Bitesize Review – Alphabear

AlphabearAlphabear2

Platform: iOS / Android
Developer: Spry Fox
Genre: Puzzle / Word
Price: Free
Release Date: 8th July 2015

Most people with a mobile device have played a word game of some form in their time. It can be difficult to differentiate between them when the base gameplay comes down to arranging letters but Spry Fox achieve success with charm and a smattering of elements that make F2P games so dangerously addictive.

While you’re still making words from allotted tiles, you also have to take into account their expiration. A letter with zero moves remaining turns to stone, forever blocking the playfield occupied by extremely cute bears that automatically expand to fill the space.

Making words reveals the surrounding letters, so it can quickly descend into chin-rubbingly long sessions puzzling over how best to use all expiring tiles. The timed modes only further exacerbate this and special daily levels that remove certain letters refresh the formula.

There’s added depth with collectible bears awarded gachapon-style for highscores, with each one adding various ways to boost your score and further extend your collection. It’s simple on paper, but once the Pokemon fever kicks in, it can become quite exciting to unlock the next adorable creature.

For once, the timers can be negated by purchasing the Infinite Honey IAP which removes most unpleasantness but you still have to contend with limited game modes that require passing of real time to unlock and events that need in-game coins to play. It strikes a balance between the two payment stances but doesn’t quite offer the unlimited gameplay you might expect from the relatively high price (£3.99 / $4.99).

For those seeking a quick experience they can dip into between responsiblities, you’ll likely find it best played as a free game, and a great one at that. Long-term gamers might be better suited spending that cash on a fully premium title or two such as The Grading Game or Wooords.

Nonetheless, it stands as one of the best free word games and there’s little you can do to fault the polish and presentation.

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