May 17, 2013
I canâ€™t say that I expected much from Elements Battle. The name is about as unimaginative as it gets, the art looked pretty but uninspired and to top it off itâ€™s freemium, which is a business model that Iâ€™ve never been entirely comfortable with.
As it turns out though Elements Battle is substantially better than I expected. The core game is a lot like Puzzle Quest. The bulk of it is a series of puzzle battles on a grid where three or more identical symbols must be matched each turn. Those symbols correspond to elemental spells which get fired at an opponent once enough of them have been matched. The opponent does the same and the winner is the one with health left at the end.
Outside of battles there are some basic RPG mechanics with quests to complete (though they all boil down to battles too), levels to gain and a store used to purchase additional spells and equipment.
Battles require energy to fight and that energy goes down after every battle (though it gradually goes back up again too if the game isnâ€™t played for a while). Spells also need replenishing periodically and they wonâ€™t recharge on their own. Both energy and spells can be bought using in game currency, which in itself can either be earned from completing quests or bought with real money.
New players are given enough energy and money to play Elements Battle for quite a while. If played a lot eventually the freemium side will rear its ugly head and a point will come where itâ€™s necessary to either spend real money or wait a while to keep playing, but itâ€™s not as stingy as many freemium games as it gives players enough gold and loot for winning battles and completing quests that I never felt like I really needed to spend money to keep going.
Elements Battle controls well, thereâ€™s loads of content and there are even player versus player battles, though itâ€™s not possible to communicate with other players, so itâ€™s not that much different to battling the AI.
So far so good, but while thereâ€™s certainly a lot of game here it quickly starts to feel a bit repetitive, as itâ€™s almost all battles and much of the time itâ€™s necessary to fight the same or similar battles multiple times over to grind for quests or loot.
The battles themselves could be better too, as thereâ€™s a time limit of around seven seconds each turn, which I didnâ€™t find was long enough to really think about a strategy. Iâ€™d have liked to be able to decide which elements to focus on or try and set up chain reactions by making additional matches from symbols that fall into the space cleared when a match is made, but generally thereâ€™s no time for that and often I found that Iâ€™d just have to go for the first match I could see.
Played in short bursts Elements Battle is good fun and wonâ€™t be too money hungry, but longer play sessions become repetitive and dull.