Elements Battle's storyline follows a young apprentice, sent into the dangerous world to fight a variety of enemies to reclaim lost items. The game is an endless glorified fetch quest, and the storyline is ultimately secondary, leaving the entertainment to truly come from the match-three battles. Enemies have different strengths and weaknesses, but all can be bested by making matches with specific black and white skull tiles on the match-three gameplay board.
Since Elements Battle borrows so heavily from games like Puzzle Quest, it's hard to play the game here without at least making a mental comparison or two. The biggest difference between Puzzle Quest and Elements Battle is the gameplay speed. Instead of a slow and deliberate process as in Puzzle Quest (where one turn allows typically just one move on the board), Elements Battle gives players timed turns and allows them to make as many matches of three or more like symbols within that time as possible. That being the case, the game moves much more quickly, and opponents have much less time to attack in the grand scheme of things.
Different symbols correspond with the elements like fire or water, and as they're earned, these colored tiles will automatically fill and activate passive attacks that deliver even more damage per turn than just matching the true skull attack tiles. These elemental attacks eventually run out, adding a bit of monetization to the game, as players must spend coins to purchase more basic elemental attacks, or spend real money for others like bombs or potions.
All of this combines into a game that could be experienced differently by each player. While the storyline unfolds through quests and the enemies are generally the same, a player's skill level will determine how quickly they make progress. Match three veterans can easily defeat most of the game's weaker enemies on a single turn, but someone that's new to the genre might take much more time to clear a quest or boss fight.
While there's an overall map containing progressively stronger enemies at each location, it's just as easy to head back to the beginning of the map and practice as it is to keep charging forever forward. This adds a great deal of replayability to the game, as enemies are available in groups of three and can be "refreshed" with the spin of a wheel resembling a slot machine. If you need a specific collectible for a quest, you may need to spin that enemy wheel a few times to actually find the right item as a battle reward, but there's no traditional energy system to limit your time with the game. Even with the ability to purchase potions and other premium equipment items or coins, the most experienced of match-three players can tackle the game for hours at a time without really taking a break (in case you're wondering, that's a great thing).
As with so many other of Game Insight's titles, Elements Battle suffers from some small text in the menus and an overall cluttered look that can be confusing at first (especially when considering the smaller size of some compatible Android device screens). Still, the tutorial does a nice job of pushing players in the right direction, and the overall entertainment factor here is more than enough to excuse the game's technical shortcomings. If you're looking for a fast-paced match-three game that offers more variety than most, Elements Battle is now available to download for free on Google Play.
Click here to download Elements Battle on Google Play >
Have you tried Elements Battle? What do you think of the game when compared to other titles like Puzzle Quest? Would you play the game if it launched on iOS? Sound off in the comments!