Try this app: Alphabear

I’m piling on at this point, because I’ve seen rave reviews for this game EVERYWHERE. But I’m adding my voice: I love Alphabear and it’s one of the best iOS games I’ve played so far this year.

I’m going to start off by saying remember Boggle? My family played Boggle all the time. The adults would play Scrabble but that’s no fun with a kid, so Boggle was the game of choice. We played so often my grandfather cut some foam to stick inside the top and dampen the noise of the die shaking. It was a friendly, accessible, cutthroat game. Alphabear makes me feel like I’m playing Boggle again (with some improvements).

It’s also the game for you if you like word games. The premise is simple: you are presented with some letters to make words out of (and unlike Boggle they don’t have to be touching). The better the word, the higher your score. Letters you use disappear, and the tiles bordering the letters are flipped over. Letters you don’t use gradually grow hotter, until finally they turn to stone and are unusable: this is a problem because your goal is to grow bears that use the free space you create when using letters.

Let me show you what I mean, because words aren’t really helpful with this game:

Alphabear (click to see a quick video)

As you play, you unlock and upgrade bears with different abilities; there are different modes (every day an untimed mode is unlocked and a blitz/timed one). When you beat the “boss” of a level, you go on to the next, usually unlocking a new rare or epic bear as you do. More powerful bears go to sleep after use, and you can unlock them with coins or simply wait for them to wake up before you can use them again.

It is a game with IAP (in-app purchases), but they are the kind I don’t mind: you regain honey slowly, which allows you to play levels. You can get a bunch by watching a video, or you can unlock unlimited honey for $4.99. That’s not a steep price for a game this fun. Some levels, like the boss levels, use coins. You earn these by playing or can purchase more/watch a video for more.


Alphabear is free on the App store and requires iOS 7.1 or later.