Scribblenauts Showdown is definitely a spin-off from the series bringing a more party based style to the experience. This is certainly something different, yet fun in its own way. It's been awhile since we've seen this series and it's nice to be able to play it once again in any form. With this entry we get a couple of ways to play it. There's Versus which is a series of Wordy or Speedy games. Here you battle over a set amount of waves through a pile of mini games. You can play this specifying either of the two sets, both of them mixed or in a freeplay to just randomly select a mini game.
The next and core area of the game is the Showdown. This is a board game based area with cards that determine movement. You're attempting to move across the board and finish first. The mini games from versus are included here as they are what you compete for with each movement card. There's some variation in what happens, but that's the general progression for the mode. On top of that you can play with up to four local players or against the AI one on one which I thought was rather limiting. There should be no reason why I can't play against a group of four AI. The final aspect is Sandbox, this is classic Scribblenauts. You work to solve problems alone or with someone else while collecting Starites in the process.
Scribblenauts Showdown carries that same distinct fun and charming gameplay style you remember from the past entries. It's looking much better on the modern hardware being even more bright and colorful. There's an easy going tune in the backdrop and it's all carried quite well. Movement is solid and so are the interactions within the world. It's easy to go around adding objects or adjectives to anything. The word wheel is well done making it easy for anyone to be creative. This should assist all age groups as this is a family friendly experience.
The mini games are fun, well varied and offer a variety of challenges. I mostly wish there was more however as you go through all of them very quickly. I haven't felt too much fatigue, but I do feel this area comes across as somewhat shallow. I will leave a mention that controller play was very smart here allowing players to share controllers at times limiting the necessary inputs to jump in.
Scribblenauts Showdown is a fine spin-off for the series that adds a fun Mario Party-like Showdown area for the whole family. I did feel that the package is somewhat light on content, but the way it's used works well for adding potential replay value. It's not traditional and instead a unique way to take the experience of Scribblenauts in a different direction. The mini games are fun to play whether they're Wordy or Speedy. It's a great way for the younger audience to learn words and be creative with them while working to manipulate the environment.
Showdown can be a blast for a group to play and generally you can enjoy the whole thing alone if needed. Finally Sandbox is the most old school and fun of the options where you work to solve challenges across eight levels. I wish there were more, but they were fun to work through being very unique in challenge and theme. Scribblenauts Showdown does alright in providing something different, it could have used some more content though still a very enjoyable experience for anyone in the family.
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Scribblenauts Showdown Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Warner Brothers