wanted to see what happened in a fight between jesus on a motorbike and King Kong, you could - all you had to do was write it, and the game would make it happen. Rewarding you for originality, you were encouraged to play each level multiple times, coming up with the most bizarre way of reaching the star you could - and believe us, there were some strange ones.

Unfortunately for the game's developers, 5th Cell, this presented them with a slight problem when it came to making a sequel. How do you improve on a game that already had everything? How do you give players more freedom, when they can already do whatever they want? The answer, it seems, is adjectives.

To take you back to school for a moment, an adjective is a descriptive word - something that adds an extra characteristic to an object. Whether it's a flaming cow, or a robotic Jesus, there are a whopping 10,000 potential adjectives for you to use in the game - which is impressive enough on its own. What really blows your mind is when you realise that these adjectives can also be combined, to produce any number of weird, wonderful and bizarre objects.

We've already seen an example of a petrified, flaming, obese, robotic, burning, striped cow - and you can only imagine what else you'll be able to come up with. The trick of course, comes with not just coming up with wacky creations - but in finding practical ways to use them to retrieve the star. Suddenly, getting the originality bonus is going to be a lot harder. And we struggled on the original.

Rounding off the improvements to the game are a new control scheme, which lets you control the game's hero, Maxwell, by using the control pad, rather than having to try and guide him with the stylus, leaving your stylus free to arrange the objects on the touch screen, and a refined camera, which doesn't keep snapping back to your hero, when you're trying to set things up in the rest of the level. Another important addition is the ability to attach ropes to any part of the level or objects, which should certainly help making those diabolical contraptions a whole lot easier.

With 120 brand new levels to play through (sadly, 100 less than the original - though we are promised they'll be a lot bigger, and more complex than before), the next Scribblenauts game is already sounding impressive. We hope to bring you a full preview, along with the first screenshots very soon.

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