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on December 23, 2012
First of all, yes this is a Steamworks game, which also means that it requires Steam to download and play (Steam is actually where I purchased it). How Amazon can offer this new of a game at such a heavily discounted price ($7.49) boggles my mind, but hey - I won't complain.
You buy the game here, get a key, go to Steam and add it to your collection through the option in the client. Example: launch Steam and log in, then click "Games" -> "Activate a Product on Steam...", and input your key.

The object of Scribblenauts is simple - solve puzzles and collect stars. This in turn allows you to unlock more of the huge, scrolling map (and of course access the puzzles found within). Once you get a few of these stars, you can mostly FREELY navigate around the gigantic themed map and pick your challenges at will. There are hundreds upon hundreds of missions here, so the entertainment value is massive - and that doesn't even take into account the fact that you can create/spawn anything you want and see how things play out.

The beautiful part of this sandbox puzzler is that you solve everything with the power of your lexicon and a keyboard (OK, the mouse is involved as well)!
You can even use adjectives, which means that you can further customize how the game plays. Want to make a dancing vampire? A singing clown (oh the humanity!)? Well, now you can.
While most of the puzzles are very simple, there are a few that will really make you think.

Scribblenauts Unlimited also has a very powerful object editor, allowing you to easily create a lot of custom content. Check out the Steam Workshop page to see what other people have come up with. The variety is mind boggling. I kid you not, you can download everything from the Portal Gun, all the way to Spiderman.

Contrary to some other reviews, you CAN in fact change the resolution, and even play the game windowed; as well as use Anti-Aliasing (not that it improves the look of the 2D game by much), and yes - you can re-bind the controls should you chose to do so.

Now if you don't mind, I am going to go spawn a Dancing Cthulhu and see how many meteors it will take to wipe it out. Or better yet, see if it can survive a zombie invasion... Zombies with flamethrowers... Yeah, there we go.
OOOH I wonder if I can spawn Owen Zastava Pitt? That would make for an interesting showdown (feel free to ignore that last bit unless you are a Monster Hunter fan).
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on December 22, 2012
I got this game remembering how much fun and difficult the original DS Scribblenauts was, and although this game goes down a slightly different route and eases up on the difficulty, it's still a blast.

Each level has a theme to it (for instance, you might be at a haunted mansion, or in the wild west), and your job is to help as many people as possible by spawning objects by typing words (nouns and adjectives). Some of the tasks are extremely easy to solve (someone might need something as small as a bar of soap, or you might need to make them "brave" or "courageous"), but there are always one to three full Starite "quests" per level that will take slightly longer to solve.
All of the levels and the tasks themselves have very clever names, and often tie in different motifs into one (for instance, a mine shaft level features a hidden superhero chamber, a frozen caveman, and a woman trapped by a giant spider). It just goes to show that the developers really understand that different players will have different perceptions of what should be included in certain areas, and they did their best to accommodate those perceptions.

I'm perhaps slightly more than halfway through my first playthrough (with five hours logged) and I have yet to repeat a single word or term. They did a really good job of adhering to a simple premise and yet allowing you to be as creative as you want to progress. As I mentioned before, though, the difficulty is a bit on the easy side. I've only had to really stop to think about a puzzle two or three times.

The visuals are really cartoony and look great and sharp... there's not much to say about this, just that there are a ton of different character and item models, and it's extremely impressive.

And the sound is topnotch. Although the base music stays about the same, each level's theme has its own influence on the songs (so a cowboy level will give it a western sound). It's a very much appreciated subtlety.

I HIGHLY recommend this game to creative people, people just looking for some simple fun and laughs, and also to parents who like to play games with their children and use them as educational tools (this game opens up a lot of opportunities to talk about various sciences and history; for instance, there's a museum level where you have to complete the exhibit of various historical figures such as Columbus and Cleopatra... I mean, for the young ones, what a great chance to stop and explain who they were and their influence on history, and tie that in to the gameplay?)

Honestly this is one of those games for "ages 5-95".

