Scribblenauts • Page 2

If you spell it, it will come.

The point at which it becomes really incredible is when you start telling your own stories. I was stuck on an early level where I couldn't get past a tornado, so in frustration I built a time machine. I got in and emerged in Medieval times. There was a king, a queen, a knight. I got on the knight's horse and rode until I met a princess. For the heck of it I made her a flower and gave it to her. Then I saw a hooded man to our right, who started attacking me. Wishing to be appropriate to the era I created a wizard who zapped the bad man for me. I then made myself a crown, because everyone else was wearing one.

But but but. It's so remarkable. The depth and scope and opportunities for amazing improvised moments are beyond belief. But that's all so horribly pissed up against the wall when Maxwell is so intent on killing himself.

In a mystery that will remain unsolved until the end of time, the developers decided to have Max controlled by the stylus. Click on the screen and he'll run there. They also chose to have everything else controlled with the stylus, from picking up objects, selecting characters, placing objects and moving the camera.

Which means, inevitably, every third click sends Maxwell running off in completely the wrong direction, especially when trying to click on moving objects. It is beyond infuriating. It's possibly the most wildly stupid design decision of all time. The d-pad is also assigned to moving the camera - something easily done by dragging objects to the side of the screen. If they had Max's controls on the d-pad, this game would be transformed. Inexplicably, a beautiful thing is made hateful so very, very frequently.

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It's very important to wear a smart hat when riding a giraffe, as our grandmother always said.

One particularly horrendous level, Puzzle 4-11, was left uncompleted after I died at least five times because while I was moving a rain cloud on the other side of the level, Maxwell decided to leap into a pool of lava. He can be forced to stay still, for instance by building a turret and sitting him inside it. That done, I then lost the level because rather than cross the bridge I'd built, the king and his sheep decided to kick it out the way and leap deliberately to their lavary deaths.

I started over, killed the dragon for the millionth time (chosen method: Kraken - the dragon killed God too easily), put out the fires (that's what the rain is for), and then gave Maxwell some wings so he could fly to the upper part of the level to build a different bridge. At this point the knight by the castle, who played no part in the puzzle and who I went nowhere near, decided for seemingly no reason to hurl himself into the ever-popular lava pit - and it was level over. Again.

There's another madly annoying thing that must be mentioned. Move the camera away from Max and it will very quickly snap back to him. This is ridiculous, meaning you have to holding the camera in place to execute anything complicated, especially when working on traps. And it means you'll always miss the best bits of fights as it cruelly drags you away. Again, a decision made seemingly to annoy the player, serving no apparent purpose.

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