4Elements HD Review
Developer: Boolat Games
Publisher: Boolat Games
North American Release Date: August 30, 2011
European Release Date: August 31,2011
Trophies: Yes, 4 | 12
4 Elements HD is a puzzle game based in the same formula as Bejeweled, matching colored gems/stones to progress in the puzzle. The point here is to get a magic element to a magic plate, and the magic follows your matches along the puzzle board.
The gameplay for 4 Elements is effectively Bejeweled with a twist. There are 4 primary elements represented on the board by colored stones. As matches are made portions of the board are unlocked, and this path allows a magic stream to travel the trail. The ultimate goal is to create a path to connect the starting point of the stream to the plate at the goal. There is a fixed amount of time to do this and points are attained by chaining large matches.
Puzzles are quite addictive.
There are several stumbling blocks put in the way and these are overcome through various abilities that are unlocked by creating matches with certain colors. Earth (Green) for example allows a spade to be used to clear out a single square on a path.
It is a very simple, but effective game.
That being said, this game is also Move compatible. This is a completely tacked on feature and it feels as such, the movement is not unique and is somewhat cumbersome, like it wasn’t tuned properly. Like many games that are Move compatible, ultimately the controller is a much better median to actually control.
The singleplayer is composed of several levels each represented by one of the 4 elements. At the end of each level points are awarded, and these points can be used to upgrade a castle. This seems to be the ultimate point of the game, but its never 100% clear. Even if this serves no ultimate purpose, its an effective driving force as both a way to push gamers to continue playing as well as push for higher scores. Its strangely rewarding to upgrade a castle, even cosmetically.
In a somewhat unique twist for this genre, it has a progression system of sorts. Each level brings about a new challenge, but as the difficulty curve goes up new powers are unlocked. This creates a completely different dynamic to solving levels quickly as not only is the clock being weighted, but also the optimal path and which gems need to be matched to unlock the powers to move down that path.
Graphics are simple and effective
It frequently creates levels that are difficult simply because a poor set of choices were made with the matches chosen, and it brings about a new sense of accomplishment through the intertwining of multiple puzzle elements.
The game is really about the puzzles though, the boards have an incredible amount of variety and the score system will demand constant revisits to attain higher scores.
4 Elements HD is colorful and the graphics are well done. As with most casual games the visuals have to be very engaging from a surface standpoint, that is to say be unique enough so the game is easily identified, but not so unique that things could potentially confuse the ley-man.
In this regard 4 Elements serves its purpose well, its easily identifiable, but ultimately not memorable or impactful. The soundtrack is wonderful though, much like Magic Orbz it has a delightful fantasy tilt that keeps everything light-hearted.
This is what a casual puzzle game ultimately needs, so its difficult to fault Boolat too much for executing the game as it should.
4 Elements is a time consuming 100%, and can be challenging most certainly. Multiple trophies just depend on luck and timing, but if you focus on them nothing is overly difficult.
4 Elements is a cheap time sink that will keep you busy for quite a while. Progress is always slow, and like many puzzle games the addiction comes in full. The addition of the Move is ultimately pointless and brings nothing to the overall game. For the money, its not a bad purchase. I'd recommend it over Bejeweled or Peggle.
- The gameplay is addicting as puzzle games get, the Move is completely un-necessary.
- There is alot of meat to this game and the puzzles have alot of variety.
- The game is colorful and the element aspect is played well.
Overall: 7/10 Good