REVIEW EDIT: I've noticed people complaining about Steam, and the fact this doesn't want to work on Windows 8.
I'm using a 64-bit version of Windows 8 and have encountered zero problems with this game.
Likewise, I've been using Steam since 2003 and have had zero conflicts between Scribblenauts and Steam (my one complaint here is that the achievements are too easy to get, but that is not Valve's fault).
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on December 6, 2012
This a truly a unique game that deserves a spot in everyone's collection. The game takes places as the main character Maxwell proceeds to solve a series of missions using a magic notebook. By simply writing words in this notebook, he summons a wide array of objects to solve these quests. This results in extremely open-ended gameplay with a healthy sense of humor. This latest entry in the series adds the ability to use adjectives, which really opens up the possibilities. I've played this on a number of platforms, and I think the PC graphics outshine the other versions.

I will also say I think any concerns about the requirement to use the Steam platform are entirely unfounded. The app that runs in the background does not degrade performance, and there is no need to have an always on internet connection to play the game. Steam has an offline mode that allows the game to be played just fine when there is no connection available. When you buy this from Amazon, you will be given a code that you enter into Steam. The game downloads and installs through Steam - a very simple process.

This is great for anyone who is looking branch out and experience unique gameplay, and fans of the series will appreciate this newest installment.
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on January 26, 2013
This is a fun little game that was very easy to get but I mainly used Stream and not amazon digital download.

The is all about using words to create items that can help you solve problems in the world. you do this with what I would like to call an anti-Deathnote (its an anime/manga, it's very good read/watch). The game itself has very little slow down or bugs of any kind so far in my play though. you can create things like a sparkling unicorn and attach wings to it to fly around the stage and it wont break the game.

Their is also an item creation/editor where a person can make a lot of new items and even program how said items behave when they are made, If you use it with steam you get access to the scribblenauts unlimited streamworks which is steams file sharing/modding community. In there you can download other peoples created items and use them in your own world or even edit them and share your new version.

All and all its a great little game and not short either will take you some time to figure out some of the tricky problems they present in front of you.
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on January 25, 2013
I noticed a lot of reviews where people are complaining about having to install something called "Steam". Let me clarify: this is a good thing. Steam is a client that allows you to manage your PC games, take and upload screenshots, talk to friends, etc. It is the biggest name in PC game management, and nearly all modern games use it. Think of it as something like Xbox Live for PC games. So yes, you want to install it. I have used it myself for a few years, and it is extremely safe and user-friendly.

That said, the game itself is a blast. Whether you have played the previous two Scribblenauts games on the DS or not does not matter; this game starts fresh with new mechanics. Instead of going level-by-level solving puzzles like in the previous games, you go to different "hubs" like a city or a forest, and help people with their individual problems there by summoning objects with your magic notebook. You can also add adjectives to change object properties, e.g. "living stapler" will create a stapler that moves around like a living thing. The new Object Editor lets you create your own objects if the game doesn't have them by using existing parts and shapes. You can publish your custom items and download other peoples' items to your game using the Steam Workshop (another reason you want Steam).

