Review – Scribblenauts Remix for iPad

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Scribblenauts Remix is a fantastic word-based puzzle game for anybody with a few extra minutes in the day and an active imagination. Originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2009, the remixed version of the award-winning game is now on the iPad, and I can’t get enough.

For those like me who enjoy the when-the-mood-strikes gaming style of Angry Birds, but can’t stand actually playing it, Scribblenauts Remix is perfect. It’s great for the casual gamer, especially those who enjoy crossword puzzles and word-based games, such as Scrabble or Words With Friends.

Each of the game’s 50 unlockable levels features a different puzzle for the hero, Maxwell, to solve. To do so he’s armed with a pencil and pad of paper, which he can use to create just about anything in order to help him get that precious "Starlite." And I do mean anything.

The game features almost 23,000 possible nouns to summon with the type of the keyboard, including "avocado tree," "smog" and "coelocanth." This doesn’t include all the possible adjectives you can use to change up the different objects, such as "giant," "magical" or "sinister." I personally like making zombie versions of famous historical figures.

The default control mechanics are, for the most part, pretty easy to use. One touch to move Maxwell across the screen, a double-fingered swipe to move the camera. You can always center on Maxwell by clicking on his face at the top of the screen, and the question mark clue button has saved me on more than one occasion. Sure could’ve used one before zombie Abraham Lincoln started charging.

Each level can be played more than once, and probably should. While you can get by on using a Pegasus or lasso to solve almost any puzzle problem, the real points and bragging rights in the game are in how creative you are in what you use and how you use it.

Unlockable awards are available for particularly special achievements, including "Mega Morpher" (applied eight adjectives to an object), "Russian Doll" (place an object inside an object inside an object), or one of my favorites, "Fatality!" (destroyed the world). Trying to unlock then really helps you think outside the box.

Even with the achievements and multiple playability, I don’t feel there are enough levels to justify the $4.99 price tag. I went through all of them in less than a day. Whenever they do add more levels, I hope they’re free for those who already purchased the game.

Another problem would be the time-based levels. A few of the levels give you a limited amount of time to act, and they can get frustrating. So much of the time is wasted creating the object, moving it into his hand and getting him to use it that by the time you’re actually ready, the time is almost out.

Despite these blips, Scribblenauts Remix is fun, pure and simple. It has a creative, child-like look and feel, but can summon atomic bombs and ninja assassins at the scribble of a pencil. It’s one of those games you just have to play. There’s absolutely nothing else like it out there.

Check out Scribblenauts Remix for iPad; it’s currently priced at $4.99.

Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page.


Beth Elderkin

Beth Elderkin is an award-winning multimedia journalist currently working as a news producer in Austin, Texas. She's been a game reviewer for iPad Insight since 2011, and also runs a gaming blog at easymodego.tumblr.com.

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