iPad Game Review: 4 Elements HD Reviewed by Steven Scarpitti
Game developer Playrix has been making great computer puzzle games for years and their games meld perfectly with the touch controls. 4 Elements HD is a prime example of a game ported to iDevices that is more at home here than on its originally intended hardware.
4 Elements HD is a puzzle game that has variety and originality with a beautiful interface, making this one of the more enjoyable and challenging puzzle games available. The whole game is tied together with a nice story and features two different styles of puzzles to solve, the first being a matching-3 game and the second is finding hidden objects. The matching game is scored by longest chain, number of tiles filled, and time remaining which is indicated by a green bar on the right side of the screen. The hidden object portion of the game is not timed or scored and offers a nice relaxing escape in small portions. There is a lot of content here with 64 matching game levels and 20 hidden object levels, the way the story carries you between the two game types is nice and keeps the game interesting.
4 Elements HD's gameplay consists of first unlocking one of the four elemental books by finding all the pieces to four objects, after completing this the first book will unlock revealing four cards. Each card requires you to beat four levels of matching gems to fill a tile path from your starting point leading to the objective, once you have completed four levels of matching gems then you are tasked with finding four differences between the two almost identical picture cards. Each of the four elemental books has four cards that have four levels each, this keeps you alternating back and forth between the two game types and really helps keep the game from getting too repetitive.
The game difficulty starts very easy to help you learn the game but by the end of the first book you are feeling challenged and there are three books to go, so it gets very difficult on the later levels. On the later levels of match-3 the game gets very fast paced and strategic and will probably take several attempts to complete. The only thing missing from this game is the ability to replay completed levels.
4 Elements HD features some very beautiful and brightly colored graphics that are among the best I've seen on the iPad. You can tell this is an HD game from the vivid and crisp images, the graphics really give this game some charm. The touch controls work perfectly and are very easy to learn and understand, the controls make this game feel like it was meant for touch gaming.
The background music is orchestral and melodic, it fits the fantasy setting very well. There are also lots of very nice sound effects that help keep the feel of the game. The only thing missing is the ability to play your own music.
I really enjoyed playing this game and it is a very high quality port of the original PC game, it works better with touch controls on the iPad than it does with the original controls on the PC. This game should appeal to anyone who enjoys puzzle games especially matching puzzle games, replay value is good but would be better if you could replay previously cleared levels. 4 Elements HD is well worth the purchase price with its high quality presentation.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -5- Beautiful graphics that catch your attention and keep it. Sound: -4- Nice orchestral sounds with fitting sound effects, the only thing missing is custom music support. Controls: -5- Touch controls are easy to understand and make this game feel right at home. Gameplay: -5- A very polished and entertaining game that will keep you busy for hours.