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:
Overall:
Very Positive (524 reviews) - 84% of the 524 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 24, 2013

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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
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (524 reviews)
Recently Posted
Germanic Tigress, Spunkmeistra
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
Cute music, nonesensical story (if there is one), moderately fun game for some.

BUT, if you can't deal with alternate controls or are not too good with platformers, you will find this frustrating. While some say this doesn't compare to things like Dark Souls in difficulty, I actually disagree. Often times you will see the solution and the solution will even present itself with a ghost, but execution is much, much different. I struggled very much, even though I found the controls quite intuitive and easy to use. I could see what I was supposed to do many times, but often struggled much on levels. I began to question if my reactions were terrible, which at times they were, but even when I'd be on point with reactions, if I didn't do something properly earlier, I'd be completely screwed and would have to start over at a checkpoint. This is both frustating, and given time, very mind numbing. At certain points I found myself struggling to the point of popping blood vessels in my forehead because of a dumb mistake or because of points where there is virtually ZERO margin for error, similar to parrying a select few mobs in Dark Souls.

I may not finish this game, but even if I do not, I will enjoy the music very much. It is easily the very best thing about this game.

Pros/Cons

Pros:
Fairly hard gameplay for some (good for you speedrunner and hardcore types)
Intuitive and instantaneous marginal controls
AMAZING music
Cute graphics and character

Cons:
Frustrating and repetative
No way to skip a part outside of skipping an entire set of levels which makes you miss out on all the witty sayings from the character and quotes of famous people.
For those that are good at this sort of thing, the game is actually amazingly short
For those that are bad at the game, you'll find yourself spending more time than you want on a level. (At one point it took me 20 minutes to beat a single level that would take a speedrunner about 30 ish seconds)
The methods of help (a ghost that moves too fast at times) and a helpful boost barely make the game more playable for derptastic people like myself

Overall, I still found myself coming back, though it might've been the completionist heart I have, though it was probably the music.

6.5/10
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TRMDYL
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
A mildly cool concept turns into a repetitive and dull struggle with the controls and your nerves. There was absolutely no incentive left for me to continue playing or finish it after an hour or so.

The only good point about it is the awesome music and that's about it.

Not recommended at all.
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K-ralz
( 9.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
Element4l is a pretty neat platformer. The controls are really simple: you use one of the arrow keys to transform into a specific element which gets you through a level. It's a cool idea, and for the most part, it plays out pretty well. Occasionally the movement frustrated me, but I think that was more of a lack of skill, rather than a game fault. I thought about it and I figured the game would be much simpler and possibly too easy if you were given more freedom with the movement. Possibilties could be endless though.

The soundtrack is really good, and it creates a really relaxing atmosphere, even if you are stuck at some point in a level. I found I was never frustrated when I had to repeat an area over and over. It's a cute game too, with little quirky written dialogue that kept a smile on my face while playing. The achievements were also fun to get and add replayability. (100% in just under 10 hours.)

There's definitely some downsides though. While I understand this isn't supposed to be a story heavy game, I wish they put more effort into it; I feel like there are so many cool concepts of life and death that could have been applied. Instead you get these little cutscenes featuring some weird ghost creatures that have creepy eyes. I still don't really get what the point in them was. And towards the end, for some reason i was getting a lot of FPS drops, even though my Macbook surpasses the requirements by a mile. Also, I really wish it supported Retina resolutions on OS X, it would have made this game so much prettier.

I'd give it a final score of 6.8/10. It's a very decent game, but if you're patient, then grab it on a sale. The developer is very nice too. Active on the forum and gives help when people need it.
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kilterwind
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
Well... Most aspects of this game is awesome apart from its difficulty...

It is not that difficult to beat it but the sense of satisfaction is lower than all the indie games that I have ever played. Is it not reasonable that one gets at least some silver flags in their first tries, if not any gold one? (I don't really know if there is a gold one, I never saw one) It is not wrong to be challenging, but it is if so many players feel that they are at the bottom when they first play every level.

I'd say, this aspect rated at the bottom ruins the whole experience despite other good things...
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Tsura
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
This game is beautiful, and the soundtrack is amazing.
It's overall very VERY difficult though which is why I don't find the time or will to play it. It's a shame. But if you do have time to get a hang of the mechanics, then it's a fun, beautiful little trip through awesome stylized landscapes, coupled with an interesting gameplay.
Sit back, and enjoy this piece of art.
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AndroidGuru
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 5
You know that feeling when you beat a level after 20+ tries and you're like, "screw that, I'm out"? That's the feeling you get when you beat every single level in this game. Way too difficult and frustrating. Nice music tho.
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tonatiuh_mv
( 6.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 25
I was expecting a physics platform/puzzle and was left disappointed, but if you’re interested in a momentum base speed-runner with substantial challenge you might have fun with it.

It’s overall a good game, sadly I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it because looking back on it I had more frustrations with it than fun.

