Friday, June 19, 2009
I met Matt Cox back in 2005 when I applied to be a game reviewer for Lawrence.com. He was the man who first started writing about video games for the site, and is the reason Lawrence.com has been able to post countless game reviews throughout the years. He left in 2006 to pursue a career in game development, and three short years later, his game is the talk of E3. He's the lead designer on Scribblenauts, an innovative new title for the DS that will be released this fall. Now that the dust has settled on E3, many of the top gaming websites have named it the top game of the show. Kotaku, Gamespot, and Gamespy all gave their top honors to Cox's creation, and buzz is growing at a rapid rate for the title.
When I first heard the concept of Scribblenauts, I thought it was incredibly innovative but was unsure if it would be as comprehensive as it claimed. For those unfamiliar with the game, it features your protagonist collecting stars throughout various levels. This sounds incredibly basic, but there's a catch. In order to reach the star in each level, you can type in ANY noun you can think of and it will appear. I tried countless items, and every one of them worked like a charm. On the level where you have to get a star out of a tree, I spawned a flamethrower and took it down. When I played the level again, I thought I'd try something a little more creative, so I tried "termite". Sure enough, it appeared and ran over to the tree, eating it and bringing the star down with it. I spawned a bear and a shark and watched them briefly fight, but the shark ended up flopping around and dying thanks to being on land. Another level required you to bring a cat down from the roof of a house. At first, I spawned a dog and put him on the roof. He chased the cat off the roof, but ended up attacking it and failing the mission for me. I eventually passed the level by spawning a rotary fan and placing it on the roof, blowing the cat down to its owner. It's incredibly innovative and I can see myself playing levels over and over to see all the different ways I can beat them. Scribblenauts is getting a ton of positive buzz from the gaming press, and it's great to see one of Lawrence's own behind what's sure to be a big hit.