Scribblenauts (DS)

I remember this one being a pretty big deal back in the day- a genuinely impressive array of in-game items you can summon at will just by naming them, allowing you to solve a puzzle any way you like.

While it is cool that you can type ‘Dinosaur’ or ‘Jetpack’ or ‘Farm Building’ and get exactly that, it’s quickly apparent that there’s no real reason to- you jump, you dig, you climb stuff, you get incredibly frustrated by the horrendous controls, you never really need to use anything beyond fairly standard tools.

The CONTROLS. Good gravy, the controls. This was, I guess, back in the days when touchscreens were still fairly new to the scene and everyone wanted to maximise their use in games, but this is too far. The touchscreen controls EVERYTHING- movement, interactions, jumping, climbing, EVERYTHING. The perfectly good D-pad and four face buttons go completely unused in favour of one giant button that gets assigned every single in-game task, and it’s a nightmare. Convincing Maxwell to walk to a spot NEAR a thing and not interact with or throw or shoot that thing is a chore, and the physics are finnicky enough already without having to roll a dice every time you want to achieve a simple task.

Fin or Bin:

I can’t convince myself to put up with a game I only fail because it misinterprets what I want to do. There’s probably some smart puzzles later on, but getting to them involves telling Maxwell to walk in a straight line and that’s apparently too much to ask. Open up your notepad and type Bin.

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