Three of my kids have spent a lot of time playing the new app from The Awesome Game Studio (TAGS), “Alphaman” this week. We received a free download of the app in exchange for our honest review. Alphaman is available for Apple and Android devices (cost: 99 cents).
The first time I saw Alphaman in action, I immediately thought it reminded me of one of my all-time favorite games: Pac-Man. This educational app is an arcade-style game that takes place in different mazes. It targets letter recognition and spelling skills.
The kids and I combined our efforts to unlock each of the themed mazes. It was harder to get Alphaman safely around the maze than it looked. But with a little practice, you can time things right to keep him away from the bad guys…usually!
My 3 (almost 4) year old was frustrated by the Alphaman game at first. Those bad guys are relentless as they come after Alphaman and once you die a couple times, you have to start over. But even he got the hang of it enough to get through levels most of the time. My older boys (ages 6 and 9) were the ones who really appreciated the Alphaman challenge and eventually unlocked all the mazes.
Alphaman has seasonal themes. This time of year is the Halloween maze. Our other favorite Alphaman themes include the Water maze (Alphaman gets chased by sharks), War Land (Alphaman vs. Tanks), City (Alphaman is chased by vehicles) and Space (Alphaman vs. alien space ships).
Personally, I saw the kids having more fun trying to get Alphaman away from the “bad guys” than truly learning how to spell. Yes, the way to beat the level is to go around getting the letters in word order, but I don’t think my kids really cared what word they were supposed to be spelling. They just looked at the word to see what letter came next. Even if they didn’t know what the letter was called, they could still find it by matching the shape.
There isn’t a voice on the app that lets you know what letters are in the word or even what word you are supposed to be spelling. I try to watch when my kids are playing so I can sound out the word with them if they need my help.
Overall, Alphaman is extremely entertaining and fun for kids, even though I am not sure it has a lot of educational value. The graphics look good and the background music is nice (as opposed to annoying music like some kid apps tend to have). My kids have enjoyed hours and hours of play, so I think the 99 cents is money well spent to download this app.
Download Alphaman (.99, available at iTunes and Google Play) Today!
See Alphaman in action when you watch the Alphaman trailer: