By Sara Zeglin
Do you know what I love? Word games. Well, I love all kinds of games, really . . . but word games hold a special place in my heart.
Alphabear is a free-to-play word game for iOS and Android in which you make words on a board. You don’t have to link the words together (like in Boggle) but you DO have to be sure to keep an eye on how quickly the letters will disappear. (The timing based on number of turns, not a clock.) Some challenges give you as much time as you want to make your words, but some must be completed in a set amount of time.
Every day you are given two “daily challenges.” You can play them as many times as you want. Choose bears to bring with you to earn extra bonuses. You earn new bears by beating a challenge, as well as unlocking boss battles (to move on to the next level) or other treasure events (to earn extra loot or rare bears).
You do pay in-game currency to access levels, but you do not have to pay real money unless you simply can’t wait long to earn enough to play again.
There are currently 11 levels (chapters), but as this is a mobile game, we can expect more with future updates!
Why It’s Cool
The bears are really cute. The collectable aspect really appeals to completionists. And you get a fun postcard at the end of the level featuring words from your game!
Am I Learning?
Word games are a great way to stretch and expand your vocabulary, but Alphabear’s twist also encourages strategic thinking. The bears you choose confer extra bonuses based on letters, word length, or other factors—so it behooves players to pay extra attention to the challenges parameters so they choose the most advantageous bears!
Sara Zeglin is our once-and-future senior games producer here at National Geographic Education and Children’s Media. If you’ve discovered Pluto’s Secret, been stumped by a Quiz Whiz, or participated in a Dung Beetle Derby, you can thank Sara.