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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Scribblenauts (2009) is a series of puzzle games which you solve by typing the names of everyday objects so they appear in the game and let you progress. What's surprising is the sheer number of items included in the game. This means you can solve problems in a number of different ways, using imaginative and ingenious solutions.

You control Maxwell as he traverses levels from left to right. When you hit an obstacle, such as a wall, you type the names of items that will help you get past it. For example, you can type "ladder" to get over it, or type "bomb" to blow it up, or "spade" to tunnel underneath it.

As well as a story mode, there are puzzle levels that put you in real-life situations (such as having to open a piñata) and task you with solving it. There's also an open-world mode where you can experiment with different objects. There is a level editor, where you can create and share your own challenges.

It's an unusual game that's a lot of fun, but also creates a context for logical thinking, vocabulary, inventiveness and the combination of items with different properties as you might do in a science lesson.

There have been a number of Scribblenauts games:
  • Scribblenauts (2009) on DS,
  • Super Scribblenauts (2011) on DS,
  • Scribblenauts Remix (2011) on iOS and Android,
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited (2012) on iOS, Android, PC, Wii U and 3DS and then updated for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (2013) on PC, Wii U and 3DS and then updated on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
  • Scribblenauts Showdown (2018) multiplayer word-based party game on PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Scribblenauts 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 5 weeks ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Scribblenauts (Series). Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Puzzle game with Action, Creative and Simulation elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game. Depending on how quickly you solve the puzzles.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Like the other games in the series, Scribblenauts Unlimited was rated PEGI 12 due to moderate violence. There is a fairly extensive dictionary that includes a large range of weapons; guns, flamethrowers, chaingun, nukes etc. You can also make zombies, vampires, cannibals, people about to die etc. Through this, it is possible to make human characters eat babies or stab one another with knives. However, it must be noted that all the violence in the game is depicted unrealistically and in a highly stylised cartoon manner.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief. By typing in whatever nouns they can imagine, players can create myriad objects or entities in the game world. By adding adjectives, players can also modify these nouns to create different word combinations, triggering brief, comical scenarios: a “homicidal house” that can attack a man; a “cannibal” that orders food at a diner; a “necrophagous bike” that can eat a corpse; a “suicidal house” that attacks itself with a knife. Players can also summon “cartoony” versions of bats, bombs, guns, and flamethrowers to destroy nearby objects or other summoned items. These triggered animations are minimally depicted and usually accompanied by musical notes, colourful flashes, or small puffs of smoke. If players wish, they may type in the word “vomit,” causing a beige-coloured puddle to appear on screen; typing the adjective “flatulent” results in squishy sound effects.

CostsCosts

Scribblenauts usually costs £15.99 to £34.99. 

Scribblenauts Show Down

Amazon StoreSALE PS4 £34.99 £7.44 at the moment

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Steam Store PC £15.99

Scribblenauts Unmasked

Steam StoreSALE PC £15.99 £3.99 until 03/06/2024

Scribblenauts

Switch Store Switch -
XBox Store Xbox One -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
Scribblenauts Mega Pack on Switch, PS4 and Xbox One provide two games in one:
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure 
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 15/09/2009

Price: 78% off

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, DS, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game, Puzzle (Action, Creative and Simulation)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Developer: 5 TH Cell (@5THCell)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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