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 (538 reviews) - 84% of the 538 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 (538 reviews)
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326 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
106 of 127 people (83%) 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.
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62 of 67 people (93%) found this review helpful
5 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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20 of 22 people (91%) 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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37 of 53 people (70%) 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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38 of 57 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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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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Recently Posted
Webb_Informant
3.7 hrs
Posted: August 12
This game is very fun until it gets very stressful. Don't be fooled by the mild look of the game; it is HARD. Feels like every time I'm starting to get the hang of it, the challenge doubles down on me.

If it weren't for the fantastic music, I probly woulda smashed my keboard against something and given up half way through the game. Instead I just mashed a few keys and gave up on one of the last levels.

The race mode feature is pretty cool. You can race the 'ghosts' of your record & others who just barely beat it. Would be cool to have an actual multiplayer feature.

I like this game a lot, but it's very difficult at times. That being said, I would lllloooooovvveeee to play a sequel.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mr receding hairline
2.3 hrs
Posted: August 3
Will make you ragequit, no matter what.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Onebadterran
7.6 hrs
Posted: July 23
Curator Review:

This puzzle platformer is an indie gem. Take control of four elements and solve puzzles while moving up, and to the right (sound familiar?). I-Illusions made a great game that is sufficiently challenging, aesthetically pleasing, and perfectly balanced to create a fun gaming experience. In a genre so full, Element4l outperforms many with its' brilliant composition. 9/10

https://youtu.be/Y3PEOPOfFg4
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Petman1325
0.2 hrs
Posted: July 19
A very interesting platformer where you don't move in traditional ways. You can't just run forward or backwards, but rather you shapeshift into alternate forms based upon the classic elements (Air, Water (ice), Stone, and Fire) and use thier strengths to nagivate through the levels. Challenging, but definitely worth your time!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tiburon
0.3 hrs
Posted: July 17
I love hard platfromers but this got me to rage quit after 15 minutes. Makes you feel out of control and helpless. I have no idea why people would praise the soundtrack - all I hear are annoying, low quality wind chimes.

In my opinion: great concept, poorly executed. Sorry cant recommend, there are far superior platformers on steam.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
--madii..
11.7 hrs
Posted: July 11
a great soundtrack and a harder platformer than it seems :>
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Baunsgaard
13.5 hrs
Posted: July 2
Element4l is a very special game, and the best Indie game I have ever played.

I love the idea of the game, and especially the soundtrack. It fits perfectly together.

Element4l is about 4 elements, who are bound together on a journey. You can transform into 4 elements:
Ice
Stone
Fire
Air

You'll have to use all elements through all levels, to get past. This requires to think and fast reflexes. Some levels you'll have to try a few times.

Some of the levels are extremely hard, and I missed a skip function for that part of the level. But after many attempts, I finally got past.

The controls can be hard, but that will only be the first levels. Almost after the first level, you'll know the controls very well. Controller Support is also available, if you don't want to play with keyboard.

It's hard to tell exactly what Element4l is about, and that's why you NEED to play it. It's a experience that's hard to tell.

The game is not that long, but is really worth the money. It's also a game you always can play again.

9/10 - The best Indie Game I have ever played!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Carfanatic
7.7 hrs
Posted: June 30
Great game. Love the music, physics and sound effects. It's a game to pass time away even though some levels are challenging (like the one I'm stuck on...)! Would love an Android version of this :-)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kushina
2.8 hrs
Posted: June 29
Wonderful game, worth your time and money. :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Morgan Freeman
1.8 hrs
Posted: June 25
a platforming puzzle game that you cant move using WASD
10/10 would rage again
Helpful? Yes No Funny