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Forums > Submission Feedback > zigfried's Scribblenauts review

This thread is in response to a review for Scribblenauts on the DS. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: October 01, 2009 (01:54 AM)
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Man your reviews have been excellent lately, Zig. Quick, precise, easy to read, covers the important parts of the game... I definitely think you're this site's best all-around reviewer. Sure, individual pizzaz may be able to oust you in a tournament, but you are the Honest Hercules.

Now just hope someone doesn't type in Hydra.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: jerec
Posted: October 01, 2009 (05:06 AM)
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This game was talked about so much on GameFAQs prior to its release. Since it's come out, I've barely heard anything about it.

"Oh my God. Scribblenauts is going to be the best game ever! It comes out soon. [time passes]. Err, yeah. It was okay for a while. I guess."


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: darketernal
Posted: October 01, 2009 (06:02 AM)
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Well, up to last week it was still on the top ten message boards posted in on Gfaqs. But yeah, I agree, it becomes cumbersome after some time when you find the same solutions to various problems. That and the controls are nothing short of horrid. It shouldn't be that much of a problem since every level can be solved with the right solutions in a matter of minutes, but it's still beyond me why you couldn't control Max with the D-pad and make the camera static that you can move it and leave it as you want.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: October 01, 2009 (08:17 AM)
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This is an extremely well written and informative review that nicely outlines what I think gamers are anticipating in a game like this. I've been on the fence with this one for a while and I've finally settled on simply avoiding it. I do hope they make a sequel, however. The idea is too good to simply give up on after the first try.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: October 01, 2009 (06:57 PM)
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Yeah, the controls are kind of screwed but that's not what really kills the game. I think the game could really benefit from a stronger limiter (forcing players to think of more out-of-box solutions) or an expanded setting that demands a larger variety of item types to solve the puzzles.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: aschultz
Posted: February 08, 2010 (03:13 PM)
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Stumbled across this late, but the conclusion about what people look for in puzzle games has me left thinking, "geez, why didn't I notice that?"

As good as I want to think I am, I still always try the cheap way out.

This is a really good review by itself and also because it's probably going to tweak me a while not to find the degenerate solution, so to speak, in any future puzzle game reviews I may want to take a crack at.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: February 08, 2010 (04:53 PM)
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I'm curious as to what you mean by a "degenerate" solution.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: February 08, 2010 (06:56 PM)
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Degenerate means something dumb, trivial, quick and short, in a logical context. Part of this is laziness and part of this is actually a good algorithm. If an obvious/previous strategy doesn't quite work, the question is how to tweak it so it does?

Another example of a degenerate solution is

x^2-y^3=1

Degenerate solutions are x,y = 1,0 -1,0 and 0,-1. You can see why people always look for those first. They do give a boost for other things.

Regenerated may be the next step--but basically, experienced puzzle gamers try to cheat up to find easy ways through the board, or ways they'd already seen. If a strategy that worked on level 7 works on level 28--even if 28 just sort of repeats 7 a few times--then level 28 doesn't count as a "new" level and is really just 7 repeated. Then it does not add to the depth of the game.

ETA: an example of a degenerate solution of a review would be:

I played Block Busters for ten minutes. I got to level 5. Up to four was hella easy but I think you need a new button or something for level 5. No way! That gets in the way of pure thinking. Plus there was no cool colorfull tutorial?! 1/10.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: February 08, 2010 (07:26 PM)
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Thanks, though I actually meant to direct that to Zig and his use of it in the review.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: February 08, 2010 (08:08 PM)
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The game can be beaten through repetition of the same solution (or rather, set of solutions). The first time, the solution appears quite novel; but the effectiveness of using that same solution over and over, just swapping words like "killer" for "murderer", is what makes it degenerate. A set of virtually unlimited potential is reduced to a few elements. To tie into the formula that ASchultz just posted, people look for the quickest solution -- which is, in Scribblenauts' case, the thing that worked the prior time, the time before that, and the time before that.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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