Alpha Zen Lets You Play Around With Your Friends’ Facebook Statuses [Review]

Alpha Zen

I only really have a Facebook account for work purposes, and I usually only go there when I want to feel bad about myself. So I typically have no idea what’s going on there.

Alpha Zen by Large Animal Games
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Apparently, Alpha Zen, a quotation-focused new game by developer Large Animal Games, wants me to know what’s going on with my friends, so it includes a mode that makes their statuses into game pieces.

It’s a little weird, but let me explain how the game works.

Alpha Zen

Not all of the game’s quotations fall into the “notable” category.

Alpha Zen is about taking words from famous lines and fitting them together crossword-style. Sometimes, you have all the space you need to do this, but more often, your final configuration has to fit inside a defined space because just putting words together with other words isn’t really that challenging.

The real star, though, is Friend Mode, which gives you a few words from a Facebook friend’s status update. When you succeed, it reveals the entire thing and shows you whose it is (see the picture at the top for an example from my feed).

The real star is Friend Mode.

Friend Mode is Alpha Zen‘s most interesting feature because of the big reveal at the end. If you’re playing the regular mode, and you get the words “nothing,” “fear,” and “itself,” odds are you know the full line. But I just went into Friend Mode and got “recommend,” “cleaning,” “help,” “highly,” and “teenagers,” and I have no idea what the full thing is or who said it.

But solving the puzzle provides a double “Aha”: once when I find the solution and again when the game reveals the quotation and its source. And then I also learn a bit about how my friends are doing without that extra, unpleasant step of actually going to Facebook, so it’s just a win all around.


Alpha ZenGame Name: : Alpha Zen
The Good: Interesting concept, Friend Mode is kind of brilliant.
The Bad: Concept is maybe too simple to be really satisfying.
The Verdict It won’t keep you entertained forever, but it’s a cool idea, and Friend Mode is strangely fascinating.
Buy from: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 3/5

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About the author

Evan KillhamEvan Killham lives in Nebraska and isn't interested in football, so he has plenty of time to play and think about video games. He has written for Bitmob and GamesBeat and sometimes, he even goes outside. But not too often because he's heard there are bees out there.

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