My son asked for two presents for his birthday. One request was for an outrageously expensive item and the other was for Scribblenauts, a game for the Nintendo DS player. Enthusiastically, my other two children offered to help purchase Scribblenauts. I don’t know about you, but when all of my children are adamantly requesting a game, my mom radar kicks in and won’t shut off until I know why they want the item. The investigation begins.
What is Nintendo DS Scribblenauts?
Scribblenauts is a game that has been released by Nintendo for the DS gaming platform. The cover has a picture of a cartoon character figure scribbling on a notepad. From the notepad there are dotted lines leading to a bike, a dog, a dinosaur, a guitar, a rocket ship and a boat. Very inoffensive. The subtitle, Write Anything. Solve Everything is intriguing.
The back cover explains that the premise of the game is to help Maxwell, the main character, find starites (stars). By writing or typing the name of an object, the object appears and Maxwell is able to use the object to help find a solution to the puzzle and subsequently find or earn the starite.
Cover and Introduction Rating: Paranoid Mom Brownie Point-1 point earned
There are three main qualities a game must have in order to receive this Paranoid Mom Approval. First, it must not be excessively violent. Second, it must have lasting play value. Third, it must initiate positive results. I don’t want children playing for an hour or so and then being grumpy about it. Two bonus Mom Approval Brownie Points can be earned if it has educational applications or if mom likes to play it, too.
Scribblenauts Violence Rating
In order to get an accurate violence rating I had to actually play Nintendo DS Scribblenauts. Therefore, what I say is based on first- hand experience.
When the characters meet an unfortunate demise, such as being hit by the fire truck you were trying to give to the fireman or being accidently shot by the gun you were trying to give to the cop, they just fall over and disappear. There is no gore and no blood but if you type in a gun or a chainsaw they will appear and can be used.
However, what is used by Maxwell is determined by the operator. So pre-existing knowledge will determine the violence, if you want to call it violence, level.
Violence Rating: Minimal, if any violence. Since the characters can disappear because of operator action I can’t give the full Mom Approval Brownie Point but I give it a 0.9.
Lasting Play Value Rating
This is currently in the testing stage. However, I expect it to retain its play value because of the multiple possible and funny ways to get solutions to the puzzles.
Paranoid Mom Brownie Point granted to Scribblenauts for the Lasting Play Value rating.
Positive Results Rating
What is that I hear? Laughter? All of them are laughing as they look over my shoulder at the Nintendo DS Scribblenauts game in progress. Is it really that funny, that I tried using an elephant to sit on the button to open the gate? From this game came laughter, inspired creative solutions and cooperation. Positive, all around, positive results. Paranoid Mom Brownie Point for positive influence awarded to Scribblenauts.
This mom enjoyed playing Scribblenauts and if I have time to play it again, I will. Brownie point earned.
This leaves the hardest rating to earn, the educational rating.
After playing Scribblenauts, I came up with two assignments for my children to complete using Scribblenauts. For the first assignment, they are writing their own reviews of this game. The second assignment involves solving a Scribblenauts puzzle using a themed object. The second assignment was inspired by my use of a flying broomstick to save a stranded kitty. This homeschool teacher believes there just may be some educational value to this game. Go Nintendo DS Scribblenauts!
Paranoid Mother Award for Nintendo DS Scribblenauts game results: 5.9 out of a possible 6 overall Brownie Points. They like Scribblenauts because it sparks their imagination and it is fun.
Legal Disclaimer: Review written voluntarily after purchasing Nintendo DS Scribblenauts.
Personal Mom experience