Scribblenauts Mega Pack Review
When our own Daniel Fugate reviewed Scribblenauts Showdown, he felt the game had a lot of promise on Nintendo Switch, but lacked some of those key, classic Scribblenauts mechanics. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment must have heard that from other reviewers, as the company came back with another Scribblenauts offering on Nintendo Switch, Scribblenauts Mega Pack, which includes previously released titles Scribblenauts Ultimate and Scribblenauts Unmasked, both with fresh new content. Do these title re-introduce the classic Scribblenauts mechanics in meaningful ways? Let’s dive in!
This review will cover both Scribblenauts titles as if they were one, but remember that the DC options in Unmasked don’t carry over to Ultimate, and vice versa, The way the game plays out, however, is very much the same, but with thematic twists that meet the needs of the title.
Both games have you collecting Starites to correct wrongs within the world. In Ultimate, that means our main character Maxwell attempting to free his sister Lily from concrete, while in Unmasked, it’s up to the DC crew to stop the evil Doppelganger from reeking havoc on Metropolis, Gotham City, and other famous DC locations. The games chronologically are ordered with Unlimited first, and Unmasked second. Certain story elements from Unlimited will be spoiled if players opt to choose the DC adventure first, but these are minimal as story isn’t the main focus.
And that isn’t a bad thing. Ultimately, the story is a means to an end in Unlimited – although the story in Unmasked was actually fairly engaging – and that end was solving puzzles and participating in some light platforming to get around the level, and help those in need. The power all lies with Maxwell’s notebook, which when written in, produces whatever the player has imagined, and subsequently written down. Need a ladder to rescue a kitten from a tree? Type ladder. Need to change a vehicle to firetruck red? Add the adjective, “red.”
Whether creating objects for your own personal use – or for the use of others, or adding adjectives to already placed items, the world of Scribblenauts is almost unlimited. Need a robot dinosaur? You can create a robot dinosaur. Need a wrench to dismantle a robot dinosaur? You can do that to. In fact, outside of licenced ideas and vulgarity, the game is stocked with hundreds upon hundreds of items and adjectives waiting to be explored.
Nifty additional rules added limitations to what you can create. For example, if you use a certain object twice in one area, you will earn less for that secondary use. In Unmasked, things are taken a step further, by limiting you even further if you care to earn full marks for the level. Following these makeshift rules are not required, but add a bit of challenge for older players, when sometimes the challenge is lacking.
Having this game for my kids was the real joy, however. As my eight year old begins to learn about nouns, adjectives, and more, this game allows him to express some creativity, while learning and solving problems along the way. While not necessarily ‘educational,’ I would argue there are some redeeming educational opportunities embedded in the games mechanics. While many video games in our home are off limits between Monday and Friday, Scribblenauts is something we will allow them to dabble in from time-to-time.
Despite releasing in 2012 and 2013 respectively, there is still many reasons to buy these titles again on Nintendo Switch. The ability to take the games on the go is a huge plus, and the added, fresh content will make part of the experience completely new. We have little to complain about here. After the lackluster Scribblenauts Showdown, it’s great to see them back to their old tricks, even if this is a simple port with a bit of new flair!