The Ultimate Alphabet Review
There are many ways to boost your vocabulary. You could try reading more, or conversing with people whose perspicacity of linguistics outshines yours. Or you could just download The Ultimate Alphabet for your iPhone.
A unique combination of hidden objects and word games, The Ultimate Alphabet gives you over 360 words to discover that start with the letter A. (Packs with B, C and D are also available for purchase.) The game is a giant tableau featuring tons of objects on it, all of which you can double-tap and highlight. Each word has two clues, a cryptic clue and a more direct clue. If you’re still stumped, a jigsaw puzzle appears with the letters of the word. Some objects are associated with multiple words, so you’ll need to solve them as well to consider the object fully found.
Every time you solve a set number of words, The Ultimate Alphabet offers coins or trophies that can be used to unlock a huge number of awards and achievements. These awards, too, are ranked based on how few clues or jigsaw puzzles you needed to figure out each word.
The tableau itself is big, beautiful and extremely detailed. You are able to pinch to zoom in on each object, and you can double-tap almost every single one of them. It’s astounding how many items there are to find and figure out.
The sound, though, is completely absent. Aside from a few clinks or chimes, the game is silent. Unfortunately, there is no option to play your own music in-game, which makes for a bit of a solemn game at times.
As for the words themselves, you’ll be in for a bit of a rough time if you don’t know that “airplane” is also spelled “aeroplane.” Words are often spelled using European spelling rules, and The Ultimate Alphabet won’t always realize what you’re typing. Accidentally typing “artilery” (missing the second L) confused the game, and didn’t just give the answer. You have to be 100% accurate.
Some of the words you simply will have never heard before. Have you ever heard of an “aerodyne” (a type of aircraft) or an “antimacassar” (an ornamental covering for a chair back)? Me neither, but you’ll learn all about them in The Ultimate Alphabet. Granted, it can be very frustrating when you have no idea what the word could be, but it is a great opportunity to boost the ol’ vocab.
As far as the clues go, unless you understand the way cryptic clues work, you’ll be out of luck. You may have seen these kinds of riddles in newspapers. If you’re familiar with them then you’re in for a real treat, as they are quite well done given the rules they follow. If you haven’t dealt with them before, there is a long, verbose explanation in the game. Granted, it has to be long and verbose in order to understand how they work. The example used is the word PILOT. Sometimes it will be given as an anagram, in the phrase “I plot new guide.” The first half of the sentence is the anagram, and the word “new” indicates this. It also separates the last word, “guide,” which happens to be the definition of the unscrambled word. Other times, the word is embedded inside of two words, like “scampi lots.” There are a lot of other clues and indicators as well; these are just two examples. If you’re not willing to learn these rules (they really aren’t as bad as it would seem; it just requires some patience and punnery) then you can skip the crypic clues using the options menu. Still, you’d be missing out on a big part of the fun of the game.
To help make The Ultimate Alphabet‘s “A” pack free, a constant ad runs at the top of the screen, with prompts to purchase the pack without it. You’d be far better off just purchasing all four of the packs (which, at time of writing, retails for $4.99 in the App Store) and playing hours of The Ultimate Alphabet. If you’re into words, wordplay and HOGs, then The Ultimate Alphabet will be right up your alley. If you’re at all unsure, the free version will give you a glimpse into this cerebral puzzler, and should definitely be tried by all. The world needs more chances to get smarter these days, and now one of these chances fits nicely in your pocket.