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Scribblenauts is an upcoming emergent puzzle action video game in development by 5TH Cell and conceptualized by Game Designer Jeremiah Slaczka for the Nintendo DS. The game has recently found a publisher through Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It is to be released in Fall of 2009. It is the third Nintendo DS video game made by 5TH Cell, the first two being Drawn to Life and Lock's Quest. The objective of Scribblenauts is to collect "Starites", helped by the player's ability to summon a large variety of objects by writing an object's name on the touchscreen.
Scribblenauts is an exclusively side-scrolling game controlled entirely with the Nintendo DS stylus. The player controls a character called Maxwell, who must collect objects called "Starites". Maxwell is guided by tapping the touchscreen, or if the player taps an object, Maxwell will pick it up.
A fundamental element of Scribblenauts is the ability of the player to summon a myriad of objects into the game. This is achieved by writing the name of an object on the touchscreen (or via keypad). For example, the player can write "ladder", summoning a ladder, which the player may use to climb to an out-of-reach Starite. The player may turn the ladder on its side and set it on fire. Summoned objects also range among animals, weapons, forces of nature, famous people (both fictional and real), vehicles, household objects, and even internet memes. The game includes a homonym system to offer the player possible choices between similar-sounding objects, such as distinguishing between a toy balloon and a hot-air balloon; there is also a spellchecker to provide close matches for misspelled words. The developer states that the limit to what objects may be summoned is up to the player's imagination. The player may also chain objects together, such as chaining a piece of meat to a pole and holding it while riding on a raptor.
The game is segmented by hundreds of levels, and each level has a time limit against which the player must race. The player is also sometimes limited to a certain number of objects that he or she may summon in a level, and is required to complete each level using a different tool than was previously used. A "Free play" mode is unlocked for the level after the player finds three different ways to complete the level. There are two types of levels - puzzle and action levels. Puzzle levels are everyday life situations, such as having to open a piņata, the Starite being awarded once the puzzle is solved, while action levels will appeal to gamers, featuring switches, spike traps, and other similar elements. Players are awarded "merits" for completing levels under certain requirement, such as not summoning any weapon-like object. Levels can be replayed, but players are prevented from using objects that they summoned previously in that level in order to force the player to explore more posible solutions. Scribblenauts will have a simplistic storyline, as the developers wish to focus on engaging gameplay.
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