Scribblenauts Showdown Adds Mario Party Flair To Traditional Gameplay

Scribblenauts Showdown is a fun, little game for the whole family
Scribblenauts Showdown is a fun, little game for the whole family WB Games

Scribblenauts has stuck to the series roots across a number of different games, with players solving puzzles by spelling words and conjuring whatever was typed out. While Scribblenauts Showdown keeps the same conjuring gameplay, competitive multiplayer has been added for the first time in the franchise. Puzzles are also less prominent, replaced instead by mini game challenges.

Like Mario Party, Scribblenauts Showdown has a number of game modes to play, with many featuring a series of short mini games. These mini games typically take under a minute to complete and can range from stacking falling objects on a platform, to a DDR-style rhythm game, to an Angry Birds-like tower toppling contest and beyond. Mini games are broken up into two types, motion-controlled games and traditionally controlled games. These games include pumping up a balloon until it pops, chopping wood and other simple motion competitions. Because I played on a Switch, motion controls were straightforward with a joy-con.

The traditionally controlled games feature more of the Scribblenauts signature item-conjuring, with each game giving players a prompt or a letter to use. For example, the item stacking game might give players the letter B to work with. Bowling balls could be created to stack, but boxes might be easier.

Scribblenauts Showdown will be the first entry for the franchise on PS4 and Xbox One
Scribblenauts Showdown will be the first entry for the franchise on PS4 and Xbox One WB Games

There are also game modes in Scribblenauts Showdown that remove the competitive atmosphere, returning to the more traditional puzzle-solving gameplay of earlier Scribblenauts games. Called the Sandbox mode, these levels give players a series of goals to complete. Each goal typically revolves around talking to an NPC, figuring out what that character wants and summoning that item by typing it in. Other missions might be combat-focused, or getting rid of items instead of creating new ones.

Completing just about any game mode in Scribblenauts Showdown will reward players with Starites. This in-game currency is used to unlock new levels, characters and customization options. Thankfully, Scribblenauts Showdown is bucking the trend of in-game microtransactions and Starites are not available for purchase with real-world money. All items in-game can only be unlocked by playing more.

Scribblenauts Showdown is definitely aimed at children, and there were a number of little kiddos running around during my game demo. While most could pick up on the gameplay and basics, some were having issues with the creation prompts and spelling words. It’s recommended that kids without a decent grasp of reading and writing play with an adult.

Scribblenauts Showdown releases on March 6
Scribblenauts Showdown releases on March 6 WB Games

With the series’ lighthearted tone, and the nature of the quick pick-up-and-play mini games, Scribblenauts Showdown is a fun, little experience that rewards players a little more with every passing game. It doesn’t have the depth of previous games, but the competitive aspect adds more replayability than hundreds of different levels could. Because it is priced lower than a standard game release, Scribblenauts Showdown is an easy choice to add to your collection, especially if you have kids looking to play a fun and simple game.

Scribblenauts Showdown will release for Nintendo Switch and, for the first time, PS4 and Xbox One on March 6.

So what do you think? Are you interested in seeing a competitive Scribblenauts experience? Will you get this for children in your life, or are you the biggest Scribblenauts fan you know? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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