Developer: Playrix
Price: FREE ($6.99 to unlock full game)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

4 Elements II HD has the potential to be very fun indeed, for those keen on casual gaming genres such as Hidden Object and Match Three puzzling. It’s a shame then that the free version is quite so limited and the full version is quite so expensive.

Combining two enjoyable genres, players participate in simple puzzle solving along with Match Three sections. A loose story about fairies who must be saved through the restoration of a magic book sets the tone. Basically, this book indicates how many levels are left. 16 pages of the book exist with five levels required to complete a page. That means there are plenty of stages to get stuck into.

The Match Three sections come with an objective that’s quite different from the usual methods involved. Magic that reacts like water flows through the sections and needs to reach the end of the stage. This is done through unblocking certain sections so that it continues to glide along. Success isn’t just a matter of matching gems either, as sometimes pipes need to be manipulated correctly, also. It’s a neat mechanic and one that adds a bit more purpose to the usual “match x number of gems to complete the stage”. It’s also a fair bit more interesting than more traditional methods.

At regular junctions throughout the game, players are returned to a Hidden Object style scene, although in the case of the free version, there’s only one such section to discover. That’s the downside to the free version, it offers a sufficient glimpse into 4 Elements II HD‘s world but it certainly left me wanting more.

Given the $6.99 asking price, it is quite expensive for what it offers. Take a couple of dollars off that price and it’s a much more appealing proposition, falling squarely into impulse buy territory. For the most part, players will find themselves completing Match Three scenarios which, while varied, might get a little old after a time. Fans of the genre will enjoy the variety of the challenge, however, and find themselves keen to see what happens next. Just like I did!

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