I took a break from the crowded show floor of San Diego Comic-Con to relax for a bit with the latest build of 5th Cell's upcoming game, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. Scribblenauts has always been one of those games that's easy to pick up but hard to break away from, but the new superhero twist in this latest game gives us even more to get lost in.
Those that have played previous Scribblenauts titles know that part of the joy of the experience is playing around with hero Maxwell's notebook. Anything you write down (type, in this case with the Wii U GamePad's stylus) comes to life on the screen. Write in "corgi" and a cute little dog falls from the sky to play with. Put in "chainsaw" and Maxwell instantly has a pretty good weapon/tree cutter to play with.
The joy for comic fans with Scribble Unmasked extends far beyond that as every character ever featured in a DC Comics book is in the game. I typed in Batman and got a list of 36 to pick from -- it's that extensive. Any or all of them can be brought into the game's world at any time. I actually put in "Justice League" and all of them were hovering above the ground, ready to be dropped in.
And if you're an info junkie, Unmasked is fun even before you drop your favorite superheroes in. A Wikipedia-like entry for each and every DC Comics hero or item is available for your reading pleasure. I learned a lot just by using the game's Bat Computer to filter and drill down into the available selection.
Starting off in the Bat Cave, I found myself spawning anything I could think of. I pulled in Green Lantern as a hero to play with, and then drew in a corgi pup to brighten up the place. When I was flying around to test out Green Lantern's powers, I think one of the bad guys in the stage killed him. I had Green Lantern pay him back for that.
Later, in visiting Gotham City, I started in on some missions that Maxwell had stumbled upon. One botched mission had a group of mismatched villains from the DC world ganging up on me , finally wiping me out. Another mission had me drawing in a bulldozer to help a citizen demolish a building, but I soon found myself distracted by the game's unlimited potential once again..
The game's hero maker function is a lot of fun. It lets you start with any superhero in the DC universe and then customize him to your liking. Or, if you're creative enough, make a hero from scratch.
After searching through the huge list of available Supermans, I picked Man of Steel and played with the size slider to make him a bit smaller than the rest. In playing with the available stamps for limbs, heads, and other features, I found a cute bear head that I liked. I was able to pop off Superman's head and replace it with a bear head. With a few slides and clicks, I had a big-headed Bear of Steel to spawn into Gotham City.
And then, for no reason, I typed in "tiny Lex Luthor" and then pulled him into Gotham City. I then used Batman to kill him instantly.
That's what's so great about Scribblenauts Unmasked. It's a proper game, but there's a game within it for your imagination. That quick break turned out to be a 30+ minute play session.
Fans of DC Comics are going to have a blast toying with the endless combinations and possibilities this game provides.