The Ultimate Alphabet is part word puzzle, part photo search and part vocabulary test. If you’re a word-nerd like me, you’re going to love this game.
Based on the best selling book by Mike Wilks, the game presents you with an intricately designed image based around a given letter of the alphabet. Each picture contains hundreds of hidden words.
To add even greater challenge, most items are associated with multiple terms; for instance an Atlas is also associated with Africa, America, Asia, Atlantic and Australia.
The game has a free, timed trial of the letter A so you can try before you buy. Each letter can be purchased in-app purchase. Currently only A through D are available, but that’s more than enough to keep you occupied. Each letter is on the pricey side, but I’ve gotten hours of entertainment out of each one.
Panning and zooming acts as you would expect on the iPad. Double-tapping an item reveals the keyboard to type your guess.
When you really get into a bind, hints are provided at the cost of stars that you earn for correct guesses. There are a variety of trophies and medals to be awarded based on your performance as well.
But this is not a forgiving game when it comes to spelling. Autocorrection or the inclusion of a dictionary would be a great addition. Quitting out of the app to find the correct spelling of Ankylosaurus is a slow and tiresome process.
A Wikipedia entry is available after correct guesses. This is helpful if you’ve used a hint to unscramble the word and want to delve into the meaning of it, but at that point you’re probably moving on to another word.
My other gripe is with the user-interface design. It looks dated and doesn’t fit very well with what we’ve come to expect for a well designed iPad app.
Overall, The Ultimate Alphabet is a very fun and challenging game and a great showcase for the iPad. It’s perfect for pick-up-and-play moments and even fun to play with others. It’s also available for the iPhone.
Do you play any other great word games that take great advantage of the iPad?
Dan Gaede is an Art Director living in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @dangaede
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