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Scribblenauts (Series) Review

Game image Scribblenauts
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Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 8 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Scribblenauts is a series of puzzle games where you solve by typing the names of everyday objects so they appear in the game and let you progress. What's surprising is the sheer number of items included in the game. This means you can solve problems in a number of different ways, using imaginative and ingenious solutions.

You control Maxwell as he traverses levels left-to-right. When you hit an obstacle, such as a wall, you type the names of items that will help you get past it. For example, you can type "ladder" to get over it, or type "bomb" to blow it up, or "spade" to tunnel underneath it.

As well as a story mode, there are puzzle levels that put you in real-life situations (such as having to open a piñata) and task you with solving it. There's also an open-world mode where you can experiment with the different objects. There is a level editor, where you can create and share your own challenges.

It's an unusual game that's a lot of fun, but also creates a context for logical thinking, vocabulary, inventiveness and the combination of items with different properties as you might do in a science lesson.

There have been a number of Scribblenauts games:
  • Scribblenauts (2009) on DS,
  • Super Scribblenauts (2011) on DS,
  • Scribblenauts Remix (2011) on iOS and Android,
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited (2012) on iOS, Android, PC, Wii U and 3DS and then updated for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (2013) on PC, Wii U and 3DS and then updated on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
  • Scriblenauts Showdown (2018) multiplayer word based party game on PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

DetailsGame Details


Release Date: 15/09/2009

Platforms: Android, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @5THCell


Duration: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game. Depending on how quickly you solve the puzzles.
Players: This is a single player game.


Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. Scribblenauts Mega Pack on Switch, PS4 and Xbox One provide two games in one:
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+.


Like the other games in the series, Scribblenauts Unlimited was rated PEGI 12 due to moderate violence. There is a fairly extensive dictionary that includes a large range of weapons; gun, flamethrower, chaingun, nuke etc. You can also make zombies, vampires, cannibals, people about to die etc. Through this it is possible to make human characters eat babies or stab one another with knives. However it must be noted that all the violence in the game is depicted unrealistically and in a highly stylised cartoon manner.


Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.

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Games Like Scribblenauts

Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Scribblenauts or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Scribblenauts, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12+ or ESRB EVERYONE 10+ games.

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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