Most levels in games don't take that long to complete. They certainly don't take 3 hours to get through. But I bought Scribblenauts Unlimited last night, and so far I've played it for over 3 hours and I'm still on the first level. Not that I can't finish the level, mind, and, in fact, I have completed it. However, there's quite a few reasons why I'm still on the first level.
This is one of them.
For the uninitiated, the Scribblenauts series allows players to type in nearly any object and have that object spawn in the game world. Super Scribblenauts added adjectives, broadening the spectrum, and Scribblenauts Unlimited wants to live up to it's name by giving you nearly unlimited freedom. The majority of the time, you're only limited by your imagination. Sure, sometimes the game doesn't recognize what you want, like earlier - I wanted to spawn one of those power saws, but I didn't know what they were called. I typed power saw and the game didn't recognize it, so I typed electric saw, and out popped an electrified hand saw, which admittedly was much cooler. Other times, you end up with things like this:
That's a spotted fawn according to the game. I was thinking Bambi, the game was thinking rare skin disorder. The other one is "white spotted fawn" which took the word "white" a smidge too far into monochrome territory. But you know what? I don't care. I'm having an absolute blast seeing what I can come up with, and it's that thirst for pushing the bounds of what the game is capable of that has kept me stuck in the first stage of the game. If you've ever played Garry's Mod, you have an idea of what to expect here - you spawn one thing, then another, then another until you have a mish-mash of things littered about the screen and nothing to do with them. That's when you decide to find ways to make them interactive, which, in Scribblenauts, means adding adjectives. Sure, you can spawn a potato, but why not spawn a sentient green dancing ninja potato instead? I can guarantee those would have taken over the timeslot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a heartbeat. But why stop there? Why not have an electrified zombie horse or a giant decapitated reindeer?
No, seriously, decapitated is an accepted adjective.
If you were to watch me play a game, you'd soon see that I like to find fun in things that the developers never intended, like trying to climb objects in the game world (and often getting stuck) or luring NPCs into deadly traps. With Scribblenauts, building your own experience is certainly intended and expected, but I think they actually expected people to, you know, play the levels too, and that is something I just can't bring myself to do just yet. Not when I can take on a massive gun-toting tyrannosaurus in an impenetrable mech instead.
Illustrated here for effect.
Quite simply, Scribblenauts Unlimited is the most fun I've had with a game in a long time since it allows me to just sort of kick back and go wild. But maybe I should go see what the rest of the game has to offer. Maybe I should see what the game hopes I'll think up as a solution to it's puzzles. Maybe I should save Maxwell's sister from being turned to stone. That seems kinda important.
...Or maybe I should go check and make sure they get this brontosaurus out of the tree safely first. Yeah, after that, I'll get into the game. For sure this time. Definitely. Right after this.
Oh yeah, he'll be fine. They've got a ladder.
But just in case, I'd better summon a few helicopters and a purple flaming tornado.