Element4l is an immersive and experimental indie platform game, with a strong focus on flow and smooth gameplay, wrapped in an exceptional soundtrack by Mind Tree.
User reviews: Very Positive (394 reviews)
Release Date: May 24, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"One of my favorite indie releases of the past few years. Utilizes a unique shapeshifting mechanic to guide you through a beautiful ambient soundscape."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

"Element4l is truly something special. It reminded me of the reason why I became a gamer in the first place."
9.5 - http://www.pixelsforbreakfast.net/reviews/element4l-review-a-wondrous-adventure

"Element4l is founded on solid mechanics, fresh gameplay, and a undeniable sense of style."
90/100 - Hooked Gamers

"Element4l knows what it wants to be, a new kind of platform game, and nails it with audacity."
81/100 - PC GAMER

"Element4l is a terrific game that is perfectly balanced in everything that it sets out to accomplish."
80/100 - Hardcore Gamer Magazine

"Element4l is a cracking indie platformer and does more than enough to rise to the top of a pretty heavily saturated genre."
82/100 - Video Games Uncovered

"Element4l makes its mark on the world of land creatures and is just as amazing as it seemed in its initial trailer."
90/100 - Indie Power Magazine

About This Game

Element4l is an immersive and experimental indie platform game, with a strong focus on flow and smooth gameplay, wrapped in an exceptional soundtrack by Mind Tree.

In Element4l, you control four elements who are bound together on a journey to shape life. Your only hindrances are nature and the sun. It takes a different, innovative approach to classic platform games and challenges you to rearrange your reflexes.

Element4l is a challenge. The first time you play it, you will struggle... just like the first time you've learned how to ride a bike.

Features

  • Elements with ninja moves
  • Alternative 4-button based gameplay
  • Exceptional soundtrack by Mind Tree (Included for FREE as high quality MP3's)
  • 16 levels throughout 4 stages (+ tutorial levels and bonus)
  • Competitive race mode with adaptive ghosts from other players
  • Collectibles/achievements/easter eggs/...
  • Includes DLC Update: Lap Races

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP or later
    • Processor:Intel / AMD 1Ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA or ATI - Intel: Shader Model 2 capable
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.6 or later
    • Processor:Intel CPU
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA or ATI - Intel: Shader Model 2 capable
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    Important: The Linux version is still in beta.
    Known problems: Fullscreen mode may introduce some mouse and video problems on certain systems.

    Minimum:
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA or ATI - Intel: Shader Model 2 capable
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Element4l is an enjoyable indie experience with beautifully atmospheric visuals and an exceptionally gorgeous soundtrack. The smooth gameplay introduces challenges that require the player to utilize the unique mechanics and rise to the occasion in overcoming obstacles to continue on their journey.
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
This game has a very nice and beautiful atmosphere to it and is charming in quite a few ways, but it's rather difficult to see enjoyment in it when it is as challenging as it is. There are things about this game that I like, but I found myself getting rather frustrated at certain points that require more or less an exact number of button pushes at the most perfect time to be able to pass them. In other words, though I appreciate the themery of the game, it doesn't pair up well with the demands of how perfectly timed every single one of your button pushes have to be.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Element4l is a simple-looking but darn-difficult platformer with lots of charm and some great music.

The game is split into four parts in which your goal is to traverse various levels by combining the four elements. The elements comprise of a heavy boulder (Earth), a speedy spark (Fire), a block of ice (Water), and a bubble of air (Air).

The controls are simple but difficult to master. You basically need only four buttons to play - up, right, down, left. Both keyboard and x360 gamepad worked for me, but keyboard seems to be more responsive and lets you time your actions more precisely.

Graphics are elementary ;) but cute. There are some cutscenes but they were rendered in lower resolution than the rest of the game; they also didn't bring anything new to the game.

Found no bugs, the game played like a charm.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
Great Indie Platformer that takes you on a grand adventure. The soundtrack is just as good as the game itself.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
A shame this game doesn't get more attention. It's beautifully done in both gameplay and atmosphere. The soundtrack is bloody amazing and goes along really well with the game.

It's not really long, then again, it's just got the right length in my opinion ... it doesn't overstay its welcome. You control a character (or rather 4) which can switch between fire, water (ice), earth (stone) and air (bubble). You race the tracks/levels with your character and need to switch quickly between the 4 forms in order to gain speed (as an ice cube), jump over cliffs (as fire ball), ascend (as an air bubble) and roll down hills or destroy obstacles (as stone). Since some of the tracks are really fast paced you will have some tough passages to overcome. Thankfully the checkpoints are well placed. It's really like TRIALS but in cute, haha. But like in Trials you want to finish the track withouth 'dying' and reach the end in one go.

A relaxing piece of gaming entertainment with a great atmosphere. Fair price, especially since you get the OST with the purchase of the game as well. What I liked especially were the comments of the developer which pop up occasionally in the game. Movie references and overall fun comments.

