Monday, July 14, 2014

IOS Spotlight #79: Alphabeats

Title: Alphabeats
Developer: Rad Dragon
Platforms: IOS Universal
Price: $1.99
Word games come in all shapes and styles on the App Store. From classics like Bookworm and Scrabble to genre blending games such as Word Mage and Spell Quest, it's a very well presented genre on the platform. Alphabeats offers a new twist on the word game, combining fast paced spelling with rhythmic evasion.
Playing Alphabeats couldn't be simpler. Letters descend from the top of the screen in sync with the soundtrack, and you must catch letters to form words by dragging between columns. Swipe up once you're satisfied with your word to collect points. As you might expect, longer words equals more points; however this is where Alphabeat's twitchy elements reveal themselves. Longer words take up more space, and if you hit a letter that messes up your word (i.e. MAN to MANX), you lose all your letters and need to start constructing a word from scratch. Thus, Alphabeats becomes a game of reaction and focus, as you watch for letters to create words and move into position to collect them, while weaving between letters you don't want. Deciding between short words that allow you dodge more easily, or risking it all with a long word for many points, forms the core of Alphabeats' challenging gameplay. Powerups that let you shrink words, clear the screen, and provide a points multiplier add to the strategy.
Being a rhythm game, Alphabeats wouldn't be complete without a great soundtrack, and the mix of electronic, techno, and dubstep perfectly complements the twitchy word game fun. It should be noted that you only get five songs with your initial purchase; more songs can be purchased individually or as part of a $7.99 "Everything Ever" pack that provides all current songs as any future additions. You can purchase Alphabeats here.

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