No Monkeys’ Alphabetic brings to mind one of those stereotypical roadside sobriety tests, where a stern Highway Patrol officer asks the suspect to recite the alphabet forwards… and then backwards. No sir, it’s not as easy as we thought! This game turns the boring old Roman alphabet into an alluring challenge, and puts your powers of focus to the test.
Before you can really open up Alphabetic, the game forces you to complete a Quick Game, which two functions–teaching you the rules, and burning your ego to the ground. The rules are easy, but the game is anything but. Your job is to find and touch the letters of the alphabet in sequence, from A to Z, as fast as you can.
As you move down the line, singing the alphabet song in your head, the screen fills up with increasing numbers of rainbow-hued letters. They start to shuffle themselves into complex patterns. They march around the screen in lines, radiate out of a corner, or tumble and bounce off the floor. Picking a letter out of the mess quickly awards bonus points and puts time back on the clock, but it becomes very difficult towards the end of the alphabet; we failed on the letter Z three times before finally breaking through.
Once the Quick Game is out of the way, Alphabetic opens up a ton of different challenges that vary the basic formula. These variations are maddening; some of them are literally headache-inducing, like adding numbers to the mix. But every time you solve a challenge, you earn one of the game’s 26 achievements, and we found ourselves wanting to collect them all.
If you like quick reaction games, the highly polished Alphabetic is a sound investment of $1.99.