The first question that springs to mind after loading this up is what's going on? Followed closely by why? and how? and, again and not for the last time, what's going on?
You're presented with a theatre stage made of grass. The letters c-r-e-a-t-e topple to the floor and the game requests that you paint some flowers on the ground and add a park bench.
You earn a 'spark' and you move on to a completely untextured level where you can paint the entire thing in garish colours.
You fumble with the imprecise Wii remote controls and struggle to find the option you're looking for amid the confusingly nested menus.
You sprinkle the main road with tiny dinosaurs and wonder what's going on?
Can we fix it?
Create is a game of two halves. You can spend ages decorating the backdrops until you've added enough stuff to make it dish out some more sparks1 (and, counter-productively, to induce some slowdown) but the real fun is found on the flat 2D playing area in the foreground.
There are a bunch of challenges on each level and you're given a simple set of slot-together parts to solve them.
Say, for example, you've got a racing car on one side of the level, a finish line on the other, and a big gap in the middle. Nestling in your inventory, a wooden ramp. The solution is obvious.
But what if you don't have a ramp? What if you've just got some balloons to lift the car in the air and fans to blow it along? How do you stop it floating off the top of the screen? How do you get it down so it can trip the finish line?
You place objects while the game is paused, then hit the action button to activate the physics engine and see how it all plays out.
As you watch your car soar helplessly out of the level, you notice a balloon with a spiked ball floating nearby. You pause the game and tweak the position of your fans, in an effort to bring about a mid-air collision.
The cycle of pause-tweak-play lets you make the fine adjustments needed to ensure that everything happens just so.
In the more complicated types of challenge you'll have to build machines using wheels, hinges and girders, and set up long chain reactions.
Some challenges award bonus points for going out of your way and collecting objects from around the level, while others dish out extra sparks if you can solve them using the smallest number of parts.
Create has a little in common with World Of Goo, and a lot in common with an internet Flash game called Fantastic Contraption.
You can't make such complicated machines in Create, but the premise is the same. It's just dressed up nicely for a console audience.
Being a game where you've got to use your imagination to achieve the best results, it's prone to the Scribblenauts problem.
While you'd love to rocket that car into the air and have it land on a robot arm that pivots and flings it towards the goal, after multiple failed attempts you'll go for the simplest, cheapest option.
You'll unlock stuff all the time. New objects are always being introduced, but if you don't know how sticky glue blobs and special hinges are meant to be used, the trial and error process can be pretty demoralising.
The best thing about Fantastic Contraption is seeing how other players solved the puzzles. You'll see techniques you'd never thought of, and apply them to your own creations. It's an essential part of the game's appeal.
Unfortunately EA haven't included online functions in the Wii version of Create, which is about as disastrous an omission as they could have possibly made.
What's the point if you'll never get to see cool stuff that other players have done?
The controls are a major pain at times, and it can be difficult to make tiny adjustments. Twisting the remote to control the angle of a piece while simultaneously trying to drop it on an exact spot isn't good.
And if you're making a machine, you can't reposition individual parts once placed - they have to be deleted.
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- You can customise almost everything
- You can choose theme tunes for each level
- Limited only by your imagination
- Badly designed menus
- Wii remote can be problematic
- Lack of a helpful tutorial