Alphaman (iPad)

ALPHA_BOXHelp Alphaman run through mazes, avoiding enemies and eating letters in this title that’ll remind you of a certain yellow dot-muncher who is very popular (and my favorite video game character). Alphaman is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android, but played on iPad for this review.

In each maze, the object is to eat all the letters, but they have to be in a certain order to spell out a word. If you run over another letter, you’ll slow down a bit. You must also avoid roving enemies. Get hit three times by them and it’s Game Over. Sometimes random power-ups will appear that can help you out if you nab them. Some increase your speed, bombs will destroy all enemies on screen, and some give you vehicles so you can temporarily pass through baddies.

Clear a maze enough times and you’ll unlock new ones. Mazes have different themes like Space, Desert, etc., with different enemies and visuals. The final maze you unlock looks suspiciously like the old retro game this title is trying to emulate. Play control is simple, just swipe in the direction you want Alphaman to go.


Kid Factor:

Reading skill and letter recognition is helpful for playing. For an educational game, it can be a little difficult at times as the enemies are actually pretty smart. So it might frustrate some youngsters. Also, some of the words you spell aren’t really words you use in real life, just ones you have to look up so you can get rid of your letters in a Scrabble game. So it kind of diminishes the educational value. I think it would’ve been a cool idea if maybe there was an option for parents to enter in their kids’ school spelling words to use in the game, and then their kids could practice that while playing.

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