Sometimes you have to wonder what on earth goes through designers/play testers heads. Who on earth looked at the DS and decided to assign every face button to moving the camera around and leave everything else - character movement, object creation, object movement etc - to just the stylus. The end result is a game thats needlessly frustrating to control. The DS is hardly famed for the accuracy of the touch screen and it comes a real cropper here as every single touch has to be pin point accurate or completely the wrong thing happens. Touch the screen to pick up an object and inadvertantly send Maxwell shooting off to his untimely demise. Go to move Maxwell and find yourself dragging an object about instead. As you progress and the puzzles get more involved you'll have more objects on screen to juggle around combined with movement, which sometimes needs to be speedy and exact, and it all becomes hugely frustrating to play. And all this could have been avoided by simply assigning character movement to the d-pad and camera movement to the face buttons, leaving the stylus to deal only with objects. How Scribblenauts came to have this current control scheme is one of the great mysteries of game design - essentially a lesson in how to hamstring a mostly wonderful game.
Its a real shame as the guts of the game are hugely, hugely clever. Pretty much any object you can concieve can be brought into being and used to work your way through the world. For the most part things behave as they should, with the odd illogical exception - example, blowtorch unable to cut through metal. Its forgivable though - trying to predict every conceivable interaction would be a mammoth task to programme. What has been achieved with the object database is an incredible feat and theres a vast amount of entertainment to be had just seeing what you can conjure and how it will react.
For the most part the puzzles reward imagination, but theres a number in there tha leave little scope to play, essentially requiring a specific object to be conjured to achieve the goal. A little more openess to really let yourself loose on the puzzles would have been nice. In action mode though, this is less of a concern with your progression through the level limited only by your imagination.
Occasionally you'll find yourself falling back on the same old objects again and again (the jet pack is a useful favourite) as other options won't fit in the space available.
Well worth a play, if only to appreciate the size and complexity of the object database, its just a shame that the minds that created this game couldn't stretch to giving it a sensible control scheme. So an almost great game, a seriously promising game that is never far from an exercise in frustration and thus the experience is often soured.