Scribble Notes

Creator: かーにばる

Average Rating
8.3 / 10
Average Difficulty
59.9 / 100
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Tags:

Adventure (7) Trap (6) Gimmick (5) Boss (2) Secrets (1) Long (3) Puzzle (3) Items (1) metroidvania (1) Art (1) Collectathon (1)

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  • by CanusAntonius
  • by CanusAntonius
  • by Anonymous
  • by CanusAntonius
  • by CanusAntonius
  • by CanusAntonius

14 Reviews:

kurath
This is a pretty amazing game and I say that as someone who considers most of his other work gruesomely overrated. This is based on the all clear of the Scribble notes version. For reference, this is fundamentally the same game as I Wanna be the Scribble except some moderate changes in a couple realms, primarily non-restarting music and fewer spike traps.

Its an exploration based game with some metroidvania elements in terms of collecting items which allow you access to new sections of levels. Its far from a full metroidvania as there's no real standard combat and a lot of the progress is gated linearly, but thats not a bad thing by any means.

The real highlight of this is the platforming/gimmick interactions. It starts off simple and consistently gets more complex and interesting as new powerups are found and he does a great job of integrating the existing pieces into new platforming. The stages have a great aesthetic and a lot of charm and creative design and it makes each new room a treat. That's the one caveat is that working into the next room is great but you end up having to do almost every room twice because he decides to counterweigh the great gimmick and platforming design with garbage traps. The original version is supposedly far worse and while there weren't THAT many of them in notes, it doesn't change the fact that the quality of the traps is near zero. You'll be nearly done with a save and a flying spike comes at you that is trivial to dodge if you knew it was there and gibs if you don't. For this reason alone I'd recommend the notes version - it tones it down to acceptable levels instead of the game ruining experience of the standard version. Still, the ideas presented are creative and execution is never so challenging that repeating a save is that troublesome.

The bosses aren't stellar but they're still good. And, for me, the more important point is they're interesting. They tend to integrate the gimmicks and tools in different ways and atleast give you something to think about as you go. They likely won't be a hang up for anyone either, as they're pretty fair once you know what you're doing.

All in all its a very memorable experience and probably more so if you actually follow the story (which is all in Japanese), but even without that the platforming is a treat and the bosses are interesting and don't overstay their welcome. Go into it expecting to get dicked a bit by boring traps and you'll still end up pleasant surprised with the game.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap Gimmick Puzzle
[5] Likes
Rating: 8.9 89       Difficulty: 60 60
Sep 16, 2019
PlutoTheThing
This review is based on any%, but I plan to get the true ending/100% one day so I'll update when that happens.

Scribble Notes is an absolutely fantastic game, I do like Carnival's other works but this one is in it's own league, at least out of what I've played. The sense of adventure is fantastic, there's a good number of stages and you obtain items and abilities throughout the game which makes the progress feel meaningful. You can even backtrack to old areas with your new powers to collect new stuff, further making this adventure game feel like a REAL adventure. It's like a blend between a traditional linear platformer and a metroidvania, with the progress of the latter and moment to moment gameplay of the former. This game has a sort of puzzle element to it, which is very satisfying to play around and understand the little interactions between your items and the world. It's just great, and there's the occasional trap which I didn't mind, especially since I feel as if Carnival has good comedic timing when it comes to traps. Overall this game is fantastic, and I'd say it's a must play.

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[1] Like
Rating: 9.7 97       Difficulty: 55 55
Apr 4, 2023
CanusAntonius
Scribble Notes is easily both the best and longest fangame Carnival has made, and is a direct improvement over the original version, Scribble. It's an extremely strong contender in the gimmick aspect as well, with many of the involved items still being used to this day.

This game has so many incredible design choices in it as well that makes me inclined to fall in love with it. For starters, your gun has autofire on by default, which as someone with hand pain takes as a blessing from the gods. There's a teleport that can warp you back to the Hub from any save point rather than forcing you to backtrack, which is perfect considering this is a collectathon. And there's also usually a good visual indicator for all the different objects to help you solve puzzle segments more easily, which is great for accessibility. Finally, opening your menu to change items actually pauses your game, which is a pretty good idea since you'll need to take advantage of that at times. These aspects combined make for a highly enjoyable playthrough for a first timer, instead of struggling against the design you can struggle against the platforming.

It's hard to recognize the same maker here as there was years ago in Crimson and Destination, this is truly a testament to just how far Carnival has come. The visuals are amazing, the gameplay is fantastic, and the bosses are all mostly simple and fun. You can still see some of the little touches from his older style, such as the inclusion of traps here and there, as well as the addition of his boss sprites. If anything, this is a major evolution in his path as a game maker, and I think deserves the respect many have given it, as well as my own.

There are only a few issues here that I think bring it down some, mostly because they make the game overall pretty exhausting to play. Traps are frequent even in this version of the game, and will appear all over the place, even in some of the puzzle-y segments near the very end. This particularly makes for some rather unpleasant times every now and then, though in the first couple of stages they are pretty funny. There's also one boss you can only damage after hitting a button with a gimmick, and it's probably my least favorite one in the game, and pretty unenjoyable in general.

For a game like this, the best thing anyone can do is just play it, it's well worth your time. If you like it enough upon beating it, then consider collecting all Scribbles to see a different outcome....

