I didn’t really didn’t plan on getting Scribblenauts Unlimited. If it weren’t for the fact that I happened to run across it during a 75% off Steam Summer Sale, I probably would have been just fine with Super Scribblenauts on the DS. Hell, I spent more time in the start screen sandbox than I did the actual game. Unlimited changes a few vital mechanics, making it PC friendly, though it’s also available on the 3DS.
The tale behind this pinnacle of resourcefulness is that Maxwell and his sister Lily were using their magic notebooks selfishly. One day, Maxwell came across a hungry old man, and fed him a rotten apple as a joke. In a fury, the old man cursed Lily, causing her to turn to stone unless Maxwell obtained Starite by helping others. To my knowledge, this is the most backstory a Scribblenauts game has ever had. Doesn’t mean you can’t ignore it and make meteors and tsunamis and black holes, though.
Things are different this time around. You can click objects and people, open the notebook menu, and apply adjectives right to them. You can edit objects, or create your own. You can store objects inside your bottomless backpack! You can even apply adjectives to Maxwell! Holy crap! I don’t recommend making him go nuclear, though. If you die to one of your twisted abominations, you can either continue with the stage as it was when you died, reset it completely, or just leave the game.
The world is divided into separate, interconnected stages containing Starite shards and whole Starites. You can use your Starite vision to see who needs help, and then click them for a tip, while missions are presented as characters with blank Starites over their heads. Progression is defined by collection. The more you get, the more stages open up, and the further Lily’s petrifaction progresses.
You meet all of Maxwell’s siblings along the way, unlocking most if not all of them as “skins.” This replaces the generic created object skins from Super Scribblenauts. Since they share Maxwell’s physique (mostly), equipped items won’t have awkward positioning.
Scribblenauts Unlimited isn’t that difficult of a game. Most of the puzzles are straightforward, requiring little more than the creation of an appropriate item. Sometimes you’ll have to think outside of the box and get specific, but that shouldn’t even break your stride. In Super Scribblenauts, you had to do each stage three times without repeating a word once. THAT was some tough business. You only have to do things once this time around, so be grateful.
If you want to cheat, you can just apply “invulnerable” to Maxwell, making him immune to all damage except Death himself. I should warn you, though. Certain entities can actually apply adjectives to Maxwell without your knowledge. For example, stealing an item from an NPC will make Maxwell “suspect,” which causes all law enforcement to crack down on you. By crack down I mean kill. You’ll be murdered. You can remove said adjectives by accessing the notebook menu, so no worries.
Concluding tips: Reset the stage if you can’t find a Starite shard. If you still can’t find it, do the other quests in the area. Use the mouse wheel to zoom out while in Starite Vision. Don’t put quest characters to sleep or kill them unless specifically told to.
Chris Schilling of VideoGamer likes Scribblenauts Unlimited on the whole, but finds it lacking in certain areas. Having so many items forces everything into simplistic categories: food, vehicle, enemy, weapon, etc, at which point the only thing that differentiates items within these categories is appearance. It’s definitely aimed at a younger audience, one that would have a lot of fun making a sparkling ninja ride a giant smoky ghost narwhal. I have a lot of fun with that too, so it’s for whoever likes creative freedom, I suppose. Here’s the alternate review for you: http://www.videogamer.com/reviews/scribblenauts_unlimited_review.html