November 24, 2010

EA Bright Light’s new title, Create, is not what it is billed as being: a sandbox world of endless customization and creativity. What it is, though, is a physics-based puzzler with a Scribblenauts feel. That sounds pretty good to us, though, so they could have just advertised it that way.

In Create, players take on challenges of random nature, though they typically involve getting an object from one point to another. The way to do this is to place items, such as ramps, balloons and toasters (yes, toasters) in a sequence to that the chain reactions accomplish what you intend. Depending on the challenge, it could be a puzzle-style use-the-fewest-items thing or a be-as-ridiculous-as-possible one with scores for crazy combos. You can create vehicles out of wheels, girders and blocks, launch washers through teleporters and hit an object by making a phone call.

It’s all fairly whimsical, and results in a great family game that’s fun to watch others play. Unfortunately, most of the simple challenges are made a little more obvious by the restriction of items used to the two or three needed for the challenge. With more items, more solutions could have been made and it’s a puzzle game, so I understand the restriction, but a few red herring items added into each would make things more interesting.

Thankfully, you’ll probably be able to find levels that work for you, since the game features a robust sharing function. Players can upload their own puzzles, download others and remix them if they’d like. The result is an interesting little diversion that could be amazing if it gets embraced wholeheartedly by the community.

While the game is available for all consoles and PC/Mac, the team did what it could to support platform-specific features. On the PS3 version we reviewed, the game featured support for the PlayStation Move motion controller. This implementation was probably fairly easy, since the interface would be similar to the Wii’s, and it works for the most part. (We wish developers would stop trying to use the Move as a pointer, though. It’s made best for detecting wrist movements, and its pointing capability just doesn’t stack up to the Wii or, better yet, a mouse.) 

The game doesn’t push the system graphically, but everything seems polished enough that it won’t be bothersome. The music can be a bit repetitive, but the sound effects are pleasant.

Create isn’t the game it was supposed to be, but the game it ended up being is still a blast to play. Created levels increase the replay value if people keep making them, and hopefully the community will work a little harder to make solutions less obvious. Don’t come in expecting the world, and it will make a world of difference.

Pros: Limited options mean creative solutions (sometimes), great to sit around with a group

Cons: Some “creation” unnecessary, Move pointing can be a chore


Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.