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Alphabear: Word Play Has Never Been So Cute

Word game with cute bears, try to make the best words possible to unlock new bears.

Alphabear is a game inspired by Scrabble and Words with Friends. But it's far more fun than either one.

This is a word puzzle game where you select letters on a grid to make words.  Words score you points, and generating enough points unlocks cute little bears.  A basic, minimum score will unlock common bears such as Doggy Bears and Stretch Bears, whereas the gold level minimum score will unlock Rare Bears, such as Easy Bears and Pirate Bears. Legendary bears, such as Unicorn and Robot Bears can be unlocked through playing treasure tasks. 

Each bear has a unique ability -- such as an end of game bonus, additional points for specific letters, and additional time for the time-based games.  The superior bears tire after playing, so they need time to rest up. 

In order to play Alphabear games, it requires the in-game currency of ‘honey’, which is slowly built up over time. You spend honey to enter a game, select 3 bears to play, and the longer the words you use, the more the size of the bear increases -- and thus the larger your bonus at the end. 

Once you’ve confirmed the first word, more letters are generated and this letter tile placement system continues to expand.  Watch for letters that you don’t choose to use, as they can turn to stone and prevent the bears from growing, restricting your end of game bonus. This expansion system lasts until the board is full or your time trial is up.

There are different types of tasks, such as a ‘get x number of points’ mode, a time trial, a trickier challenge event that is more difficult but offers greater rewards,  and the treasure events that unlock the legendary bears.

Play options include ‘versus’, where you can play against your friends, plus ‘special mode’, which is a monthly event, and the ‘chapters’ mode where there are daily games and each chapter is themed. The bears you receive from those chapters are themed accordingly -- for example, the golfing bear comes from the leisure-themed chapter.

Whilst the game is fun and cute, it is hardly generous in the in-game honey currency, as it does take excessively long to refill.  You can get infinite honey, but this does cost real money. 

I do like Alphabear, as it is fun and challenging. But I do think they should consider massively decreasing the time it takes to refill the honey -- because if you're like me and you don’t want to spend real money on a freemium game, then the game lasts all of 5 minutes. It's a fun 5 minutes admittedly,  but surely the developers want you playing that little bit longer…

Alphabear is available for download on both the App Store and Google Play. 

Published Oct. 25th 2016

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