|Publisher(s)||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Nintendo (Europe, 3DS/Wii U)
|Engine||Objectnaut (for development)|
|Release date(s)||3DS & Wii U
NA November 13, 2012
AUS November 30, 2012
EU December 6, 2013
NA November 19, 2012
AUS November 28, 2012
EU February 15, 2013
|Genre(s)||Emergent, puzzle, action|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multi-player online sharing|
Scribblenauts Unlimited is an emergent action puzzle video game developed by 5th Cell and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Microsoft Windows. The game was announced during the E3 2012 Nintendo press conference on June 5, 2012. It is the fourth title in the Scribblenauts series.
Compared to previous Scribblenauts titles, Scribblenauts Unlimited has a more extensive backstory, and reveals regular protagonist Maxwell's reason for collecting Starites. In the opening scene, narrated by Lily (Jennifer Hale), the player learns that Maxwell's parents were travellers and then, they semi retired and had 42 children. They gave Maxwell and Lily a magical notebook that can create any object by writing in it. Maxwell's parents show concern that he and his sister (Lily) are becoming spoiled, however. One day, Maxwell comes across an old man who appears to be hungry. As a prank, Maxwell uses his notebook to create a rotten apple, and gives it to the man. Angered, the old man scolds Maxwell for being spoiled, and places a curse on Maxwell's sister Lily, causing her to slowly turn to stone. Maxwell brings Lily to their brother Edwin's farm. Edwin teaches Maxwell about Starites, which Maxwell must collect to free Lily from the curse. Maxwell vows to help as many people as he can and leaves the farm.
The core fundamentals of the gameplay in Scribblenauts Unlimited are similar to previous entries in the series. Maxwell returns as the player character and the objective is still to collect Starites by using objects the player creates to complete various tasks. Scribblenauts Unlimited is more adventure-based than Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts. One of the primary differences with this game is that it takes place in a large overworld that is open to exploration, as opposed to the first two games in the series, where you had to choose an individual puzzle to earn Starites. Players can traverse different themed areas and accept challenges from NPCs. Sometimes, this will transport you to a self-contained level, much like earlier Scribblenauts titles, where you must solve multiple puzzles before being awarded with a Starite. There are now also smaller challenges within the world that reward you with Starite shards - collecting ten of these shards is another way to earn Starites. There are also male and female versions of all NPCs (including animals) now, as well as new functions for the time and arcade machines. Due to the additional power of the Wii U, a budget meter is no longer present allowing up to 60 objects to be displayed at the same time.
The game was built on an upgraded version of the Objectnaut engine, providing the player with several additional options when creating objects. As well as the adjective system that was introduced in Super Scribblenauts, players can now attach multiple objects to each other; for example, creating a dog with wheels. Furthermore, there are numerous properties that can be assigned to objects, such as movement and offensive capabilities. Players can also customize their objects with scaling and coloring tools, similar to another 5th Cell franchise, Drawn to Life. Customized objects can be named and saved - typing in the name of a saved custom object allows it to be spawned at any time. According to game designer Jeremiah Slaczka, the Wii U version of the game can store more than 900 custom objects. The 3DS version lacks this object editor, due to technological constraints.
Scribblenauts Unlimited has received largely positive and some mixed reviews. Metacritic puts the game's Metascore at a 74 out of 100. IGN gave the Wii U version an 8.8 out of 10, praising its creativity and level progression, though noting its difficulty was low, and the Nintendo characters were limited. Nintendo World Report gave the Wii U version a 9 out of 10, praising its use of the GamePad, its engaging gameplay, and the new object editor. Destructoid's Jim Sterling was less impressed, giving it a 5.0 out of 10, calling it limited, panning its simplicity and stating that "it's not actually worth it to be inventive".
The Nintendo 3DS version of Scribblenauts Unlimited does not feature the object editor heavily promoted in advertisements for the game. Instead, it features communications via the 3DS's StreetPass and SpotPass communication modes.
The Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited contains a co-operative multiplayer mode, as well as online support that allows players to share their saved custom objects with their friends, and can store more than 900 custom objects. This version also marks the first time the series is released on a home console. As a result, the game has been given a revamped high-definition visual style. The Wii U version also had exclusive cameos from characters and items from the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda games, which later returned in the European release of both Wii U and 3DS versions.
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- "Scribblenauts Unlimited is now out in Europe - celebrate by drawing a bottle of champagne". PC Gamer. 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
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- "Word Is Bond!". IGN. News Corporation. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- Ronaghan, Neal (2012-11-20). "Scribblenauts makes the jump to home consoles with style.". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Pocket Gamer Awards 2013". Pocketgamer.co.uk. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
- Senior, Tom (2012-09-03). "Scribblenauts Unlimited coming to PC, share giraffe monsters with the Steam Workshop". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- Alden (2012-11-20). "Scribblenauts Unlimited Launches on Steam With Workshop For Custom Objects". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 2012-12-07.