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Review: Scribble Ships

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game offers Achievements (or similar awards)! Steam Trading Cards are available!

Summary of major issues
This game features cartoony space ships shooting each other with blobs of ink, making it about as violent as classic games like Asteroids.

Screenshots

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Fighting the Leviation

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Engadging the Mothership

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Test driving a ship I doodled

General Information

Genre:ArcadeAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Steam
Save System:There isn't a save feature in this game. The most you can do is pause your game by pressing ESC.

Game Overview

When you were in school, you probably spent some of the class periods drawing random things on spare pieces of notebook paper. I know I certainly did. What do you think might happen if those little space ships you were drawing suddenly came to life and began battling each other for supramacy of the page? In a nutshell, you'd have Scribble Ships, as that's basically what it's all about.

In this arcade game, crudely drawn starships battle each other with missles and beams made of deadly ink. With each hit, the ships become covered and eventually plop down onto the paper they originally came from. Your only goal is to keep your own ship alive for as long as you can, taking on the enemy armada single handed.

For such a little game, there's a surprising amount of replay value, as you can encounter the game's bosses in any order and choose between a handful of different ships to control. That said, this game is still limited to being a quick game you'd play on a coffeee break. There just isn't enough here to satisfy someone who is looking for more.

Pros

No set boss order
You'll never know which of the many bosses will spawn next, and this keeps things from getting too repetitive. This also makes things a bit more fair for the casual gamers in the audience. You see, there's an achievement for defeating each of the game's bosses. If these bosses appeared in a fixed order, you'd need to survive through them all in one game to win those prizes, and honestly, few players are skilled enough to last that long.


Several different ships
Everyone plays their games a bit differently. Some of us like to play take things slow, others want to dance around the playfield, and others are somewhere in between. Luckily for us, Scribble Ships offers five different ships to use, and each one has it's own twist on the basic gameplay. For example, the Hake is a large ship that sacrifices its speed in favor of a larger amount of hit points and more potent weapons, while the Menso is extremely fragile but makes up for it with its speed and manuveurability. Then there's the Captain, which fires out of cannons mounted on its sides instead of forwards. Chances are, you'll find one you like.


Steam community features
As mentioned above, there are a number of achievements that can be earned by fighting the game's large bosses. These are only some of the achievements that can be earned however. There's an achievement for proving your mastery over each of the ships, making your own custom design, and defeating a large number of enemy vessels. For those that collect them, there is also a set of Steam trading cards available.


Cons

Ship customization isn't very thorough
This is probably the biggest disappointment about this game. Although there are three slots for custom ships, the only thing you can really change is their appearance. You can't change their stats, where the bullets emerge, or what sort of bullets they use. Effectively, you're just reskinning the Menso, which is a one-hit wonder.


You're only playing for a highscore
This is a drawback for most arcade games in this era of epic stories and lengthy adventures. At the end of the day, players generally want something more than a highscore, so once the achievements are earned, there's a good chance that today's gamers will move on to something else.


Concerns and Issues

Ships ink each other to "death"
One of the benefits of framing the game around doodles is that there isn't much potential for things to become very violent. Here, the various ships try to smear each other with ink. Once a ship has been inked enough, it merges with the background with a quiet plop. The only exception to this are the bosses, which tend to go out with more of a bang. Either way, it's about as graphic as arcade games from the early 1980s.