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‘Scribblenauts Showdown’ revives the series as a creative party game

Official Scribblenauts Showdown Announce Trailer
In 2016, the Scribblenauts series appeared to have died for good. Publisher Warner Bros. canceled the mobile title Scribblenauts: Fighting Words, which resulted in developer 5th Cell laying off almost all employees. Though it appeared the series had been erased from existence, that didn’t turn out to be the case. Scribblenauts Showdown arrives to consoles this March, and it looks like it will be your next party’s big hit.

Scribblenauts Showdown is a multiplayer party game which tasks players with outsmarting each other through the use of objects and characters in the series’ dictionary, which is now more than 30,000 words.

The main mode is the titular “Showdown,” designed for four people, and the the minigames are quick challenges with rewards going to the first person able to complete them. All progress is all tracked through a “board game-style map,” which sounds similar to the Mario Party series.

In the game’s announcement trailer, we see two players facing off in what appears to be the “Versus” mode. A complicated game of “rock, paper, scissors” plays out, with one player eventually pulling out a flamethrower, banana, and chainsaw to counter their opponent’s moves. There are more than 25 minigames to play, but if you aren’t in the competitive mood, you and a friend can also play the series’ classic Sandbox mode. This puzzle mode features eight levels, and if you don’t want to use the premade Scribblenauts, you can even design your own character — more rewards will be available as you earn the game’s “Starites” currency and complete objectives.

Showdown isn’t being developed by 5th Cell this time around, but rather Shiver Entertainment, according to a press release. The developer has worked on mobile games in the past, and announced the real-time strategy game Beasts vs. Bots back in 2015. The game was scheduled to arrive to iOS later that year but doesn’t appear to have ever released.

Surprisingly, Scribblenauts Showdown isn’t coming to mobile devices. Instead it’s releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on March 9. Given the Switch’s touchscreen and portability, and seems like the perfect fit for the platform. With Scribblenauts Showdown and something like the Jackbox Party Pack in tow, you’ll be the life of any party.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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