Alphabeats is a clever mix of an arcade game, a word puzzle, and a rhythm action title. It takes a while to get into the flow of things, but once it clicks it's a pretty impressive package.
It won't be to everyone's taste, and by its very nature it can be a frustrating experience.
But there are some great beats here, and a wicked-quick letter matching core, that ensure you'll remain entranced for a long while.
Here comes the drop
You control a bar at the bottom of the screen. Letters are cascading down from the top and you need to catch them and create words.
Making two to three letter combinations is pretty easy, but anything more than that requires concentration, and sometimes a bit of luck.
It's pretty easy to back yourself into a corner if you snag too many letters. Once you're up to six it's almost impossible to weave through the raining vowels and consonants.
Once you've collected a word you flip it into the middle of the screen to score. The faster you add words, the better your score when the track ends.
The beat of the song you're playing reflects the speed of the letters. There's a load to choose from, and a variety of difficulty levels to pick as well.
You get power ups as well. Pinching and poking the screen in different ways lets you unleash a bomb, double the points you score for your next word, or cram your collected letters into a single tile. Getting the hang of these is key to getting the best scores.
Things never quite click perfectly into place like the very best games, but there's still an awful lot to love in Alphabeats if you're willing to persevere.
It's sharper than most word games, and the arcade flavour to the bar-sliding makes for some pretty engaging three-minute play sessions.
Things do get a little repetitive, and the challenge of the game really depends on how much time you're willing to put in.
Still, it's a neat and entertaining addition to anyone's iOS game collection. It might not be perfect, but it's a lot of fun.