Unlimited completely lacks the co-op play most Scribblenauts fans have probably dreamt about since this game series had first begun: giving multiple people the opportunity to create things at the same time. Think about it: what could be better for a Scribblenauts multiplayer mode than for more than one player to be allowed to create things? Instead, what Nintendo gave co-op players in Unlimited was the very disappointing “Sidekick Mode” feature that doesn’t achieve this wish.
After describing this mode to my fellow Co-Optimus writers, they hit me with the best example of how to explain the mode to our readers. Remember how Super Mario Galaxy had a co-op mode in it? The first player controls Mario who can jump, leap, “Whahoo” all over the place, while the second player was given the limited role of using another Wii remote to collect star bits using a cursor. Besides that, the second player also had an almost pointless ability to shoot these into enemies to stun them for a few seconds. “Sidekick” Mode in Unlimited is essentially the same sort of thing. The player controlling Maxwell with the GamePad gets to play the game as normal by imagining and creating things, and is able to access far more of the game, while the secondary players (up to three) are given the ability to: select and control the objects Maxwell creates.
Now, this might seem like fun at first thought, but it quickly becomes apparent for the secondary players that creating things themselves would save a lot of time, rather than wait for someone to create the objects and add the adjectives for them. Secondary players are also unable to access or really help on Starite missions, further lessening the value of being a co-op partner. On top of that, once first-player moves over to another area, secondary players will lose whatever objects they are in control of at the time and will require another player-created object to possess before they can begin participating again.
What co-op gameplay boils down to is that the player who isn’t able to write up things has to wait for Maxwell to do anything; to cater to the one in charge. The secondary players are basically leeches to the creative, imaginative writing of the one who holds the GamePad, and this doesn’t allow for an equal co-op experience for all players across the board.
If Nintendo ever allows 5th Cell to add multiple GamePad functionality and features to this game in the future, the co-op experience would be much higher than it currently is. For the sake of Unlimited’s co-op mode, I sincerely hope that Nintendo does patch this into the game soon, because most passionate Scribblenauts players would be much appreciative if Sidekick Mode was completely expanded upon.
Overall, Scribblenauts Unlimited is a solid buy for gamers who have more ideas in their heads than they know what to do with. Hours upon hours can be spent on creating unique objects and creatures alone, and the enormous story world can keep you immersed in Starite hunting for a good, long while too. Despite the lack of desired co-op experience within this game, I highly recommend anyone picking this up for their beginning Wii U libraries. You’ll be surprised at how little time it takes to get caught up in making your dreams pop into a digital reality, just don’t plan on your friends having the same fun you’ll be having.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to three players can drop in at anytime and take control of any on screen object with Wii Remotes.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.