Alph and Betty’s Topsy Turvy World is an interactive alphabet storybook for iPad. Join Alph and Betty, two doddering inventors who explore and have adventures in their crazy house full of machines and contraptions. Each room in their house represents a letter of the alphabet. But this is more than just a storybook; it’s a 2-D platform puzzle adventure, too!
When you start the story, you can choose to have it be read to you, or you can read it yourself. After a short introduction, you’ll be able to control Betty in each room (and other characters later on). You can make Betty move by sliding her left and right, and jump by sliding up. In each room you may have to solve a puzzle by jumping to certain platforms and grabbing an item or flipping a switch. Each room represents a letter of the alphabet, and in the text of the story, they’ll highlight the featured letter. Once you solve a puzzle you’ll be able to move onto the next room.
Each room also has two hidden mini-games. Behind a door you can play a matching game or a puzzle. And if you are near the magic clock in each room, you can play a game where you must tap on as many objects that start with that room’s letter in a given time limit. The story comes in three chapters, but only the first is available now, and it goes up to the letter ‘g.’ But there’s plenty of adventure to be had with the first seven letters of the alphabet. You’ll help Betty deal with a giant carrot who is tipping up their house, and even travel to the future to bring some useful tools back to the present to help you solve puzzles!
Unfortunately, not all is well in their Topsy Turvy World. For one, the controls are not very responsive, and younger gamers may get frustrated by that. Some of the puzzles and goals are a little unclear, too, even with the hint option. And for an alphabet book, it’s a fairly advanced story and game. Parents may want to help read and play the game with their kids. But you know what, that’s okay, too! It would be a good way for parents to spend time with their kids, and despite the game’s problems, it’s still a charming little adventure with a “Wallace and Gromit” feel to it.