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Scribblenauts Review

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Masterful mind-boggling

★★★★

Although most players seem to have turned their backs on portable consoles as the iPhone takes over the world, Scribblenauts on the DS is one of videogaming’s most treasured gems; an inspiring, totally unique experience in a tedious world of sequels and half-cocked movie rip-offs.

In a mind-boggling set-up that sounds impossible on paper, Scribblenauts sees players conjuring-up any item they can think of out of thin air, scribbling words on the touch-screen to name the objects needed to solve a huge range of puzzles. And so long as the item you’re thinking of isn’t trademarked, alcoholic or obscene, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to magic-up a stylised version that’ll help solve the brainteaser that stands between you and the next level.

Naturally, rather than playing the game properly, most players will spend the first few hours testing the limitations of Scribblenauts, requesting items that you’d never expect the developers to think of, then being amazed by the fact they’ve included just about everything in the English language. But while the game’s set-up is incredibly ambitious and beautifully executed – and the puzzles in the game are perfectly pitched for players of all experience levels – the jerky controls often make Scribblenauts a chore to play, and the occasional puzzle that makes no sense jars uncomfortably with the logical bamboozlers that make up the majority of the game.

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