This is shaping up into an extremely welcoming initiation to Scribblenauts for newbies.
Grizzled Scribblenauts veterans may want to check out Andrew Brown's impressions of the Scribblenauts Unlimited demo, but timid newcomers to the series may want to know if this entry is the one they should start with.
I had read the dithyrambic impressions of the first game's demo years ago, but shied away from purchasing the game when the reviews talked of problematic controls and puzzles that were easy to cheat their way through. I am glad to report that there are no real control problems with Unlimited and that Maxwell behaves much like you would expect him to when moving around with the stick and jumping.
And since the series has always been built around stylus controls, the interface is a perfect fit for the Wii U GamePad. The entire scene is displayed both on the TV and the tablet, and the high resolution icons are unobtrusive and responsive. The game looks quite a bit sharper on an HD display than on the DS.
I first toyed around with the missions. I gave a super hog to a chef in need of truffles but without the nose to detect them. I summoned a tree hugger to help out a man trying to prevent a logger from cutting down a tree. The hippie wouldn't do anything by himself, so I decided to arm him with a chainsaw for some sweet irony; however, the logger stole it from him and cut down the tree, over the hippie's dead body.
I needed to reach a higher platform, but the game wouldn't recognize web slinger or web shooter, so I tried to use a trampoline, asked for a super trampoline when that didn't work, mounted a kangaroo in my desperation, summoned a super kangaroo as a last resort... Finally I took the easy way out and gave my super kangaroo a jetpack. Despite my failed attempts, I have to admit that trying original solutions is addictive and it is magical to see the game actually indulge you in your madness.
I briefly tried creating my own items using, according to the developer, the same tools they use when making the Scribblenauts games. The representative effortlessly created a huge dog with a tiny head, customized his color, gave him a giant hat, and called his creation "Hatdog." I tried to make a gamepad with the properties of a jet, but unfortunately I was unable to make Maxwell embark on my creation, probably because of its tiny size. I am sure, however, that with just a little bit more time and effort, I could have managed to make the little guy fly around on a game controller.
At the right price, I could see myself making Unlimited my first Scribblenauts game. Playing is believing, and having now had a taste of the series' charm and addictiveness, I am looking forward to playing more of the best-looking and most versatile entry in the franchise yet.