By Nathan Grayson on May 21st, 2013 at 8:00 pm.
Yes, there’s a four in Element4l‘s title. John already went over that, and lo didest a pun thread of the mightiest proportions congeal beneath his article. Goodness, though, what an enchanting little game we have hiding behind that oppressively silly numeral. It’s a beautifully minimal thing, but with lights, shadows, and glimmers of mystery in just the right places. You, meanwhile, are an adorably amorphous elemental blobthing, and rapidly bouncing back and forth between your various natures is the only way to survive each level. Warning: the launch trailer after the break contains dangerous quantities of wonderment. You will probably swoon until your lungs crumble into confetti. Proceed cautiously.
Awwwwwwww. Don’t let this one’s looks fool you, though. Developer I-Illusions claims it’s actually quite tough. “Think quick or die” seems to be the prevailing message, at which point it turns into “think quick and then die, because we’re not letting you get comfortable”. Here’s the gist:
“In Element4l, you control the state of your character to find your way through a dreamy underworld. Your only hindrances are nature and the sun. It takes a different, experimental approach to classic platform games and challenges you to rearrange your reflexes. The state-changing, physics-based gameplay invites all ages to think logically, and reveals that pressing the right button at the right time, is often more rewarding than mashing buttons. Just when you thought pressing the left button would make your character go left, Element4l crushes this doctrine.”
Obviously, this sort of game always risks stomping too far over the line between challenge and frustration, but I’d definitely like to see Element4l strike a good balance. It’s coming to Steam on May 24th, so we won’t have to wait long to see where it lands.