As the often-mocked “casual gamer”, I rarely find time to get stuck into fully immersive, intense games. I dip my toe occasionally into the MMO world of FF14 (which I love), and I am a sucker for cute RPGs and turn based battle systems. However the type of games I often end up playing are the short, easy to burn through mobile games. Games like Temple Run, Hexagon, Zoo Keeper – these are games that I like to just pull out of my pocket and blast through whilst waiting for a train or on my lunch break.
The most recent of these games that caught my eye is a game called Alphabear. I saw a couple of murmurings on the internet, and the style alone was enough to convince me to download it and have a play. And it is now one of my favourite mobile games!
The game is incredibly easy to pick up – all you need to do is use the letter tiles to create words and build up as high a score as possible in order to unlock cute adorable bears. Bear figures appear when letter tiles are used, and the shapes that they end up in as you create different words add another layer of cute, simple fun to this game
As with all mobile games, there is a small purchase element incorporated into it – each level costs “honey” to play, and whilst you can earn honey over time you can also skip the entire thing altogether and purchase unlimited honey for £3.99. Since the game itself is free I didn’t feel too angry about this, and it seems to be the only thing I have noticed that has encouraged me to spend real money. The bears you collect give you powers that help in-game, and each bear has a recharge time, but I think this just puts a strategic spin on things. If you know you plan on playing a tricky timed level next, you don’t use up your bears that give you time bonuses on levels that are all about the high score count.
The one criticism I do have currently is that once you go up a level, you can’t go back. This is very limiting when you reach levels that you might struggle to get passed (as I have a couple of times), as you don’t want to keep winning the same bears over and over. However since this game has only just been released, I do believe replaying previous levels is a feature they plan to release at a later date. The only other thing I can possibly think of is some of the “words” that I have come up with that are recognised are incredibly dubious, whilst words in any language other than English seem to be ignored which is an incredible shame – my German words should get me a brilliant score dammit!
Overall this game is cute, easy to play and incredibly addictive. I find it very easy to play a couple of levels here and there and then get on with whatever else I’m doing during my day.
As a final bonus – the captions/mad libs that the bears come out with at the end use words you’ve created during the level, and the opportunities for filth are endless.
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