Following previous games in the series, players control a boy named Maxwell who has the ability to manifest any object or person using his magical notepad. These objects can be used to solve each mission's objective in a variety of ways. The notable feature of this game is the appearance of heroes, supervillains and locations from the DC Universe. According to developer 5th Cell, the game features almost every character in the DC Universe - around 2000 characters in total - ranging from popular characters such as Superman and Wonder Woman to more obscure characters such as Bloodwynd and Matter-Eater Lad. Variations of certain characters are also included, such as multiple Batman interpretations and hundreds of different Green Lanterns. Players can use the assistance of these characters to help solve puzzles, such as using Superman's heat vision to free a key trapped in a block of ice. These characters can also be modified using adjectives, allowing for creations such as "Zombie Batman" or "Super Doomsday".
Players can visit a number of locations from the DC Universe, including the Batcave - which acts as the player's main hub - as well as Gotham City, Atlantis, Metropolis, the Fortress of Solitude, Central City, the Green Lantern Corps base on Oa, and more. In addition, players who find enough Starites will be able to gain access to levels inspired by the origins of the Justice Leaguers.
Scribblenauts Unmasked includes many new additions, including the DC Universe plot and the new addition of reputation, which can buy certain places and costumes from the Batcomputer. Certain teams can also be searched, but with various rosters; for instance, the roster of the Justice League is the same of that in the New 52, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.
Many of the game's features return from Scribblenauts Unlimited, such as adding adjectives to existing objects without the use of potions, although the only way to get Starites is to participate in battles against DC super villains and Doppelganger, who always appears in these battles.
In the Wii U version, unlike the previous games, Scribblenauts Unmasked features co-op multiplayer, also dubbed Sidekick mode. In Sidekick mode, a second player can use their Wii Remote to highlight a character or object; after non-stop highlighting for a few seconds, the player can play as that character alongside Maxwell and use that character's abilities (for example, playing as Starfire will allow the player to fly and shoot star bolts at enemies). If the player highlights an inanimate object for long enough, he or she can bring that object to life and play as it; doing so will cause the object to float in mid-air in order for the player to move. The player playing as Maxwell can also purchase costumes that give Maxwell the powers or weapons of that respective character.
Another new feature is Maxwell's utility belt, which can be used to summon certain characters and objects without the use of Maxwell's notebook; examples include a grappling hook, a jetpack, the Batmobile, Beast Boy, Raven, Oracle and Starfire.
The rerelease of the game added the DC Rebirth costumes and other new costumes/variants for existing characters. It also added new characters, including the Royal Flush Gang, Atlanna, Jessica Cruz, Ryan Choi and the Batman Who Laughs.