COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Scribblenauts Unlimited Wii U Review

Updated: 12/12/2012 11:33 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

I just played a very fun and unique game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment called “Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U.

I had never played any of the other “Scribblenauts” games before, so when I received a review copy for the Nintendo Wii U I didn’t know what to expect.

“Scribblenauts Unlimited” is game where you have to solve many different puzzles and it really lets you use your imagination. You solve the puzzles by trying to figure out what needs to be done in a particular situation. 

For example, there is a knight and he needs to fight a dragon. You would figure that he would need a sword. So you click on the knight and type the word sword in and it appears.  He then uses the sword and slays the dragon.  

However to make things more interesting you can also type in adjectives, so you could have a rainbow sword and it would appear.

In “Scribblenauts Unlimited” you can pretty much make anything you can think of appear in the game by just typing it. Sometimes if you misspell a word a menu comes up and it will show you a list of words that is close to the word you are looking for. I thought that this was very helpful.

I really liked the story a lot and thought that it was pretty funny. You play a character named Maxwell and you are given a magic notebook from your parents. You learn that whatever you draw in it appears in the real world. 

One day you and your sister Lily come across a hungry old man and as a joke Maxwell draws a rotten apple. Maxwell gives the apple to the man and he takes a bite and spits it out. He then places a curse on Maxwell’s sister Lily. Lily starts slowly turning into stone and Maxwell has to find starites in order to free her from the curse.

Maxwell then heads out on an adventure looking for starites. He can get starites by helping people or completing different objectives. There are over 40 levels that Maxwell can explore and he can get over 50 different starites and over 500 starite shards. 

As you find the different starites, you can go back and visit Lily. She will open up new areas for you to explore. You can access a map and see all of the areas that you can go to and which ones you completed. 

I really liked that when you found all of the starites in an area, it said it was completed.  That way I knew I didn’t have to go back to that particular area.

Once you start in an area you can see how many starites and starite shards there are in the level. You can also see what you need to do by going to a list. If you click on one of the items on the list, the game will show you who needs help and where they are located in that area.

There are also some shards that can be destroyed.  However, you can reset the level and go back and try and get the one shard that you are missing. You don’t have to do everything again, which is nice. 

In one area, there were some waste barrels that I needed to get rid of and I just typed in “black hole.” The black hole appeared and sucked everything in and even the shard. It was the last shard I needed for the level and I just reset the level, went back to the barrels, figured out what I needed to do, and got the shard.


As you play more and more levels, you come across other members of Maxwell’s family and you can choose to play as them at any time. They don’t do anything different than Maxwell, but it is fun to play as a different character from time to time.

The controls are very simple. You pretty much just point and click on the gamepad with the stylus. You can click on just about everything in the game and a menu box will appear.

Depending on what the object is, depends on what menu box comes up. If it’s an animal you can choose to ride, pet, or interact with it, if the object is a car, you can choose to get in and drive it. No matter what, you can always create an object or change the objects appearance. 

Maxwell is pretty easy to control as well. You just use the analog stick to move him and the “A” button to make him jump. Pretty much anybody can pick this game up and play it.

The graphics are amazing and I really thought they were colorful and sharp. The game is animated and the characters and backgrounds looked great. Everything is hand drawn and the Wii U’s HD made everything stand out.

There are some really neat features in “Scribblenauts Unlimited.” One feature that I really liked was the fact that you can play the without having the TV on. The game can be played right on the Wii U’s gamepad. You don’t have to switch anything in the settings; you can just pick it up and play. 

You can play multiplayer which is very fun and amusing. One person uses the gamepad and the other person uses the Wii Remote and they can control pretty much every object in the game.

Another cool feature is that there is Nintendo themed content in the game. For example you can make Link, Mario, Bowser or other Nintendo characters appear in the game. It is so much fun experimenting to see who and what is in the game. I found about 15 different things and I’m sure there are more.

You can also go into an object editor and make your own creations. After you are done creating your “yellow toxic monster” you can share it online with other people.  This was a lot of fun and I spent a good amount of time creating things. It’s amazing the things one can think of at 1am on a Saturday morning.

“Scribblenauts Unlimited” is rated “E’ for everyone and it also says that it’s recommended for ages 10 and up. I think that is appropriate for this game, because I don’t think that younger kids will get the jokes and would understand some of the puzzles. 

I really liked Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s “Scribblenauts Unlimited” a lot. It was a very unique and fun game to play. It is amazing the things you can create and make appear right before your eyes and have it used in the game. 

The story was really funny and the graphics are amazing. I can honestly say that I am very addicted to the game and I know that I will be playing “Scribblenauts Unlimited” for quite a while.  

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.