  1. The gameplay involves switching between four elements to gain momentum and speed to run across hills, valleys, half pipes and loops, which is as fun as it sound when it works.
  2. But the level design is ungrateful with failures; The control input has to be very specific but if you die the re-spawn point will often leave you with less momentum or a different angle than the one you had and need, and if you were far enough the camera scrolling back to the re-spawn point won’t catch up to your revival in time, so you’ll start that section again before you can see it.
  3. The presentation also grinds a little with me, the elements have smiley faces and cute proportions but the backgrounds are gloomy and dark most of the time; the music is good but distracting, had to mute the game to be able to finish the levels. The last nails in the coffin are the “jokes” and “funny” remarks that flash as you progress, a mixture of all the fun of dad jokes with the kindness of a pop-up add.
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ShyGuyLink
( 20.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 23
The game is a beautiful piece. A wonderful blend between physicas and platformer with an exceptional soundtrack to boot.
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Jorbun
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 22
Interesting concept with potential, but poorly executed. It seems simple enough at first; transform into verious forms with different properties to navigate the terrain and reach the end of the level. All movement is done using your form's properties and the terrain, such as falling into a half pipe as a rock, turning to ice to slide up the other side, then turning to a bubble to get extra height.

Unfortunately, the puzzles the game presents you require extremely precise timing of tranformation, and failing to execute a maneuver can often force you to respawn at the last checkpoint, which the game records as a death. And the game will inform you how many times yhou died on a level, as well as how many hidden collectibles you found and you much time you took. Apparently this is supposed to be a speedrunner game?

And say precision speedrunning is your bag. The game's artstyle and writing convey the exact opposite. Your character has the personality of a curious child, and the art, while pretty, is very soft and peaceful. It's all rather at odds with the gameplay.

4/10
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ssilverrsun
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
I love the art style, but the gameplay is too frustrating to be enjoyable because the controls don't always do their job.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
A mildly cool concept turns into a repetitive and dull struggle with the controls and your nerves. There was absolutely no incentive left for me to continue playing or finish it after an hour or so.

The only good point about it is the awesome music and that's about it.

Not recommended at all.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
105 of 125 people (84%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2013
Dear god. Hard. Fun. Hard. Pretty. Nice music. Hard. Also, hard.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
58 of 63 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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46 of 50 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.3 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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34 of 37 people (92%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 6, 2015
'Element4l' is an atmospheric puzzle platformer with four elements (ice, air, rock and fire).

Desc: You will get an introduction into the game which is really needed. First of all you have the element air, as second element you will get ice, next one is rock and at last fire. You will switch through the elements with the arrow keys. Every change will lower your endurance except the change to ice, which doesn't cost any endurance. The endurance will reload automatically over a short periode of time. If your endurance is too low you can't change into another element. You have always to use the environment around you to finish the level.

For example: You have to get through two half-pipes in front of you. Therefore you will change to rock to raise your fall speed and just before you hit the entrance of the first half-pipe you will change to ice to slide through it. After you exit the half-pipe you will change to air to fly above the second half-pipe to repeat the actions again. This means that you have to react often very very fast to get the right speed/timing to fly/roll/slide to the next objective.

There are calm passages like slowly floating as air over lava or wet passages like sliding as ice through water or rolling down a track in a minecart as rock or bouncing as fire from one lava pit to another.

Yeah, that's it.

Pros:
+ great game concept (like rock-paper-scissors)
+ well designed physic engine
+ tutorial available
+ lovely designed levels (with usage of the rock-paper-scissors principle)
+ non-frustrating autosave system
+ atmospheric style
+ good artwork and nice particle effects
+ awesome sound scenery with calm appropriate music
+ help system (never used)
+ funny text messages with referrals to other games/movies (like 'The Goonies', 'Harry Potter', 'Indiana Jones' or RPGs)
+ good chosen quotes (displayed at the beginning of each level)
(+ steam achievements)

Cons:
- some parts of some levels are hard as hell (in one level I needed over 100 respawns -.-)
- no story, not even an abstract story
(- no demo)

Recommended, even if it's not on sale, because it's an fantastic game concept, which was lovely designed into a really enjoyable calm atmosphere.

9/10
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2014
Beautiful, fun, peaceful, challenging and overall just a relaxed game to play.
A nice break if you're used to playing games full of action. It's a really unique puzzle game.
If you're thinking about buying it, it's worth the money. Or gift it to someone who likes visual stunning games and/or puzzles in general.
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 1, 2015
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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36 of 52 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2013
Element4l is a challenging platformer with innovative gameplay and good-looking graphics.
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46 of 70 people (66%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
At a first glance this seemed like a good idea. It's definitely original! I personally did not enjoy this game but it might have some appeal to other kinds of people.

Strangely enough, it reminds me of Dragon's Lair for the Sega CD. And I know exactly why. If you never played said game it works like this: you put the cd on and hit play, then a beautiful animation starts playing! cell shaded, disney quality etc. That's no intro or cutscene, that's the game. You have to press specific keys at specific moments to allow the movie to progress. It's a game 100% made of quicktime events, made before this term had been coined. And Element4l is exactly that under the hood; you have to press the correct key at the correct time, there's no margin for error and no flexibility at all. Again, some people may enjoy this but, if they exist, I hope it's not because of the movie playing because Element4l doesn't have that part.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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