COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure Review

Updated: 09/26/2013 11:34 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich



I really enjoyed Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainments “Scribblenauts Unlimited” for the Wii U when it was released last year, and I had a lot of fun playing.

When I received a review copy of “Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure” for the Wii U I was extremely excited for a couple of reasons.

For one, I really enjoy the “Scribblenaut” series, and two, I am a huge fan of DC comics and all of the characters.

The thing that makes “Scribblenauts Unmasked” so awesome is that there are over 2000 DC characters, locations and weapons in the game.

I really think the story behind “Scribblenauts Unmasked” is interesting and pretty good.

The main character in the game is named Maxwell, and he has a magic notebook that allows him to make whatever he writes in his notebook appear.  He can also change how things look and act by writing adjectives describing the objects.

Maxwell and his sister Lily are in the DC Universe and must try and get things called starites.  Maxwell can get starites by completing missions and also by doing different tasks.  Maxwell and Lily need the starites to help them repair their magic globe that will allow them to travel back home.  Once they start getting starites the globe starts to get some of its magic power back allowing Maxwell to travel to different areas in the DC Universe that have the scattered starite pieces.  As you gain more starites, you will unlock different areas of the DC Universe and you can go to places like Gotham City and Metroplolis.

Maxwell and Lily meet Batman right away and explain to him that they are good guys and that they just want to get back home, so Batman takes them to the Bat cave to try and help them find all of the starites.

The graphics are spectacular.  The superheroes and villains look great.  They are all drawn in such a unique way and yet all the characters, places, and objects look like they do in the DC comics.  You will recognize everything, and that’s great.

The controls are very simple and easy to learn.  The in-game tutorial explains everything and what you need to move Maxwell and how to use your notebook.

One new thing is that Maxwell can now attack and use weapons.  You will encounter a lot of villains and you will need to fight them.  You can create weapons and equip them.  Maxwell has a health meter and so do the superheroes and villains.  Once their health meter goes to zero, they are defeated. If Maxwell is defeated, then you have to start over.

There are so many different puzzles to solve, and when you solve a puzzle, you will gain reputation points.  When you walk up to somebody or something, a clue will appear, and you will have to try and figure out what you need to create in your notebook to help them.  For example, you first meet Commissioner Gordon, and he needs his car fixed.  You use the notebook to create a mechanic.  The mechanic will fix the car, and you will gain reputation points.  The more points you earn, the better your reputation will be.

If you keep using the same words or objects you will get less reputation points.  I really liked this because it forces you to think and be more creative with your solutions to the puzzles.

As you are playing, you will notice a few icons at the top of the screen.

You have a utility belt where you can save all of your creations.

There is the bat computer, which is an encyclopedia where you can look at all the different heroes, villains and equipment in the game.  You can also read information about each one so you are familiar with them when you encounter them in the game.  You can also change Maxwell’s appearance by selecting different avatars. 

There is an icon on the top of the screen that shows you how many reputation points you have and there is also a globe icon. The globe icon gets you to different parts of the DC Universe.  If you click on the gamepad to the location you want to go to, you will be transported there.

In “Scribblenauts Unmasked” there is a “hero creator,” and that is pretty neat.  You get to create your own superheroes and villains.  You can use any of the items in the game to create your character, then you can give them their own super powers and choose how they act. 

Another feature that I really enjoyed was the “sidekick mode.”  You and your friends or family members can jump in and out of the game at any time and take control of objects and even the superheroes and villains.  This was a lot of fun to do and I know people will have a lot of fun with this feature.

The thing that I find so amazing about the “Scribblenaut” games is that just about every noun and adjective that you can think of is in the game.  You can make just about anything appear in the game.  For example if you wanted a big hairy superman with purple a purple cape, you can create it.  Because of this, the replay value of “Scribblenauts Unmasked” is unlimited, because every time you play, you can create something different and solve a puzzle a different way.  There are not too many games out there that are like this.

Overall, I really enjoyed Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s “Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure” a lot.  The story was pretty good and the graphics are amazing.  The controls were very easy to learn, and I loved all of the puzzles that you had to try and solve.  The best part of all is that it includes every DC character that you can think.  There are over 2,000 things related to the DC Universe, and that’s amazing.  I know that DC fans and people who love superheroes will really enjoy “Scribblenauts Unmasked” as much as I did.  This is also a great family game.

“Scribblenauts Unmasked” is rated “E” for cartoon violence and comic mischief.
 

Columnist Aaron Chalich talked with Caleb Arseneaux who is the senior producer on Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure is available now for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.

Video is courtesy of Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about entertainment news.