Tony just posted his Scribblenauts Unlimited review for 3DS and because the game’s core stages are identical to the Wii U version, we decided to add a supplementary review for the components that are new and different for Wii U.
Nintendo Character Tie-Ins
Scribblenauts Unlimited on Wii U features Nintendo characters such as Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Gannondorf, Epona, Gorons and more. While this is incredibly cool, the cameos were only fun for about five minutes. Furthermore, it quickly became evident the characters were not designed to be solutions to any in-game puzzles, quandaries and conundrums. For example, I encountered a cosplayer that was a “Huge fan of video games and anime.” The game told me to “Create a character from nerd culture that he can talk to.” Well, who do you think I tried first? Of course, I tried Mario and Link! Sadly, the otaku just sat there showing no response. So, I tried to make Mario bigger by giving him a Super Mushroom and shoving him right in the kid’s face. Still, no luck. For some reason, he preferred a ninja over the Hero of Time.
Multiplayer via Sidekick Mode
Anytime during gameplay, friends can grab a Wii Remote and join you for the new drop-in and drop-out Sidekick Mode. In this new mode, players with a Wii Remote can control objects that Maxwell has created. While we didn’t have any scenarios where this became particularly helpful in the actual game, it can certainly lead to some great laughs with the right crowd.
For the creative individuals, the Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited features an object editor that allows you to exhaustively customize any object in the game. This powerful and fun tool adds a tremendous amount of replay value to the Wii U version. Of course, you’re able to adjust the appearance of an object, but there’s a properties section which had an incredible amount of parameters for you to adjust. There are options available to adjust the object’s behavior and relationship with other objects. My favorite feature was the scripting tool that allows you to automate a series of actions, carried out in a specific order. For example, when my giant, purple, electric frog moves near an object, have it shoot nuclear tadpoles and then laugh. Luckily, you’re able to share your creations with the world in your own virtual storefront. You can even explore other people’s stores and download their custom creations to your system where you’re able to use them during the game.
HD Visuals on TV
Unless Scribblenauts Unlimited can become a spectator sport in your home, it’s likely you won’t find much value in the content displayed on the TV. The game is played entirely on the Wii U GamePad and I would rarely look up to appreciate the HD versions of the graphics. Everything looks great on the GamePad, so outside of Sidekick Mode, I didn’t see a lot of benefit to having the content on the television. The typing, editing, moving and menu navigation is done entirely on the GamePad. While you can move with the GamePad joystick and select some items with buttons, I can’t imagine anyone preferring this method over the point and click gameplay provided by the GamePad and stylus.
It’s important to note that, right now, there is a $20 difference between the Wii U and 3DS versions of Scribblenauts Unlimited. If you have plenty of people around your home to spectate and ideate, you’re likely to find value in the Sidekick Mode and HD visuals on your TV. If you’re a creative type that loves content creation tools, the new object editor might lead you to some terrific replay value. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to justify the premium price point for the aforementioned features.