Misleading name, great game.
This DS game is one of the most creative games on the show floor, but it’s terribly misnamed. You don’t scribble anything. There is no drawing of any kind. Rather, you type words to make objects appear, then use those objects to solve puzzles. What’s impressive is exactly how many words and objects the game recognizes and spawns sprites for. We typed in “dinosaur” and a generalized theropod appeared. We typed “zombie” and a zombie appeared, and it immediately began consuming the human character, who then turned into a zombie. We typed “God” and Zeus was born. We typed “Death” and the Grim Reaper popped up and immediately began fighting God, who eventually died.
Even “fishing pole” and “time machine” were recognized by the software. There’s a spell checker in case you miss a letter or two, and you can select what use you mean when you type a homonym. It’s all very impressive and interesting. There’s a sandbox mode where you can just screw around and pop things into existence, then see what happens. The meat and potatoes of the game lies in the puzzle and challenge modes, which either ask you to do something specific (give two characters things they’d use) or find a way to grab a star that is floating on the environment. In one instance, a star sat atop a tree. The booth attendant typed in “beaver,” and a toothy rodent appeared and immediately fell the tree, allowing our character to grab the star.
There are a few problems that I noticed. The graphical style of the game, while generally awesome, is abstract enough so that some objects aren’t really clear. When we attached the fishing rod to the character, icons appeared asking us whether he should use the rod or merely hold it. Neither button looked anything like “holding” or “using;” they both looked like blobs. Also, not every object has a use. The time machine didn't actually do anything (that would could tell). Controlling the main character is a little more finnicky than I would like, as it's hard to make him stop exactly where you want. Even so, I’m sure getting used to the layout and interface will become a breeze with more time. Scribblenauts looks like a fantastically original creation, and WB hopes to have it out by the end of the year.