Element4l Is A Stupid Name, But A Very Pretty Game

Here’s how to make me want to like your game: Fuzzy backgrounds and pretty music. Here’s how to make me want to not like your game: Replace a letter in the title with a number. But on watching I-Illusions’s trailer for, nrrgghh, Element4l, the former seems to be the winner. The puzzle platformer looks absolutely gorgeous, and more importantly, intriguing. And the music is just so very pretty. They even write the blasted 4 in a lovely font.

Movement appears to be controlled entirely by switching between your four elements, with fire propelling you, and ice allowing you to slide along, for instance. Here’s the first level from the game:

It’s due out some time next year. I want.


  1. Lukaspz says:


    • Lambchops says:


    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      H4LF LIF3

      two in one.

      And S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is still worse.

      • The First Door says:

        F.E.A.R. was pretty damn annoying too. ‘First Encounter Assault Recon’ was such a blatant attempt to make words fit an acronym you’ve already chosen!

        • Atrocious says:

          Don’t forget what they did with F.3.A.R. later.

        • Ian says:

          GoldenEye Rogue Agent (sigh) did the same thing twith their “E.V.I.L” (sigh) artificial intelligence, as advertised on the box.


      • El_Emmental says:

        I twitched three times when I read H4LF, nobody should be allowed to do that… what have you done ? :O

        edit: I should be named 3l_3mm3nt4l from now on.

      • Teovald says:

        I had to check wikipedia to get the signification of that one :
        Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer and Robber.
        It is indeed pretty bad… all this time I thought it was just their artists having typographic fun…
        I still prefer S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to THI4F, F3AR or DRIV3R though

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Yeah…acronyms and letter substitutions generally annoy me, too. I therefore had quite the time with physicists’, but I laughed my head clean off when I realized our lab contained a three-high stack of Fiber Array Package lasers.

        Looks like a good game, at any rate!

    • golem09 says:


    • TomxJ says:


    • Mitchk says:


    • Popelove says:

      “0x10c”, Yuck!

  2. kregg says:

    I kept pronouncing the game as “element four l” until I read the first paragraph.

    Now I feel stupid :(

    • Lambchops says:

      I feel they are the ones who should feel silly for putting the number in the name in the first place. Se7en was a brilliant film but it has a lot to answer for!

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Exactly. I think we should actually call these games (and movies) this way on purpose. Elementfourl, Sesevenen, Thiefourf, etc.

        Maybe this way some future game developer, who wants to use an inappropriately placed number in the title of his game, will realize how stupid that is and think of something better.

      • BirdsUseStars says:


      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        It goes back much further than that. I blame Prince.

    • Atrocious says:

      I read the same and wondered about the occult meaning of “Element for I”. It’s kind of natural to read 4 as “for” and although it’s unnecessary, I can understand replacing “for” with 4. Replacing single characters with numbers is just stupid.

    • Skabooga says:

      Ha, I did the same thing, Kregg, and was wondering why John was hating on it so much. But then my perception switched, and it all made sense.

    • brulleks says:

      Same here. Or ‘Element 41’ at first glance.

    • Baf says:

      My first reading, until Mr. Walker told me different, was “Element Forty-One”.

      Which would be Niobium, apparently.

    • Fearzone says:

      “Darn it! Stardock took our name! Now what are we going to do?”

  3. LTK says:

    Element four-L, huh? Looks like a lot of fun, but I daresay it could use a bit more colour.

  4. Squishpoke says:

    I’m not a big fan of artsy-fartsy generic 2D platformers, but I gotta say that looks pretty fun. Almost reminds me of Sonic the hedgehog, the way that little circle-square zooms around.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Element4l sounds like a relational database driver implemented in LISP

  6. Cytrom says:

    It looks nice.. although this is like the 4th or 5th indie game with this exact same graphics style, and the gameplay didn’t look all that interesting.

  7. mrmalodor says:

    13375p34k is still cool, right guys? Right?

  8. D3xter says:

    Why is everyone writing it Element4l, which looks like Element4I instead of Element4L like is obviously displayed 3 seconds into that trailer?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      You’re right, that sounds much less silly… …?

      • D3xter says:

        What exactly is silly about it? I haven’t seen people complain about Borderlands 2 or Diablo III etc. regarding their names or the use of Roman numerals, so I don’t see where this “Anti-numbers fetishism” comes from.
        It just indicates that there are 4 Elements at play.

        You might as well complain about “4 Elements” while you are at it, it’s on Sale on Steam today: link to store.steampowered.com

        I was just saying that people writing it “Element4l” make it look like an I from Ignatius instead of an L like in Lane.

        • Atrocious says:

          Sorry, your examples don’t make any sense. What should be wrong with “Borderlands 2”?
          Roman numerals are numerals after all. Unlike numbers artificially replacing letters.

          “4 Elements” is also ok, because it’s about “four” elements – not about “A Elements”.

          People write Elelment4l because that’s how it is written. The youtube videos have “element4l” in their title and the video description literally says “Element4l”.

  9. mikmanner says:

    This looks like it could be a Nifflas game

  10. antoniodamala says:


    This seem quite a nice game about a L33CH tofu.

  11. Kinch says:

    I think the name’s quite nifty considering there are 4 elements and you get to play with all of them.
    Not everything is meant as l33t speak.

    How about you lot go about making your own game and call it whatever you like. ;)

    • Atrocious says:

      “Whatever you like” sounds a bit too generic to me.

      “Elemental” would transport the message just as fine, imo.
      Anyway, the game looks cool. I’ll probably get it for my girlfriend regardless of the name. :)

  12. haowan says:


  13. Pliqu3011 says:


  14. JD Ogre says:

    Huh. From the name, I was expecting a sequel to “4 Elements”, which is Steam’s daily deal ($1.99 for the next 4 hours and, despite being stuck at 800×600, actually a pretty entertaining game).

  15. Squire says:

    Now I feel sorry for the guy who made Gish, he’s released it in so many “Bundles” I have about five separate copies.

    Despite having an extremely stupid name, Element4L looks like it took the core concepts, made sure the levels have no “down-time” and it has a better flow to it because of this.

    You can see what I mean comparing the above trailer with this play-through of some Gish levels [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRsqid3SWs0]

    • kaaj says:

      Thanks man… While I like Gish very much, element-four-l is a completely different game. While the graphics & music of element4l seem nice, its focus lies on gameplay mechanics and controls. We needed to write a tutorial, just because 50% of the beta-testers had problems moving forward. :-)

  16. Lanfranc says:

    Everything can be excused if you use a nice typeface.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Indeed! As testiment, it’s one of the main reasons I survived using an [anonymous popular telephony device] on business abroad a while ago.

      Also: TYPEFACE

  17. The First Door says:

    The trailer didn’t really sell the game to me very much. The first level play through, however, made me want the game quite intently. I hope the focus on keeping your momentum up continues through the game, because it looked like a cross between old Sonic and Nimbus which definitely a good thing!

  18. SelfEsteemFund says:

    Looks wonderful, bloom & vignette is excessive though.. HAVE SOME RESTRAINT.
    This is the kind of title that needs a level-editor. Also, Mind Tree was a great choice.

  19. domizindahawze says:

    Emment4l? A cheese cube sim?

    • El_Emmental says:

      Yup, you have an unlimited supply of cheese cubes, and your objective is throwing the best chiquenaude so the cheese take that ramp, or land on that spot, granting that ephemeral but always nice “yeees !” feeling.

      And since it’s a video game, you can also control the cheese shape/composition mid-air with your mind.

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