December 27, 2015
Description: Alphabear is a tablet game, where you spell out words on a game board under various circumstances in order to build up your score. You collect bears as you go along, and these bears have different abilities that will help you add to your score. In some cases, you can even buy bears to help you improve your overall score. The main objective is to collect as many of the themed bears as possible.
Platform: So far it is available in the Google Play Store and iTunes for iOS.
Developer: It is made by Spry Fox, the same group that created Triple Town, so I see where is the bear theme comes from.
Key factors: The best way to approach this and any other game based on spelling, is to have a large vocabulary. Even still, it is fun to simply test out what words will be accepted. I have gotten points from many words I have never heard of before, and hope to someday look up some of these words to see if they actually exist. If they don't, it is still good with me because I still want points to collect bears. In order to play each level, you need honey. Honey is provided by waiting a certain amount of time until it refills. If you want to have infinite honey, you will have to pay for the game. At the time of writing, I believe it to be about $5. There is also a coin currency in the game to unlock special levels, and 2x additional bears in certain levels even after you have completed them. It is a way that you can collect more without having to replay the entire level.
Visual elements: In case you have not caught on by now, there are bears. They are not just any old bears - they are cute square bears that can stretch out or up in the game screen to take up the space where you have spelled out a word correctly. It brings a very distinct visual style to this game, not to mention it’s very cute. I look forward to seeing the Bears that I can unlock, the various costumes and even personalities make the game light hearted and fun.
Gameplay: Since this is a tablet game, you simply tap on the letters and click the check mark on the bottom of the screen to submit a word. It is fairly easy to access any menus if you wish to buy honey or coins or purchase the game itself. It seems right now if you are going to spend any money it might be better to buy the game outright by getting the infinite honey then simply buying bit by bit in order to increase the time of game play.
Pros: This game is great and its simplicity, and it has a very unique style which I would think would bring people back to play. Even if you do not have a good vocabulary, you can still play with the letters until something comes up that is workable, and as I stated before, look it up later. In this way, it may actually be educating you in a fun and non intrusive manner.
Cons: I do wish that they would provide you with more honey per day. Yes they do offer ways that you can buy it, but for the users who choose to play it for free I think they could allow at least a little bit more play time per session. Also, I am not entirely sure there is a need for two different currencies. Maybe it would be more simple if they combined the currencies and simply allow you to use them in different ways.
Other thoughts: I think this game is a great casual way to spend your time. It has a playful design, simple controls, nice day, nice things to collect, and a fairly active community. The developers seem to be interested in expanding the game still, so it will be fun to see what they choose to bring out next.