It involves a whimsical adventure to help four elemental fairies to recover their lost powers, and of course you do this by solving all and any puzzle that may stumble your path.
When it comes to gameplay, this game follows the classic Match 3 formula, reminiscent of free Windows 7 games. The basics remain familiar: Match three or more tiles of the same type to make them disappear.
However, there's a magical twist to this formula. Instead of a simple square stage, you find yourself on a sprawling map that you solve in parts. Your objective isn't merely to clear the tiles themselves; rather, you're striving to guide the flow of magic, represented as a unique type of liquid, from one corner of the screen to the other.
Creating chains of five tiles of the same type triggers explosive effects at the end, allowing you to clear even more tiles. The longer you extend the chain, the more spectacular the explosion becomes!
What truly sets this game apart are the magical abilities bestowed upon you by the fairies. They are deeply integrated into the gameplay, adding a significant layer of strategy to solving the stages.
For instance, your first ability might seem as simple as a shovel, but clearing away a single tile can prove highly advantageous when no clear matches are available. Additionally, there's the flame power, capable of destroying special tiles like stone or frozen ones. To utilize these powers, you need to charge them by matching tiles of their corresponding color; red, for example, fuels the flame power.
The gameplay offers a profound and strategic experience. While the level timer is quite lenient, the game's complexity is still there for those who wish to master it, much like the timeless challenge found in classic games.
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The rest of the puzzles, while not quite as deep, are still fun and a nice change of pace between sessions of Match 3 gameplay. They can include searching for clues, matching items to a poem, or the classic find the seven differences, to just name a few.
The game whisks you away into this fairytale world, with backgrounds, characters and illustrations beautifully realized. The color pallet is vibrant without being too much, there is no over reliance on pastel colors or the like.
The very design of the many puzzles, some of them quite simple, makes them really pop into view. Popping and exploding, by the way, is something that a lot of things do. This game really knows how to make a spectacle, even when you don’t expect it. You might be solving a simple puzzle when the way is opened by a dazzling show of lights. And most of the time, it is a joy to see.
As you advance and help the fairies, you will also help other creatures that are trapped in a magical book. The way this is designed really makes you want to keep playing: At first, there is a bleak picture with no one in it. As you solve puzzles, the creature you are trying to aid appears, but is in peril. And as you finish, not only the danger is gone, but the picture comes alive, beautifully and subtly animated.
This is a great reward for one’s own efforts, and many more magical creatures await you as you move forward.
4 Elements II is an extremely charming game that will have you hooked from the first moment you boot it up. The whimsical adventure it takes you on is really enjoyable, and the unique spin it gives this tried and true puzzles makes them feel quite fresh. It is a must experience for fans of puzzle games and fairytales alike, and if you are both, this game is a ride indeed.
If you enjoy these free games, you will love this list of our 10 Best Puzzle Games!