10/10 control a cute Super-Skrull to rule the tracks

EDIT: I forgot to mention that besides its fluffy cute look, it's beastly hard and quite challenging at times. However, all the whining in certain reviews and therefore negative ratings don't do ELEMENT4L justice - it's very doable and a lot of fun.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
I've not played lots of this. But what I have played, has impressed me. I'm not big on puzzle-platformer types, but I adore this game regardless.

The Soundtrack is absolutely wonderful. It's so ambient and it REALLY fits the game. It genuinely makes you feel like you're solving a puzzle. There's some interesting, occasionally creepy sound-effects [childrens laughter] that definitely adds to the very odd atmosphere. There's no real way to decribe the kind of atmosphere it generates. It's simply unique.

The Artwork/Aesthetic. It's gorgeous. Vibrant colour themes and pleasant contrasts. It's quite simply an interesting game to look at.

The gameplay is, not really for me. The game can get difficult very quickly, which is always an issue with puzzle-platformers. Certainly some levels are more intuitive than others. But it consistently provides a challenge. I imagine, at higher levels, it must feel fantastic to glide through the levels executing each move required perfectly. Sadly, I very rarely - often accidentally - replicate this feeling. It's usually the moment I realize how fluid the game feels that I die! The main issue for me is that when you do die, it really slows the gameplay. What is fluid when executed perfectly feels sluggish when you die, as you often re-spawn stationary, or with little momentum.

But I can't stress enough how polished it is, especially for an indie title. There's some lovely written commentary provided in-game as you pass certain obstacles. If you love puzzle-platformers and unique games, you'll like this game. Even if you don't, I'd argue it's worth buying for the soundtrack and aesthetic in-game. It's simply beautiful. Fully recommended.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
A nice gem.
Very polished, different, great music and controls very responsive ^^
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Beautiful game with challenging gameplay and an amazing soundtrack! <3
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
One of the most beautifully, simplistic, yet frustratingly amazing games I have played in a while, The music is absolutely perfect great atmosphere all around.
I would recommend this to anyone regardless of genres you tend to enjoy.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
awesome game, fun and challenging, amazing soundtrack!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
I would recommend this game, but not to anybody.

Pros :
- I do like the little comments you can read throughout the journey
- Graphics and music are OK, in fact I thought the game was a relaxing one at the beginning
- the rules are simples : you move by changing yourself into another element, with arrow keys. It can be disturbing at the beginning, but then it's okay

Cons :
- Good game for rage quiting... The levels are far far too difficults, even in "easier" mode (aka "this is too difficult for me")
- Finding and getting losts soulsparks ? impossible !! as it can be difficult to reach the way out...
- this game requires strong agility skills : if you change yourself too early or too late... you'll die (or you'll be stuck)

Thus, I would recommend this game for those who do love challenging and difficult game.
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88 of 99 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2013
Dear god. Hard. Fun. Hard. Pretty. Nice music. Hard. Also, hard.
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46 of 48 people (96%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2013
Platforming games are a thing of incremental progress in how they are built. Players will be dropped into a relatively familiar experience, and be given the basic principles of how the world operates. From that point it is the games responsibility to build upon those foundations and craft a game that continuously teaches you more and more about itself. This is usually in the form of gameplay mechanics or level design but it’s a technique that works, and has stood the test of time. Element4l is something that is trying to accomplish progress in both of those directions at the same time in ways that previous platforming games haven’t touched upon, all set to an affecting and beautiful soundtrack.

Let’s start with the basics. You are a bubble. You will not remain a bubble, but you will begin as one. As this bubble, you will soon learn to become an ice cube. This is the transitive path to enlightenment, becoming an ice cube and all. Next you will learn to be as a stone; which is to say you will be a boulder. This will make you heavy as you may imagine, but heaviness is not enlightenment. So you will become a spark from a stone, and be as a flaming comet in the sky. This might be the path to enlightenment, who knows? Really the thing to take stock of here is that you will be four elements throughout this game, and you will have to traverse paths. Are they paths to enlightenment? No, not really, in fact they’re more likely paths to you having a minor heart attack…in a good way. If that sort of thing is possible.


Element4l places you in the role of these four elements, and tasks you with moving from the left to the right. There are no enemies to speak of as you move from the left to the right, but the environment can and will kill you. You move from one end of the level to the other using nothing but the momentum that you are able to generate by switching the various elements on the fly, each possessing their own unique properties. As a bubble of air, you are obviously able to float, but you can also “bubble up” and give yourself an upward boost. As a block of ice, you can slide around on surfaces and gain ludicrous amounts of speed that would make a hedgehog jealous, provided you’ve got enough forward momentum going. Turning to a stone will give you some immediate downward force, and turning to a spark will fling you to the right for a brief moment.

