Scribblenaughts Review (DS) – Mail Strike Edition

Mail Fail

Well, todays blog was supposed to be a long-waited review of the wonderful Scribblenaughts on DS, but thanks to the absolutely intolerable and disruptive mail strike that is plaguing Scotland right now, all I got was this lovely ‘Sorry We Missed You’ card from my postie, despite being up and awake at 7am as the card states.

So, rather than leave a gap in my blog I’ve decided that the show must go on and I’ve pressed on with a review anyway. Scribblenaughts is the much anticipated DS title from the rather superb developer 5th Cell, which gave us the conceptually brilliant  Drawn to Life. The team’s latest offering lets you get creative with words to overcome obstacles and solve puzzles. Similar to LittleBigPlanet, it’s a game that is as good as your imagination allows.

This card however, is a total let down, with clunky, mostly orange visuals, sluggish delivery and a confused plot.

Very little backstory or information is given to the player about the card, resulting in a convoluted plot that, by the fifth or sixth minute of trying to figure out just why your package hadn’t been delivered in the first place, you simply don’t care for the reasoning. It’s like trying to untangle the absolute mess that is Halo 3’s plot, except it’s much more orange and with no multiplayer options.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a DS game case, but they most certainly aren’t too big for most modern letterboxes. To be fair, I did receive a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 on Thursday, complete with a brilliant PES sports towel. But just what are Warner Bros. sending me with Scribblenaughts that is so big? Does the game come with a dictionary and thesaurus set? I’m more inclined to believe that it’s another example of sheer fucking Lazyness on behalf of our postal service.

The biggest kick in the stones is that there is no activation code to actually help you receive your copy of the game, as you will notice, the serial number field has been left blank. The rather muddled instructions on the back of the card state that you need this code to receive your game within a few working days. Failing this, you have to go online and fill out a ton of security details. It’s like the Spore DRM security fiasco, penalising people who have ordered their game legally. Can you imagine if EA also forgot to put serial codes on all of those DRM’d copies of Spore? Heads would most certainly roll.

Aesthetically, this is a nightmare. Too much orange, cheap card with scant, handwritten details and a completely fabricated attempted delivery time. Every card I’ve received like this reads that the package was unsuccessfully delivered at 7am. Coincidence, or is my postie just a happy-go-lucky morning person?

simoncowlousyonroyalmailThanks to Google image search

Overall this is a disappointing effort from the Royal Mail. The slog of trying to get your game re-delivered severely waters down the replay value and the complete ineptitude displayed through the lack of info on the card suggests that this effort suffered some kind of development hell. Perhaps a sequel might rectify some of these issues and the delivery will be a lot slicker, but this is hopeful as the asking price (currently being negotiated by the postal service and the government) is a bit cheeky considering how shoddy the end product has become.



5 responses to “Scribblenaughts Review (DS) – Mail Strike Edition

  1. Disappointing. And I was so looking forward to it. The potential was there but sadly the early released screen shots gave a false impression of hope. Yet another close call avoided. Thanks!!

  2. Well as mentioned, a sequel might be an interesting prospect, but the development budget issues will hold it back. Lets hope the cover art isn’t as garish second time round 😉

  3. In the current financial climate can they really afford a sequel? The first one seems like it may have reached the boundaries the dev team can afford. Lets hope for a more interesting story with a more 3 dimensional character.

  4. It is a difficult time, but hey if WET can get a substantial development budget, then there’s hope for all of us right?

  5. I am pretty sure the entire budget for WET went on Eliza Dushku and beer money

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