Version Reviewed: 01.01.00
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
[Having trouble getting into the spelling groove? Check out our Alphabear tips & tricks guide.]
Where so many word games are fun but a little soulless, Alphabear crams in plenty of personality thanks to its focus on teddy bears. It’s an unusual mixture of things, but it works really well for Alphabear. Throw in some varied rulesets and you’ve got a word game that’s going to keep you hooked for quite some time.
It seems simple enough. You spell words from a selection of letter tiles on a grid. Each tile starts out with a number that gradually ticks down for each turn that you don’t use it. Once that number hits zero, the tile turns to stone and you can’t use it any more. It also blocks your bears because, oh yeah, bears grow bigger on this grid. For every time you use letters next to a bear, that animal grows a little bigger and so forth. The bigger the bear, the more points you earn. The more points, the more likely you are to gain a new bear with additional powers.
It’s a simple idea but a great one. It’s also very cute. Each bear has its own skillset, plus they look pretty appealing, encouraging you to try to collect them all. The levels vary too, with some based around the days of the week. They reflect the day too, through their rules, such as Sunday which doesn’t permit the use of W,O,R, or K. Alphabear also intersperses some levels with silly little phrases pieced together from what you’ve created. It’s ultimately pointless but it captures your imagination nicely enough.
It’s that attention to detail that keeps Alphabear constantly interesting. There are in-app purchase clouding things a little, and restricting how much you can accomplish at times, but a $5 one-off fee dispenses with that and this is a game that feels worth the price.