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EAís latest puzzle game is a virtual sandbox of sorts and itís from the same development crew that worked on the dreadful Harry Potter game recently. It puts players into levels with a variety of objects lying about and makes them brainstorm on how to achieve specific goals with said objects. Similar to the board game Mousetrap, you are attempting to create cause and effect scenarios. Much of this is based in experimentation, basically running through actions over and over until the right outcome is achieved. The presentation of the game is on the slim side though. Thereís no substantial driving narrative, like in the Scribblenauts series, to encourage players to work toward a greater goal. Itís also surprisingly simply for an EA produced title.

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The game has a total of 14 different levels and there are 10 puzzles to crack within each level. These puzzles are called challenges and require you to solve a specific problem like building a machine to move a box. There are also Chains in the game which can be coloring or positioning tasks related to the challenges. As you complete both challenges and chains, you earn Sparks for moving onto the next level. Unfortunately, the control setup is more problematic than ingenious. Itís difficult to remember control sequences for puzzles later in the game and requires lots of realignments to perfect. I canít imagine how difficult this game is with a controller. I had enough problems positioning objects with the mouse. Young children will get very frustrated with the controls and will likely give up pretty quickly.

Difficulty scales up pretty quickly after the first couple of levels, thus playing with a few people in the room can help in regards to coming up with ideas to try. If you get tired of solving EAís puzzles, you can use the in-game creation tool to design your own. However, itís pretty limited in the layout and options compared to true sandbox games. There is no multiplayer included in the title, but there is an online community to upload and share your in-game creations with. I didnít find much out there though as I donít think the community has really taken off yet.

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The game is very colorful, definitely a bright color palette to attract younger players. Itís also animated fairly well and the game runs smoothly on older PCs. But the camera just doesnít work correctly, specifically when trying to see where you went wrong on a Challenge attempt. The angle is usually terrible and the viewing position doesnít allow the best vantage point. You also canít adjust the camera back enough to see more of the screen.


The in-game music is cheerful and matches the mood set by each of the themes in the various levels. The sound effects are passable, but occasionally comical. Overall, thereís nothing overly problematic here and everything matches up well with the gameís limited presentation.


The biggest problem with Create is that thereís no key presentation element tying the game together. In fact, itís more of a playground or sandbox than a game thatís compelling to play. Thereís nothing there to drive the player forward and make them want to continue unlocking the puzzles. If anything, you feel completely detached from the game. Thereís also a lack of customization in the game compared to a game like The Sims 3 and the previously mentioned control system makes the game convoluted to manage. Itís also being poorly marketed at a family title. I really donít think kids will find enough enjoyment in this title to keep playing through all 140 puzzles. Personally, Iíd skip over this title in favor of other PC titles like Spore or The Sims if you are looking for a true creation experience.

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