Alphabetic, the first game from No Monkeys has an extremely simple concept that proves to be highly addictive. Players are tasked with finding the letters of the alphabet in various orders by tapping on the touch screen. The letters are jumbled in a number of ways and get harder to find as you progress through a game.
The presentation is sleek, the action is fast-paced and there’s enough variety to keep Alphabetic feeling fresh for hours. Add online leaderboards to the package and you get a $2 game that is better than a lot of similar $20 games on other handhelds; one that I would consider a must-have. Read More…
The first thing you will have to do in Alphabetic is survive a Quick Game. This standard mode introduces players to the concept of the game and is the mode in which scores are submitted to the online leaderboards.
The game starts with a single letter A for players to tap. As the alphabet progresses, more letters appear on-screen and are jumbled in quite a few different ways. For example letters may be arranged in rows of varying sizes like an eye chart, they may fly towards you like a tunnel, or rotate around the outer edge of the screen while being half covered.
Scoring is based on how fast you can find letters. If you are speedy, the game rewards you with “Quick Find” and “Blitz Find” bonuses. You can build up rather sizeable chain bonuses by stringing quick and blitz finds together. Each letter you find also adds three seconds to the countdown clock that starts at 25 seconds when you begin a round.
Alphabetic does an excellent job of ramping up the difficulty as you progress through a round. By the time you reach the end of the alphabet, the screen will be filled with letters for you to sort through. Even after several hours with the game I still fail a Quick Game from time to time.
After surviving a Quick Game, Challenges are unlocked for you to try your hand at. These range from playing a Quick Game round at several higher difficulties to doing the round backwards from Z to A and even adding numbers to the mix in a challenge called Numeric. Each challenge has three score objectives or difficulties to complete.
There are 26 trophies to earn; one for each letter of the alphabet. Completing the requirements of each trophy adds to the game progress meter on the title screen. By the time I hit 50% completion, I had already spent three or four hours with Alphabetic. This title is an excellent value at $2, especially for people who enjoy fast-paced, modern puzzlers or word games.
The visual presentation is simple and sleek. Alphabetic uses a clean font and contrasting neon colours on a dark backgrounds to help distinguish letters from each other. I’m not sure how a colourblind gamer would fare with this game, but I have not heard any complaints in other reviews or on gaming forums.
There's not much to speak of in the audio department at all. The only real sounds in the game are a click when you tap a letter correctly and the warning noise that signifies your countdown timer dropping below 10 seconds. Alphabetic supports playing music stored in your iPod/iPhone library, so you can always listen to your tunes while if you want to.
Alphabetic is a fantastic little game with plenty of addictive gameplay and at $2 a title I consider a must-have for iPhone/iPod Touch owners. It’s one of the best, most original puzzle games I’ve played since Lumines or Meteos. I would not be surprised to see this game really catch on and get ported to the DS or WiiWare in the future.
+ Highly Addictive
+ Many Challenges and Variations Keep Things Fresh
+ Clean, Sleek & Modern Presentation
- No Music
- May be Hard for Colourblind Players
Game Forward score: 5/5
Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward
Alphabetic (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:
Developer: No Monkeys
Publisher: No Monkeys
Release Date: January 21, 2009
Price: $1.99 US/CAN
iTunes Rating: 4+