“Scribblenauts Unmasked” is a family-friendly puzzle adventure game published by Warner Bros. Entertainment. The seemingly endless quantity of puzzles, combined with a cartoony art style makes it engaging and challenges your creativity. What makes this edition of Scribblenauts particularly exciting, is the addition of superheroes.
Released Sept. 20, 2013, “Scribblenauts Unmasked” is the fifth installment of the Scribblenauts series and the first to feature licensed content from DC Comics. With over 2,000 different superheroes, ranging from the commonly known to the super obscure, the game challenges the knowledge of any comic book fanatic.
Much like the previous Scribblenauts games, the main feature of gameplay is the huge dictionary of words at the player’s disposal. In order to solve puzzles and complete objectives, the player must use their imagination to summon an object to help them. The player can then add on adjectives to give their objects useful or amusing properties. Superheroes are no exception, so “zombie Batman” and “frugal, polka-dotted Superman” are only two of thousands of possibilities. The game was released for the PC, Wii U and 3DS consoles and has a feature where a second player can possess heroes or inanimate objects which can be summoned.
The game features Maxwell, the goofy, headphone-wearing protagonist and his sister Lily. The two combine his magical booklet of endless imagination and her magical globe of teleportation, which results in displacing them into the DC universe, where they need to use their magical powers in order to restore the reputation of a multitude of heroes in desperate peril. Maxwell and Lily explore the new world and visit places like Wayne Manor and Gotham City among others. Although the plot is simple and moral decisions are fairly black and white, the motivation for finding creative solutions for interesting problems more than makes up for it. The game encourages never using the same word twice to achieve a goal and also features amusing challenges to add to the difficulty, such as only using words starting with a single letter. Even when coming back to old locations, Special Heroic Feat missions also produce brand new puzzles in each area.
Because of its creative aspect, “Scribblenauts Unmasked” can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Although there might be some violent elements like lasers and explosions, the art style is cute and lovable throughout the game and even supervillains can end up adorable. I spent a few hours pulling out old DC comic books from decades before I was born and found myself chuckling at the obscure heroes and side characters that appear only once in DC history. Omni Mind And Community (OMAC), the mohawk-wearing galactic defender of justice, assisted me in my adventures, and even the Rugrats can be called forth to do good deeds. Solving puzzles with superheroes is not required, but it adds a level of nostalgia and entertainment like never before.
“Scribblenauts Unmasked” was featured on a Steam sale which commemorated games developed by 5th Cell Media.