Each of these elements is controlled by a radial dial of energy that surrounds you at all times. Changing from one element to the other drains a certain amount of energy unless you are changing to an ice cube. In a subtle move of gameplay genius the developers wisely omitted an energy requirement to change to a block of ice, making sure you’ve always got something to fall back on. With all these things in place the game starts simply enough. Spark to the right, turn to a stone over a sloped piece of the level, and then quickly turn to ice. The resulting “wheeeeeeeeeee!” that escapes your mouth is elation. For a time that sense of discovery remains in place as the game continues to peel back layer upon layer of gameplay. Which is to say it gets deep pretty soon, and starts challenging your perception of movement in a general way. It’s a great gameplay device while it’s all about learning these new things. So the first time that you bounce off a lava surface to quickly reverse your direction and fling upside down as an ice cube, your mouth will upturn into a grin.

However nothing lasts forever. Once the game is done showing you the operating principles behind the myriad of ways that you can move it takes the kid gloves off. Around the second chapter of the game, Element4l shows you that only through brutal painstaking trial and error will you ever achieve enlightenment. Solutions to movement puzzles become much less obvious and much more esoteric, and the explanations are few and far between. Is this an issue? It depends on how you look at it. On the one hand this game is the very core of what platforming is about. You take a basic mechanic like moving from the left of the level to the right of the level, and then you procedurally add to it. By the end of the experience, you should have challenged the player’s perception of that simple act of moving from one side of the screen to the other. Here’s where that’s going to be disarming for those interested in Element4l; the game is adorable. While you wouldn’t think this an obvious detriment right away, I think it might be. The cutesy graphics and art style suggest a much more casual experience than what really lies in wait here. So while the average player might be expecting something in line with Braid or Limbo, they’ll be surprised or dismayed to find that this game is basically Super Meat Boy with ice cubes.




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46 of 50 people (92%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 23, 2014
Element4l - it is charming, adorable, beautiful... If you just look at the trailers or pieces of gameplay, you'll probably come to a conslusion that this is a very relaxing and soothing game. I'll clear that up in just a second.

But first. What exactly is the game? The mechanics are simple, technically it's even called a platformer... You travel different environments: rocky and green, fire with lava, icy and snowy, or watery. And you are an element. First you are a bubble of air, then you gain the ability to turn into a cube of ice, then a little rock, and finally a fire spark. Each form has other abilities and weaknesses. The only control you have, is the form you take. You don't really control the movement, you just turn into the right element in the right area to fly, swim, slide, or bounce around.

The mechanics are brilliant in their simplicity. You press up for air, down for rock, left for ice, and right for fire. That's all you have control of. So it should be pretty easy, right? A simple, pleasant game.

WRONG! Honestly, I don't remember the last time I screamed, grunted, moaned, and cried this much during a game. Since the control is so minimal, you have to hit everything just right, at the right moment, with the right speed and angle. If you don't, you're screwed. Do over.

I'm a rage game masochist. So I just completely adore this game, and can't pull myself away from it. But if you don't enjoy getting absolutely infuriated during a game, maybe you shouldn't try it.

Now, apart from the brilliant mechanics, this game is just gorgeus. The environments are made in a beautiful, soft style. The elements are tiny, with an adorable little smiley kawaii face. The music is gentle and soothing, almost like a lullaby. And, every here and there, you get small remarks from the element that you are controlling, written somewhere on the screen. Like, when you are going underground the element mentions Gollum and the One Ring.

So the whole thing, looking objectively is really just cute, pretty, sweet and adorable.

And then if you play it, and you aren't very adept at it yet, it's hell on Earth.

I love it. If I haven't scared you off yet, try it. It's different, it's clever, it's difficult, and it's cute.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2014
Cute, Beautiful, Fun, Peaceful and Calming, a nice break if you're addicted to games full of action. I'ts a really unique game.
and im in love with the music
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2013
Starts easy and gets harder each level. But if you have figured it out its realy fun to slide around and try to get maximum speed :)
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
I love this game.
I always loved difficult and frustrating games, they push you to your limits and give you lots of satisfaction when you finally get through a level, well, this game isn't THAT hard, it's just filled up with good ol' trial and error: you die, you die again, you understand, you succed, you die and you start the loop all over again until you understand the pattern that you have to follow.
The game's lenght isn't that big but when you'll finish the main storyline you'll want to start all over again to speedrun through all of it and you'll always want to get even better at it.
I found it even more appealing using a gamepad.
Then we have the graphics, oh my god the graphics... This is one of those games with graphics that are so simple that makes it look more appealing than new-gen games, you wouldn't even guess it's an indie.
Another thing I loved were the elements quotes, they are so funny to read!
Totally a game that is worthy of a try
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37 of 58 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2014
hardest game in the world why did i buy this 11/10
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2013
Element4l lets you control the four elements in this little platform game. You can switch between rock, fire, ice and wind on the fly while moving through a level. A fun idea, but there are a lot of trial-and-error moments.

It frustrated me more than I had fun with it which isn't a good sign. But if you do finish a (part of the) level without messing things up it feels really satisfying.

Also, it doesn't look bad, a bit simplistic and minimalistic maybe, but I liked it anyway. And the music was actually quite good.

In other words: an average game, but with heart.

[Rating: 71/100]
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2013
This game's cute character, good music and quirky dialogue will put a smile on your face as you're playing. The whole game is just awesome.
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