Last year's Scribblenauts managed to elate and disappoint at the same time. When we first saw it, we were awestruck by its innovative approach to problem-solving. A few months later, we realised imagination wasn't the only thing standing in our way. It was Maxwell himself, or rather the stylus controlling him.
It could have been so much better, and that's where Super Scribblenauts comes in. The simple decision to split controls over the stylus and D-pad makes a world of difference. Now you can move Maxwell exactly where you want, instead of tapping a destination and hoping he gets there.
The big new draw is the addition of adjectives to the game's dictionary, allowing you to modify the objects that you create. One puzzle plonks a mulletted giant to one side and an angry dwarf on the other - the objective is to create a compromise to place between them. You can get away with writing daftisms like 'small giant', or 'huge dwarf', the idea being to let you easily fuse words together to beat the level.
You'll notice that it can be hit and miss as to whether the game will recognise your adjective but a new hints system lets you buy advice using Ollars, allowing you to rocket through the earlier levels.
As 5th Cell has always said, the Scribblenauts games have never actually been word games. When you need to rescue a boy who's caught in a giant block of ice, a simple puddle of hot water will do the trick. A hot chainsaw, however, is loads more fun.
Horse Drawn... Pram?
Complaints? Sometimes the adjectives can feel arbitrary. An 'insulated house' is really just a house, even if it's just what's required in a given situation. You may have to raid a thesaurus to find other versions of a term, or risk not getting what you want. We typed in 'horse drawn carriage' and got a pram instead, for example. But if your idea doesn't work, simply have another crack. Experimentation is key, after all.
Other improvements concern the small details of the game. Maxwell and other characters have now got teeny tiny health bars, whereas in the first game you just had to guess when you thought important characters might be about to croak. Living creations such as dinosaurs and doctors also have a much greater range of emoticons this time around, so you can tell if you're about to be stamped on or mobbed.
What with all the improvements we've talked about and extras including the comprehensive level editor, which you can share with friends via Wi-Fi, this isn't so much a sequel as the game the original Scribblenauts always wanted to be.
This is an edited version of a review that appears in the December issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is on sale now. For more in depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, buy the magazine here.