To start, my top three unpredictable encounters:
3. After trying many weapons to take down a Tyrannosaurus Rex conjured by my doppelganger, a meteorite caused its demise because science.
2. While trying to use an already-existing plane to destroy a lighthouse, I used adjectives to modify it. Sadly, using “weaponized” did nothing but tape a sword to the side of it. Setting the plane on fire and sending myself on a suicide mission did the trick though.
1. After a seal said he was thirsty, I stuck him in a bathtub. He then morphed into a sea serpent. An angry sea serpent, as the game specified.
Now that I’ve gotten a laugh in to soothe my Monday headache, let’s get down to business. I mean, playing. I mean…let’s just move on. If only putting Magikarp in water made him that strong that fast.
What makes this installment different from past Scribblenauts‘ games is that the quests and problems are procedurally-generated. While this made me initially feel like I wasn’t getting anything done–if you die, the world resets with new objectives–the game is set up to make the infinite possibilities feel necessary. See, only the home worlds of Batman, Superman, and the Green Lantern are accessible without using in-game currency, or reputation points. Each world has its own kind of points, meaning you have to consistently play in each to be able to progress.
The initial missions are what you would typically expect out of Gotham, Metropolis, and Oa. Batman fights the Joker. Superman deals with Lex Luther. The Green Lantern fights Sinestro and his minions. But to me, the most fun I have had so far has been with the origin stories. Ignoring the calls for help for locked areas of the DC Universe because I’m an unfeeling miscreant, I went and played through Batman’s and Superman’s coming-of-age tales. Each goes through the loss of their parents, their call to action, their eventual acquirement of the superhero identity. Despite predictable and what is probably the most linear part of the game, I loved the interactive storytelling of comic book classics.
What was frustrating was when the game’s punishment for a lack of creativity–half the reputation points–collided with the linearity of the stories. For the foreshadowing alone, I gave Bruce Wayne a stuffed bat toy when he needed comforting after his parents’ death. Two scenarios later, and I needed to give him something that would inspire him, leaving me with only one option–a bat. After trying everything I could, including a baseball bat, I had to suck it up and take the reduced compensation.
The lack of choices did allow me to act out my own comedy show the same way the open-ended nature of the rest of the game did as well. Batman needed a way to exercise and my repeated attempts to give him a Thighmaster, and Suzanne Somers as an aerobic instructor failed. Baby Superman looked like he was twerking, but the game was not happy with me giving him a stereo. I haven’t played the Green Lantern’s yet, but watch me have to give him his real ring and not a green Fruit Loop.
Now off toto wreak more havoc than every iteration of the Joker combined. Stay tuned.