Scribblenauts Unlimited is fantastic, charming and very interesting. That makes for a very good review if you're into that kind of game but a poor way for me to look at it and suggest things that could be improved. I usually am very nitpicky when I look at games because my goal here is basically to play armchair game designer and say 'well maybe I would've tightened up the graphics on level 11!' but if the game is all fine and good, it's a bit hard to do.
This is my first scribblenauts experience and it's lovely
The game is quite simple, you go to different locales and help people with whatever they need by typing in words to create things. If someone needs a way to dispose of garbage, you can create a black hole, if someone wants to destroy an old building, you can create a bulldozer, or a bomb, or a nuke. A kid is sad, you can create a clown or give the kid a cake or what-have-you. It's all very charming.
If you're stuck on any puzzle, extra hints appear after a while. The game isn't very hard, you can see the whole map with a different overlay that tells you where you need to go to solve more problems, you can travel everywhere pretty easily with the map (and a jetpack if you summon one!) and so far I haven't died much and even if you do, it's pretty inconsequential. This is a puzzle game so the ease of getting to the puzzles and the creativity you can use to solve them is commendable.
You get starlite shards from beating little puzzles and complete starlites for longer multi-step puzzles (that are basically a bunch of little puzzles) and after you're done with an area, you move on to your map. Maybe I found it a bit easy to get enough starlites to unlock the next zone, but since I was going to beat 100% of the puzzles, it might be expected that I get much more than needed.
In any case, Scribblenauts Unlimited is a great game with very little flaws, and I'm going to talk about them briefly.
However, it's not making me think much and it's stuck to its ideas
The puzzles aren't very difficult, that's true, and they have multiple solutions. In the Dinner Service one for instance, a guy wants food to make him grow bigger and stronger. I gave him spinach both times (when I played it originally, and when I came back to take that cannibal screenshot) and it worked both times, as it was a good answer. There are 'easy' answers for all puzzles, I feel like, and the game doesn't go out of it's way to make you be creative.
How I would fix this
Add another kind of reward, call it meta-starlites or moonlites or what have you and give them when you redo puzzles you've done before by using different kind of words. I'm sure there are very clever answers for some of the things the designers created but they're not really important as it is right now. Why not have some special mode where you can take each puzzle individually and try to 'find' everything that would be a good answer?
Another thing is that the puzzles have predefined solutions and it's kind of a bummer sometimes when you solve the puzzle and it does something completely different. In the following example, I was told to help protect a student against balls for a dodge-ball match. Using my imagination, I wrote 'forcefield' to protect him, and it worked, but all I got in the end was the student wearing a helmet. I suppose that 'helmet' was also a good answer, but I wish they would've given my forcefield to the kid.
How I would fix this
I agree that it would take much work to make all solutions 'work' when they are correct, but the way Maxell (the main character) can wear pretty much everything and ride rideable objects should apply also to NPCs, so the kid would've been able to ride that forcefield, no?