Genre:  Word & Trivia

ALPHA 9 Review: Lots of words, but little variety

Jan 13, 2014

Alpha 9 is a new grid-based word-spelling game with a sleek minimalist design and a vast dictionary full of fun words that are just waiting to be formed to score the biggest point clusters. Because why spell things at all if you don’t strive to make those impressive eight-letter beasts, am I right? But despite showing off a few neat gameplay mechanics and a calmingly cool atmosphere, the lack of progression or long-term playing incentives leave this one feeling more like a breezy spelling test, rather than a full-fledged spelling bee championship.

Think of a giant board of Tetris, only with each tiny individual square containing a letter that you’ll need to use in order to form all of the words that your brain can possibly muster. Making words of four letters or more will clear out an entire horizontal row, while lining up three of the same letter in a vertical column will create a wildcard tile that can be used as any letter when creating your words for big points. When you’re really on a roll and have cleared away more letters than you have new words to spell, you can always hold two fingers on the screen to make more letter blocks start piling on from the top at a much more rapid rate.

ALPHA 9

But now the catch is that you’re only ever allowed to make words horizontally, which is done by holding down on a letter and dragging your finger sideways until the word is fully highlighted. Luckily, you’re also able to vertically move a single letter block up and down to whatever position you like, so long as you stay within the same column it started in. It’s certainly an interesting mechanic, and one that can almost feel a little jarring at first: not only do you have horizontal words to be matching, but you also need to be mindful of all the new words that you can potentially set yourself up with by using vertical maneuvers at the very same time.

At the end of each play, you’ll be presented with your wordlist for that game, your highest scoring word, and how many points you scored overall. Unfortunately, the game as a whole just doesn’t have enough features or long-term incentives to keep players spelling for very long. Alpha 9 currently features two different game modes: Wall and Clock. The Wall mode is easily the more exciting of the two, with flurries of letters constantly falling from the top of the screen, and players spelling until one of their vertical columns gets too tall and results in a Game Over, just like in Tetris.

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MoviePop Walkthrough

Nov 19, 2013

MoviePop is an online trivia game created by FreshPlanet Inc. Players are shown brief movie clips, then asked to identify the film based on the clip they've been shown. As players score points in a category, they level up and unlock more questions in that genre. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to avoid mistaking I, Robot for Terminator 2.

MoviePop

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MoviePop Review: Great clips, but no challenge

Nov 19, 2013

Half the fun of seeing a movie is recalling the film's best moments for years to come. What's better than sitting with a fellow enthusiast over some beers and jabbing one another in the shoulder while hooting, "Ooh! Ooh! Do you remember that one part when--"

MoviePop for mobile platforms is essentially a digitized version of the excited reminiscing you do with your friends over all things movie-related. Except you play against strangers or Facebook friends, and there are visual aids galore, which renders it difficult to give a wrong answer and make yourself look like a jackass in front of your buddies. As a whole experience, MoviePop is a decent way to waste a couple of hours. Before long, however, questions start repeating, making MoviePop an easy game to ace even if you're not big into cinema.

MoviePop

You begin a round of MoviePop by selecting a genre. There are plenty to choose from, including Action-Adventure, Family, Animation, Sci-Fi, Horror, and lots more. Granted, some categories need to be unlocked, and you're forced to choose one category from a list of three, unless you spend premium currency (popcorn!) to re-shuffle the list. But there's initially enough accessible content to keep you busy for a few rounds.

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QuizUp Walkthrough

Nov 18, 2013

QuizUp is an online quiz game created by Plain Vanilla Corp. Players are quizzed across a wide variety of topics and sub-topics, including movies, television, video games, literature, and nature. Playing the game earns you experience points, which go back into increasing your rank in that category. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to outsmart the world.

