4 Elements
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 7

4 Elements is a polished and entertaining match three game that is well worth checking out if you are a fan of the casual genre. The story is aimed squarely at children, but the gameplay offers fun for all ages. It is one of those games that are perfect for playing when you have a few spare minutes to kill and don’t feel like firing up something more involving.

Gameplay: Addictive, but rather easy and somewhat repetitive.

Graphics: Colorful but nothing really special

Sound: The music remains unobtrusive for the most part

Summary 7.0 Good
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

4 Elements

Developer: Playrix Entertainment | Publisher: Playrix Entertainment | Release Date: 2008| Genre: Casual / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

An ancient kingdom is in trouble after the magic of the four elements is corrupted by evil powers. Only by unlocking four ancient books of magic can the lands be restored and predictable enough, you volunteered for the job. While 4 Elements is a casual game with a rather childish storyline, this is no reason to dismiss it, especially if you have children.

Predictable storyline aside, the gameplay is rather solid and consists of a nice blend between match three puzzles, hidden object scenes and spot the differences screens. For each of the four magic books you first have to reassemble hidden pieces that give you access to the key needed to unlock the book. It is then on to the match three gameplay segments which, with more than sixty levels, take up the bulk of the game. Each completed level reveals a bit more of a creature card which upon completion is host to a spot the differences challenge.

Instead of clearing the entire playing field in the match three segments, your goal is only to clear a path from beginning to end through which some liquid flows. This starts out simple enough, but eventually you start encountering obstacles such as rocks or frozen blocks. Since each level has a time limit these obstacles can slow you down, but fortunately you have some power-ups at your disposal. The shovel will let you dig up a single block while the bomb power-up will clear away rocks. You can also swap pieces with the right power-up or reshuffle the whole board. These power-ups are charged by making matches with the appropriately colored gems on the board, but you can also string together five or more matches to create an explosion. There are only four jewel colors, but the levels are large enough that there is rarely time to waste. It is a casual game though, so don’t expect anything too hectic.

The visuals are pretty basic but everything is nice and colorful. The game is also quite polished for a casual title and while the resolution is stuck at 800X600 it still looks good. There is a 4 Elements HD available for PS3 so it is a pity that the PC version was never updated. An increased resolution would have meant that more of the scrolling playing field was visible, which would have come in very handy. The audio isn’t too bad with some suitable music and even a voiced intro which is a rarity in games of this type.

As far as casual games go, 4 Elements is one of the better and more polished ones on offer. I picked it up in a Steam sale and it took me close to ten hours to complete the whole game. While it is unlikely that I will go back to it, having gotten most of the achievements, it certainly offered value for money. The gameplay can be a bit repetitive and the childish plot may deter some players, but if you can look past this you will find a very enjoyable game.

*Review originally published in 2008. 

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: 1GHz or better
    • Memory: 256+ MB
    • Graphics: 64 MB/16-bit Graphics Card
    • DirectX®: DirectX 8.0 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 62+ MB Space Free
    • Sound: 16-bit Sound card

Related posts

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent is a hidden object game that doesn’t just confine itself to one theme, or even time period. Instead, you’ll be visiting a variety of locations, spread across the ages as you attempt to thwart a member of the secret order who has gone rogue. It is a good looking game, with plenty of detail and while there is nothing here we haven’t seen before in the genre, it still kept us engaged and entertained. Gameplay: Plenty of hidden object scenes as well as puzzles to solve. Graphics: The locations are nice and varied and the visuals are quite detailed. Sound: The soundtrack is quite moody and atmospheric.

Bad Hotel

Bad Hotel

Bad Hotel is a iOS port and while at first glance it might not seem like much to look at it does have a certain charm to it. The unique gameplay lends itself perfectly to quick bouts of playing, but the game can also become horribly addictive. The generative audio is also a nice touch, although at times the tunes can sound a bit wonky. The game is sold at a bargain price so it is well worth checking out for yourself. Gameplay: Fast, frantic and surprisingly addictive. Graphics: Simple but charming. Sound: The audio depends on your playing style.

T.E.C. 3001

T.E.C. 3001

T.E.C 3001 is a game where you learn the ropes within a few levels, but can spend hours perfecting the moves. The speed of the game is exhilarating and while there is some trial-and-error involved it is also very addictive. If you are looking for a game where you can just jump in and get the adrenaline flowing without bothering with storylines or cut-scenes then T.E.C 3001 is a great option especially for its price. Gameplay: Fast paced and challenging runner that can become quite addictive. Graphics: Simple, but visually striking without interfering with the gameplay. Sound: Some fitting tracks and sound effects, but nothing really memorable.

Glass Masquerade

Glass Masquerade

Digital jigsaw puzzle games are a dime a dozen these days, but Glass Masquerade manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to its polished visuals, unique stained glass style and addictive gameplay. You get twenty five puzzles, each themed around a different country, that you can solve at your own leisure. The game looks great, sounds just as good and while it is a little short, it remains enjoyable right until the end. If you are a fan of the genre, then don't hesitate to pick up this gem. Gameplay: Solve jigsaw puzzles using stained glass pieces. Graphics: The visual style of the game is very polished. Sound: The soundtrack is a perfect match for the relaxed feel of the game.

Euphoria

Euphoria

Euphoria is a dark and twisted visual novel with plenty of explicit and over the top sex scenes. However, while it may seem like a pure nukige title, it also has a storyline that draws you in right from the start while continually going in unexpected directions. It's definitely not a title for the faint of heart or easily offended, but if you can appreciate a good story and put up with some rather unsavory elements, then it's worth checking out. Gameplay: Very twisted and filled with plenty of unsavory stuff, but the story is also dark and compelling. Graphics: Plenty of uncensored CGs, but the backgrounds are rather limited and there are no animations. Sound: A dark and moody soundtrack and full voice acting for all the female characters.

Pinball Arcade – Core Pack

Pinball Arcade - Core Pack

Although one of the tables in the core pack is already available for free, it is more than worth it for the other three. Theatre of Magic is perfect for introducing newcomers to the addictive nature of pinball while Ripley's Believe It or Not has something for everyone. Even Black Hole which looks pretty basic by today's standards has some very unique gameplay elements to keep you hooked. Overall a very solid selection of tables that looks and plays great. Gameplay: Four great tables, packed with hours of addictive gameplay. Graphics: Faithful reproductions of classic tables. Sound: Distinctive audio with some great speech samples and effects.

Leave a comment

8 − eight =