I’ve recently given up on Zelda for the DS and become immersed in Scribblenauts. This is a fascinating game from both the engagement and learning angles in that the player solves puzzles using objects that are created when written. This means that there are a variety of ways to approach any puzzle, limited only by the game dictionary (around 20,000 words). So you can get an apple from a tree using a LADDER, bounce on a TRAMPOLINE, create a FIRE and burn the tree down, or get a DRILL and shake it down, and so on.

This game is an excellent example of creative problem-solving, where players can explore the system and the interactions between objects, and it has a sense of humour. I love that the game designers have thought of many of the silly options players might type in, so you can call a MONSTER through a PORTAL, fight with a DRAGON, fly on a MAGIC CARPET and deal with pesky cyclones using a SHRINK RAY.

There is also in interface for creating new levels, although these seem to be only of the very basic sort (or I’m suffering from ‘stupid user’ syndrome) and the ability to also create and share new sophisticated levels and objects with other players would also take this game to another level by turning players into creators.

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