Remote Control Car is an AMAZING gimmick.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap Gimmick Boss Secrets Long Puzzle Art Collectathon
[1] Like
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 60 60
Aug 30, 2022
Mrzwanzig
Scribble is a pretty damn long adventure game, and to be honest the length is kind of what killed it for me. The basic gameplay is solid enough: nonlinear exploration of multiple levels that are unlocked as you progress, with puzzle-like rooms based around using various items you find along the way. It's pretty fun, the only consistent annoyance being the garbage traps. Supposedly there's fewer of them in the Scribble Notes version that I played, but if that's the case I shudder to think what the original was like.

After a while though, the rooms start to blend together. The puzzles are clever at first, but they mostly all boil down to the same few concepts with not much changing. Yeah you get new items, but those run out LONG before the game runs out of stages to throw at you. And thus small annoyances like the constant item switching, forced backtracking, more occurances of "Whoops I had to shoot that block at the start of the screen and now I can't do it anymore, guess I'll die" than I care to count, and of course the traps, start to add up.

Let's talk about the bosses real quick: they're pretty good. I may have personally found the ricocheting bullets you're forced to use on most of them annoying, but I can appreciate how it makes the bosses in this game unique.

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[1] Like
Rating: 6.5 65       Difficulty: 57 57
Sep 16, 2019
DerpyHoovesIWBTG
Rating based on medium mode.

Carnival's big collectathon game. The game has a very strong start, with a big emphasis on exploration and figuring out what to find in order to progress and unlock new worlds. On your way you'll find treasure chests containing gems or items which give you new mechanics to play with. The one thing what this game does that few adventure games do is the ability to travel through various worlds which you can unlock by finding enough notes throughout the game. Think of this game as a simplified Mario Galaxy meets Cave Story. This game also contains a bunch of bosses that you'll randomly encounter along the way.

While everything I've mentioned before makes this game a big contender for one of my favorite adventure games, unfortunely this was not the case for me at all. Around 3 hours in it became extremely repetitive for me. This game just becomes a tedious grind of having to beat the same setpieces in every screen opening and closing the inventory menu over and over to choose the right item of choice. You start off using your default gun and once you unlock the fire and ice guns you never go back to using the gun you used at the start of the game. I wish the maker just kept the default gun and added a quick switch button to select a different gun so you end up wasting way less time navigating the inventory multiple times per save.

It is very common to die to a spike trap around 2/3rds into the save or even right before the next save, and this feeling of dread becomes worse the further you get into the game as the saves become longer and longer. There is also this mechanic with the fire gun where if you shoot a breakable block or object it spawns ricochet bullets which can kill you if you touch it. I really did not like this gimmick as there are various moments where you have to shoot a block in a small corridor and hope that the bullet doesn't travel far enough to kill you while you are progressing through the screen.

Next up are the bosses. These are the type of bosses that you don't learn right away but only after you die a couple of times. The first three bosses while creative take a very long time to beat (especially the second boss in the factory area, that one takes almost 3 minutes to beat), once you beat them for whatever reason the next bosses take much shorter to beat than before. The first three bosses have a big emphasis on waiting for attack cycles and you are able to damage the boss, while nearly everything after it you can tear down half of its health in 15 seconds and after you learned all of the attacks it doesn't take longer than a minute before the boss is dead. It's very disorienting and to me it felt like they were rushed just so that the maker could focus more on creating the same type of platforming that you see throughout the game. One of the bosses requires you to use your default gun for whatever reason while all of the bosses before it could be killed with the current gun you have equipped (usually the fire gun).

My biggest gripe about this game is that you only unlock the jetpack after you've beaten the final boss and ONLY if you have 45 notes, and if you haven't found enough notes yet you must go through every stage again and find the ones you've missed or skipped if you didn't know what a solution to it was. It would have been nice if you unlocked it right before or right after beating the final boss since then you have a big incentive of collecting the remaining notes and gems instead of painstakingly having to do what I just said.

The jetpack itself is also very clunky, as it only activates after using your double jump and even then you must hold shift the entire time as if you don't you will lose your fuel instantly and drop down. I died a bunch of times to long saves because of that. It's meant to copy the Booster from Cave Story, but at least implement the fuel mechanic from that game instead of losing it right away the moment you release the shift key.


While I found this game to be pretty flawed, there were some things which I still liked. I appreciate the signs having an X after you collect all of the notes on the route the sign is pointing towards, although sometimes you'll end up going through multiple screens to end up at a screen with a note that you can't even collect because you don't have the desired item unlocked yet. This happens a few times in the later stages. The crayon storybook aesthetic is a very creative and original idea, and the song choices while not very memorable are also well chosen. Ultimately it's just only just the less important things which I liked, as part of a bigger package of content I got bored or frustrated from.

I'm not really sure what I think of this game. While it has a very original idea for an adventure game it has a bunch of flaws which hold me back from rating it any higher. Personally I wouldn't go back to this game as it lacks the replayability factor that most of Carnival's games have where you never get tired of playing it even after beating it multiple times. I was very exhausted when this game was over and I don't have the desire to go back to it again due to the game's length. I can see why people love this game, but for me this ain't it.

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Tagged as: Adventure Trap Gimmick Boss Puzzle
[0] Likes
Rating: 5.5 55       Difficulty: 63 63
Feb 5, 2023