4 Elements HD Review
The all-new 4 Elements HD for PlayStation®3 is a complete remake of hit PC casual game, 4 Elements by Playrix Entertainment. It is specially designed to experience a unique Match-3 gameplay in Full HD resolution. The player has an option to use the PlayStation®Move controller that is fully supported by 4 Elements HD.
In 4 Elements HD, the ancient kingdom is in peril! Evil forces have corrupted the balance between the four elements causing the altar of life to run dry. The player has to unlock four ancient books of magic, collect 16 mysterious cards and restore the kingdom to life. The mix of classic, addictive Match-3 gameplay combined with innovative twists, explosive bonuses, spectacular visual effects and intuitive controls makes 4 Elements HD a joy for players of all ages.
In addition to everything fans have come to know and love about the original game, 4 Elements HD includes a vast array of new features and improvements including re-playable levels, trophies, per-level and global leaderboards. Moreover each player gains a castle to manage and can upgrade it using points earned by completing levels. All the power of PS3, intuitive PlayStation®Move controls and Full HD resolution raises this game to the new level of reality.
* 4 elements to tame;
* 64 levels to complete;
* Own castle to restore;
* Full HD resolution;
* PlayStation Move support;
* Worldwide leaderboards and trophies.
As soon as you start the game you’re sent to the Kingdom Map where you can move around with the right analog stick and gaze at the artwork. The chain of tokens is the list of levels you have to complete to conquer the 4 elements and they’re all separated into the 4 Elements (hence the game) at 16 games per element. Using the left stick you can freely browse already completed levels. The hint near the selected level shows your score and the best worldwide score on this level so you can replay any level you wish to improve your results.
In order to make any progress in the game you need to make chains of at least three matching pieces to remove them from the game field and remove the tile that hosted them. Use the X button or the Analog Trigger in the Move controller to make a selection and then draw a line and release the button. When you clear three or more tiles, the energy underneath is released and can flow freely into that area, bringing you closer to the altar where the energy must be taken to. Since levels are often larger than the screen you’re playing in you can check the level map (by pressing the Triangle Button) to find your way on a big level.
After you’ve finished a level you’ll get a final recap of how well you did, showing you the total time it took you to complete the level, the bonus points for time remaining in the container to the right of the screen, points bonus for chains completed, the best score that has been uploaded to the leaderboards, your online spot in said leaderboard AND your final score for the level.
Somewhere far away, amongst endless seas and high mountains lies a magic land. There was no other place in the world where life was so infinitely blissful. And thus carefree days rolled into years and centuries. There was no omen of the approaching calamity.
In an instant, the land became a lifeless desert. The sky grew black with clouds. The rivers froze from a piercing cold and the trees perished. What happened? What was the cause of the disaster? Is there a way to save the once blooming fairytale valley? There, in the tower of an old castle, lives a wise mage… Only he knows the answer to these questions…
Eventually you unlock four rechargeable power-ups that will help you drive the energy to the altar. The image next to each one shows which pieces you should match to charge it and you can use the Square or PS Move Button to reach shortcuts:
Spade: This can be used to clear any tile.
Bomb: Will explode and remove a host of pieces from the game field.
Swap: You can swap two pieces on the game field (they don’t need to be next to each other at all).
Shuffle: Can be used to shuffle around all the pieces on the game field so you can take a new approach to your advances.
You’ve also got to understand the type of Special Tiles and extra objects you’ll encounter in your adventure to be able to properly use your power ups and not get stuck for too long as when time runs out you’ve got to start over:
Stone: Can’t make chains of matching pieces with it or through it.
Ice: To break it, make a chain of matching pieces through it.
Stone Slab: It can only be removed when hit by a flaming arrow.
Multi-Level Ground: You have to remove the tiles several times to clear it (2 or more times).
Flaming Arrows: They are activated as soon as the energy reaches them, clearing all pieces in their way. They can shoot out 1, 2 or 8 arrows depending on the type of mechanism that is reached by the energy.
Finally, hitting the Triangle button while in the Kingdom Map will take you to your Castle and there’s a lot of things you can do while visiting. Care to read about it?
Upgrades: Using points earned in the levels you can upgrade your castle. More and more upgrades are unlocked by clearing levels in the map so be patient! You could decide to buy a new stone road for your castle or maybe clean it up a bit and place a new coat of paint on it. Or how about getting rid of the dark clouds and even buying a Dirigible to make it a better place to live in? Better keep those points handy!
Statistics: The game keeps track of several stats that are listed on a single page so you can really get an idea of exactly what you’ve done and what needs to be done. Total time played, total score, current place in the online leaderboard, number of levels completed, number of tiles cleared and many, many, many other stats are kept here for future reference.
High Scores: The Online Leaderboard part of the equation. You can see how you’re doing against the rest of the world which will in turn motivate you to do better on each level and shoot for the top 10!
Library: You have a chance to read the Books of Elements which contain tales of fantastic creatures of magic lands. As you progress you will unlock books and their knowledge.
4 Elements HD is a great puzzle game available on the Playstation Network Store that is easy to understand and hard to stop playing. When I started playing the game for the first time I kept doing so for 3 hours straight thanks to all the fun I was having and how the game flows from one level to the other in an instant. A great purchase for all puzzle fans looking for something new to try their hand at.
[review pros=”Fun puzzle game that introduces new elements to the genre
PS Move Support
Only $9.99 ” cons=”Big difficulty spike in the last couple of levels” score=86]
Published by Boolat Games
Cost – $9.99
– Game was completed and all trophies obtained.
– Total amount of time played: 7 and a half hours hours.
– This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of 4 Elements HD provided by Boolat Games.
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