Released by Warner Brothers on various platforms Scribblenauts Remix has quickly become one of our family’s favorite apps. For 99 cents, this app is an exceptional value.
Bear with me (Mom) ~ Boy & Girl were so excited about reviewing this app that they talked furiously and I could hardly type fast enough to keep up.
How it works: You’re Maxwell, running around the world trying to help people. The opening area is Maxwell’s Playground. This is a free building area where players can free build: do whatever they want, build whatever they want, destroy whatever they want. Selecting “Start” at the bottom of the screen opens a screen allowing players to select their levels, adjust their avatar (only 2 are available, more can be obtained through in-app purchases), as well as view achievements and leaderboards through Game Center. There’s also a mortarboard icon that opens a tutorial, gear icon for choosing settings, and WB icon to explore more available apps.
Tapping the “Level Select” icon is the direct route to start playing. If you keep doing enough levels and you beat them it will give you new worlds with completely new tasks. There are 5 worlds and in each world there are 10 levels. Additional worlds are available as in-app purchases. While players don’t have to complete every previous level to move on, some are required.
Users can create anything in any level to help you complete your tasks. There’s a question mark in the top right hand corner and it will tell you what your tasks are and give you clues as to how to solve the problem. On the top right hand corner is also an icon that looks like a binder with a pencil on it. When you click on that a new screen opens allowing you to type words. In the “typing screen” there is a button with two circling arrows which allows you to flip through previously typed words. Whatever is typed will be inserted into Maxwell’s world.
Objects can be moved with your finger sliding on the screen. Only Maxwell and created objects can be controlled by the player. If you pick up an object that has an associated action (ie. ball/throwing, gun/shooting, shovel/dig, etc.) and set it on Maxwell he will hold it. You can also move Maxwell close to the object and tap the object causing a “pick up” option to display on-screen. Once he’s holding the object, tap Maxwell and options will appear to use or remove the item.
There’s a magnifying glass at the top left hand corner. Tapping on it switches to a mode allowing players to identify characters and objects by tapping on them. Also on the upper left is an icon of Maxwell’s head. This will “recenter” the screen on Maxwell if you’ve managed to lose him. The camera icon brings up a a lower menu that allows players to adjust the user interface as well as post via Facebook & Twitter.
Educational Value: This game is a fun way to encourage spelling and reading. While Boy is fairly comfortable reading all that is presented, using his creativity has challenged him to spell new words. Girl is still an emerging reader and needs help understanding some of Maxwell’s requests. Even though Dad and Mom are happy to spell whatever word is called out to them, Girl has been known to sit down with her “Big Book of Words” to look up the spelling of what she’s trying to give Maxwell. If a player misspells a word, Scribblenauts suggests words they possibly meant ~ allowing Boy & Girl to self-correct. Additionally, some words have multiple meanings and the game will ask which the player would like to give Maxwell. For example, if they type “chicken” the game will ask “chicken (bird)” or “chicken (food)”. Selecting the bird will place a living chicken to roam Maxwell’s world. Selecting food will place a cooked leg for Maxwell (or other person/animal) to eat.
Probably one of the best features of the game is the flexibility of the “right” answer. For example: In Word 1, Level 1 ~ Maxwell needs to cut down a tree and grab the star from the top. In addition to “saw”, you can give Maxwell a drill (pictured) & he can cut it down, you can give him a bomb to blow it up (don’t stand too close or Maxwell will be blown up too!), you can place a beaver next to the tree that will chew it down, etc. Boy & Girl often go back to previous levels to find new and creative ways to complete tasks. The cover photo for this post is Girl’s favorite thing to provide Maxwell with: “flying socks”.
Drawbacks: The only issues we’ve had is one or two times we have not been able to crack what Maxwell needs to complete his task. In those instances, we have used this walk through. We encourage you only to use it as a last resort as sometimes seeing “solutions” dampens creativity.
Need more Scribblenauts? Be sure to check out the review of Scribblenauts for Wii U as part of These Temporary Tents’ Five Tech Gadgets We Purchased in 2012.