Overall, the game is a ton of fun.
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on January 2, 2013
Scribblenauts Unlimited for PC is a very fun sandbox style adventure/puzzle game for kids. However, the developers need to work out some very serious bugs - especially with CPU utilization. At certain points in the game, our desktop PC's CPU cooling fan goes into over-drive as if the game is stuck in an infinite loop. Our system is way beyond the minimum requirements, and it's run much more graphically intensive FPS style games without any such overheating issue (Saints Row 3rd, Darksiders, Mass Effect series, Elder Scroll series). What's makes it even more strange is that it tends to happen when starting/exiting levels, or just exiting the Object Editor - CPU Utilization temporarily spikes at over 90% and the CPU's fan goes into overdrive. There are over 900 complaints on the STEAM user forums about this issue and similar issues. Many people can't even get the game to run. Here's the link:[...]
Hopefully the developers can sort this out. It's a fun game, but it's disturbing to hear a quiet desktop PC's fan kick into overdrive just when exiting/starting levels. If you haven't purchased it yet, I'd wait until they issue some additional patches for the game.
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on August 15, 2013
Scribblenauts is a lot of fun for word geeks. Being able to summon almost anything into the world - complete with adjectives - is a great time. We had the original Scribblenauts DS game which was a blast, but Unlimited has a story that threads throughout instead of just being a collection of levels. That's a nice touch that gives you a reason to keep making your way from one world to the next. Levels are nicely laid out with 10-12 activities in each along with a 2-3 more complex multi-part puzzles that need to be solved to collect stars. Each activity is centered around a person with a problem you must solve using nouns and adjectives to give the person with the problem a solution. It's fun to think of the wildest thing you can that might fit the bill and see if it works. And there's a lot of the English language represented here. It's almost wizardry. If you're a word nerd, this is a real kick.

My only real complaints are twofold: you only have to go to 75% of the world to complete the story and there's no reward for creativity.

Such a lexicon dork am I that I methodically solved every world before I left onto the next. Imagine my surprise when in so doing I had enough stars 3/4 of the way through the game that the credits rolled. Unfortunately for me, that translated into a lack of initiative to visit the worlds I hadn't gotten to yet. I can understand why this was done as you don't want to frustrate players who are not as word goofy as me and prevent someone from finishing the game because they can't come up with five items that a ghost would need to get married. However, it would have been nice to have some reward or mechanism or after story that would provide a challenge for completionists.

Likewise, the difficulty curve was way down on this game. One thing I thought the original DS game did right was offering a second-tier reward for non-duplication. Since many problems in the game world can be solved with a jet pack and/or an angry submachine gun-toting T-Rex, the original DS game offered a reward when you used new words to solve a puzzle, not just the same old well-worn nuggets. For someone like me, that was part of the challenge and I liked it. You didn't have to do it; if you wanted to put a jet pack on the previously mentioned T-Rex, more power to you, but you got rewarded if you changed things up along the way. That was missing from Unlimited and I for one felt the absence of that challenge element a lot.

In all, Scribblenauts Unlimited is a great game that's challenging but fun for all ages. (My 10-year old played it successfully and had a hoot with it.) If you like word games at all, this is a smashing good time.
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on November 5, 2013
"We could be gods" she said as she looked at me through strands of deep red hair. I joined her on the couch and we stared momentarily in silence at the checkout screen.

Scribblenauts Unlimited. I remember when the first Scribblenauts came out. It easily stole the show of E3 that year. Among titans of industry and triple A titans, there was a little boy with a weird red hat making waves (or anything else you could think of) Ah but when the game finally arrived, it was met with review after review of the same resolution: "so much potential!", "conceptually amazing". Few of the reviews actually pointed out that the game wasn't really a game after all. It was sandbox with an occasional puzzle.

So here we are, years later with the sequel. Touted as having fixed many of the former issues. The narrative, the progression, the limitions, the fact that most puzzles could be solved with a rope and a blimp. Scribblenauts Unlimited is the game the first Scribblenauts should've been. The vision has finally been realized.

Except the vision wasn't all that great to begin with. You see, given absolute freedom to create anything your mind can and can't think of, we gamers resort to analogs of familiar gameplay concepts. Is there something up too high? Well perhaps a trampoline will help us. Or a Jetpack. Thats fine, thats great. Its no longer a guided experience you can do whatever you want.

Well I didn't really want that.
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on February 13, 2015
I bought this game for my daughter, but I played it with her a bit. It makes use of a very sophisticated system that allows you to type in nearly any noun (read thing, not person or place) and just about any adjective (huge, gargantuan, miniscule, etc.) and it will create that object.