QuizUp

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QuizUp Review: Trivia that caters to your every expertise

Nov 18, 2013

Our highly-connected society delivers three benefits: the endless pursuit of knowledge, the endless pursuit of adult materials, and the ability to demonstrate what we've learned through any number of online quiz games. QuizUp is a mobile trivia game that lets you show off your smarts across a large number of categories and sub-categories. There aren't any quiz categories dealing in the aforementioned adult materials, however. You'll need to look elsewhere to impress your friends in that department.

QuizUp is free, simple, and addictive. It's multiplayer only, so be prepared to enter a contest of wits against strangers. If you start to feel lonely, you can view your friends' scores by logging in with Facebook, Twitter, or Game Center. Once you create a game ID for yourself or log in via a social platform, you're turned loose to play. QuizUp keeps track of your favorite categories, but don't pigeonhole yourself. You'll never learn anything if you insist on staying within the safety of your expertise.

QuizUp

Easier said than done, since you're almost certain to find a topic or sub-topic suited to your tastes. Want to be quizzed on literature? Sure, QuizUp has that. But why not get more specific? Are you familiar with the nuances of children's books? What do you know about Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? How about Stephen King or Neil Gaiman? Do you have each passage of the Bible memorized? Can you recall, in great detail, every event that occurred in (shudder) the Twilight series?

Whatever you enjoy, you will almost certainly have the chance to school someone at it in QuizUp. Finally, all that retro Nintendo knowledge you have stored in your brain will go to use. And mother said you'd never amount to anything.

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Apexicon Preview: The dictionary is mightier than the sword

Nov 15, 2013

Apexicon.”

What?

“Apex + Lexicon = Apexicon. Simple as that,” Jonathan Meyer, designer, programmer, and founder of Actos Games explained. “It's the 'height of all word banks,’ basically, an artifact from which all man got the idea about how to use words. It's something of an origin story for a world, which is always a neat concept to start with. This coveted book has been lost to time, and who knows who actually has it? That's one of your goals during the story – to find out.”

Apexicon is also the title of a new game being developed by Meyer's indie studio that's now wending its way through Kickstarter. A “puzzle RPG with a focus on story, combat, and world-building,” Apexicon challenges you to battle enemies by creating words from a Boggle-style board of jumbled letters. But it's meant to be more than just a word-search game, as the plan for the full release includes town management, NPCs, customizable characters, leveled equipment, cross-platform saves, and more.

Apexicon

Meyer cites Puzzle Quest, Scrabble and Bookworm Adventures as inspirations for Apexicon, but said he was after something a little bit different when he began work on the game. “I knew that there were a lot of match-3 games out there, and while I enjoyed them, I hadn't seen a real take on making words out of a large board for quite some time,” he said. “I knew it was perfect for mobiles, as touching the screen would be child's play. Making it on PC seemed the right thing to do as well, and the idea to swap saves between the two became a big feature focus.”

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Words of Wonder Walkthrough

Oct 28, 2013

Words of Wonder is a word puzzle game created by Disney. In it, you'll find words in a grid of letters, use power-ups to boost your score, and complete a number of objectives. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game.

Words of Wonder

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Chat Fu Review: One part action, one part jibba-jabba

Aug 19, 2013

Chat Fu by Blot Interactive drives home a point we all learned in grade school: words can hurt. The game plays like an action/fighting title that’s been cross-bred with Charades. Chat Fu for Facebook offers a good time with words and flying fists, even if there are some technical issues that foul up the fight a bit.

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Wordly Review: Polite looks aside, this word game’s still got a real bite

Sep 9, 2013

Word games are fun and educational, but they can also be a bit stuffy and predictable. But word fights—ah, that’s something else entirely. Wordly by Scopely is a fast-paced, highly competitive word-based puzzle title that’s more akin to tug-of-war than Scrabble. And if you don’t feel like beating your chest in your friends’ general direction, you can have a go at Shakespeare, Mark Twain, or the Wolfman.

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Wordly Walkthrough

Sep 9, 2013

Wordly is word puzzle game created by Scopely. You and your opponent (either another human or the game’s computer) take turns building words by tapping letter tiles. Stealing each other’s tiles and racking up a high score is the key to victory. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game.

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