Scribblenauts Wii U is family-friendly fun

03:07, Dec 21 2012
Scribblenauts Unlimited
MAGIC MARKER: Scribblenauts Unlimited's Maxwell can summon whatever you write in his notebook.

If you're looking for some family-friendly fun on Nintendo's new Wii U console you could do a lot worse than Scribblenauts Unlimited.

The Scribblenauts franchise has been around for a few years now but this is the first time it's made the jump from handhelds to the big screen in the lounge room.

It's really like no other series around. While it resembles a side-scrolling platformer, it aims to test your wordplay skills rather than your jumping skills.

You play as Maxwell, a boy with a magical notebook who summons whatever you write down in it.

Your task is to use your imagination to summon people, creatures and items to help you solve puzzles, assist people in need and collect magical starites.

A typical puzzle might run like this.


A weakling kid asks you to scare away the bully that's harassing him. You could conjure a gun and shoot it at his feet but that's a little mundane don't you think?

Why not conjure a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a hideous monster to chase him away instead? Your imagination's the only limit.

The puzzles are generally pretty simple - certainly simpler than the earlier games in the series - so adult players are likely to get bored before too long.

Particularly if they opt for the most obvious solutions rather than trying to dream up the most outlandish and hilarious ones.

But younger gamers will find things trickier and they might just learn a few new words along the way too.

If you've played earlier games in the series there's not a lot that's new here but it does look good in HD, there's actually a story this time round and the campaign has better structure.

The decision to include classic Nintendo characters like Mario and Link is also cool. On the downside, it gets a bit repetitive before too long and the campaign is quite short.

Most video games that seek to promote noble qualities like creativity and literacy are usually a bore, a chore, or both. Scribblenauts is neither.

Available now on Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. RRP: $89.99