The game is pretty easy, even for all but a very young child, but the mechanic of creating things is fun enough to get some decent entertainment, even for adults. If you're over the age of 10 and looking for hours of game play I'd skip it. But if you want to play around, or buy this for your kid I'd recommend it.
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on December 27, 2012
If you've played the previous games in the franchise (only available on Nintendo DS), then you know (mostly) what this is about. If you haven't, here's the rundown:

Maxwell, the protagonist, has a magic notebook. Anything you type on the notebook becomes real. Consider this a pretty good representation of what being a Green Lantern would feel like. Want to make a zombie? Type "zombie" and one appears. Want to make a dinosaur? Type "dinosaur" and one will show up. Want to make a robot? Simply write "robot" and you'll be presented with one. Want to make a zombie robot dinosaur? Yes, if you type that, one will appear. They're not kidding when they say "Unlimited".

Well, more or less. For obvious reasons there are some things you can't make. You can't write profanity and such, so don't expect to be able to attack enemies with a giant phallus (this game is supposed to be able to be played by children). You can't make copyrighted characters or objects either, even though you can make generic ones. For instance, you can't make a Pepsi, but you can make a soda. This is a good thing, otherwise people would solve every puzzle in the game by simply summoning Batman every time.

Oh, yeah, there are puzzles. Even though just writing stuff to make it appear and maybe watch your different creations fight each other is a lot of fun, that's not the gist of the game. Your objective is to collect Starites (unlike previous games in the franchise, there's a clear reason here why you need them). Starites appear whenever a person, animal or even object becomes happy, How do you make them happy? By helping them solve their problems. How do you solve their problems? Pretty much ANY WAY YOU CAN IMAGINE. There's something new in this game that wasn't in the previous ones: not only you can create objects, you can modify existing ones by adding adjectives.

Let's say, for instance, you need to help a little boy reunite with his pet dog, who's on the other side of a bridge, which is guarded by a vicious tiger. How do you help him? You can, for instance:
- Summon a jetpack, fly over the tiger and get the dog.
- Make an invisibility cloak, slip unnoticed beneath the tiger, and get the dog. Turn the dog invisible and bring it back.
- Create a sleeping pill and feed the tiger with it. Then you can easily get the dog.
- Make a gun and shoot the tiger. Problem solved.
- Summon a dragon. Mount it and make it attack and kill the tiger. While the tiger can fight back, he won't be able to kill the dragon. Then you can bring the dog flying in your awesome dragon.
- Modify the tiger to make him small and coward and the dog to make him big and ferocious. The roles have been reversed.
- Etc, etc.

Besides the game's missions, there are "hidden" (as in, you can access the menu to look at them any time you want) objectives that bring you more Starite pieces. These can be done any time in the game, and include things like making an egg hatch a chick or creating a cat attached to a toast with butter. Remember the old joke that said toasts always fall on the butter side while cats always fall on their feet and what would happen if you tied those together? Well, do this here and it will create a paradox so powerful it will summon a black hole. Yes, the game has all kinds of humor, and it's a treat to look for all those details.

About the PC version, some people seem to be discontent with it, because they say the game doesn't work and because it requires Steam. I assume (but I firmly believe myself to be true in this respect) this is because these are console players, who know the franchise from previous iterations and they're not used to PC gaming, which means they don't have gaming PCs and they're not familiar with Steam. The game is not at fault in this respect. Not only it works great in relatively old PCs, but the fact that it's included in Steam's Workshop is a blessing. You can make content for the game and share it or download content made by other users, which helps the game's subtitle become even more accurate. This game is indeed Unlimited.

Also, the controls are very good for this type of game. Much better than they'd be on consoles, since this game's main gameplay feature is writing, and you don't have keyboards on consoles. You can combine mouse and keyboard and change the key binds at your leisure.

If you're not familiar with Steam, give it a chance. It's no different from, say the Nintendo eShop, and it's acually quite more convenient than that one. If you don't have a good PC and intend to play a PC game, you need to make some changes. Don't assume that because a game is in 2D is not going to have big requirements. Specially for a game of this ilk.

In any case, this is a fantastic game and everyone should play it. And with this kind of versatility, everyone can.
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