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Review: Scribblenauts Showdown (PS4)

Minigame Review
8

Great

Imagine a world where words are more powerful than a sword. Or you having the ability to grant an object or person a characteristic or ability that they did not have before just by scribbling down a word. Does such a place even exist…indeed it does in the world of Scribblenauts.

Scribble me this

Scribblenauts Showdown takes all the quirks and fun from the original series and turns it into a party title that’s fun for everyone. Combining up to four players, you’ll be able to take on three different play styles within the game. Versus mode will allow you to go head to head against other players or the CPU in a set of minigames. Free roam or Sandbox mode is where you and another player can play in a co-op manner in eight different environments without the pressure of time or competition. Since this mode doesn’t have a head to head aspect you and a friend can create objects out of thin air within the level from a magical flying broomstick to a laboratory as well as influence characters and objects within the levels by creating adjectives. An example of this would be when I came across a monkey I was able to select it in an option menu and add an adjective word. In doing so I was able to grant it the ability to fly by scribbling the word “flying” right after I gave it angel wings and a sword. And with over 35,000 objects to select from it almost feels as if the only limitation is your imagination.

Scribblenauts Showdown takes all the quirks and fun from the original series and turns it into a party title that’s fun for everyone.

The third mode in Scribblenauts Showdown is known as Showdown Mode. It’s basically a board game where two to four players can battle it out with the help of a card-based strategy which adds an additional mechanic to the game. Each turn a player will draw a card to add to their hand. These cards can be anything from forcing your opponent back three spaces or challenging them in a set of three minigames where the winner will be granted an opportunity of either drawing more cards, stealing an opponent’s card or even moving an additional four spaces. This mode’s length is basically determined by how dirty you and your opponents play as you can sabotage them during each turn depending on the cards you’re dealt.

Minigame mania

Although the three modes mentioned above do make up the core basics of Scribblenauts Showdown, it is actually the minigames which are the true core of the game. There are over 25 minigames to compete in. Some kick off immediately after selecting them such as catching the most apples or fireflies while simultaneously jumping on your opponents head trying to stop them from getting the objects before you. Other minigames will first give you the option of stopping a spinning wheel with letters on it. You’ll then have to scribble a word with the letter that you stopped on. For instance in the balancing game you’re placed on a magic flying carpet to catch and balance objects falling from the sky, the task is to balance as many of these objects as you can on your carpet without dropping them. The key to victory in this game is of course creating an object that can be easily stacked and small enough to retain them on your carpet without dropping them. Of course when my opponent had a bullet and I went and created a rhino you can only imagine who won. See the game also at times swaps the competitors objects so in a previous game when I created a marble it was swapped with my opponents object which to my surprise was a car!

Other minigames include blowing up a balloon where you’ll have to physically shake your controller up and down as if you’re actually using a hand pump, tug of war, a dance off, a soup making competition where you’ll have to chop veggies and stir your pot as quick as possible as well as an eating contest where you’ll eat the object you create even if that means a hammer…but be sure to swallow because if you throw up you’ll allow your opponent to gain the advantage. Each minigame uses the controller in a weird and wacky way from shaking it up and down, to a sort of flick to throw an object as well as only rotating the joysticks.

Scribblenauts Showdown truly brings the imagination to life and with its colorful world and wacky minigames you can be sure that it’s going to keep you, your friends and family entertained for hours on end. Especially with having such a wide variety of minigames to select from. When everyone’s left the party you’ll be more than entertained with the sandbox mode which I often spent a ton of time in thinking up of anything and everything that I could create and to my surprise was able to do. The music is also a lot of fun to listen to and the versus mode keeps things competitive. This is definitely one of the most entertaining couch co-op titles I’ve played this year.

Good

  • Colourful and fun for the whole family
  • Over 25 wacky minigames to choose from
  • Scribblenaut Character Creation
  • Sandbox brings your imagination to life

Bad

  • Minigames that are selected automatically in Showdown mode can become monotonous at times
  • Primarily enjoyed as a party game, once you've exhausted yourself in Sandbox mode there's not much fun left unless you have people over

Summary

In the world of Scribblenauts the word is mightier than the sword!
8

Great

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