Reviews by ooakPlayer

4 Elements II Collector's Edition Icon
Even More Perfect
by ooakPlayer, USA - Mar 20th 2016

I have been enthralled with the standard edition of this game from the moment of download but was disappointed that I couldn't find the Collector's Edition at that time. I am so glad to have found it here at the Mac Game Store. I have written a stellar review of the standard version of 4 Elements II on this very site (entitled "Perfect") where I talked a lot about how the game works. So I won't repeat myself here as the bulk of this game is the same as the standard version. However, the bonus section in the Collector's Edition is supplemental and completely in and of itself worth the full price of admission! Bonus Levels can be accessed on the intro page under "Challenges" but they are not unlocked until you have completed the entire 4 Chapters and 64 Levels of the "standard" game. And to be sure, these bonus Levels are exactly that: CHALLENGES! They are significantly more difficult, mainly because the Timer is really, really stingy in the Challenges. True, I could play "Relaxed" and not have to deal with that, but I love racing against the clock. It is rather the point for me. I had to do almost all of the Challenges several times and even when I successfully made my way to the Altar, it was always just barely and to the sound of the gong!! The Challenge fields are gloriously long and convoluted! In addition, there are so many Beacons, Mines and Magic Arrows that must be released in order to make your way to the Altar and they are usually tucked in alcoves or behind frozen cells or double cells. And then there are often fields of rocks on cells... just plain rocks... rocks, rocks and more rocks... interspersed with a seemingly minuscule number of chips to match and clear. The first one of those I encountered I figured there had to be a trick to get through it and sure enough there is. Some of the Challenge scenarios were never presented in the first 64 so even though it's familiar, it's different at the same time. It all adds to the excitement and challenge of the game for me. It's like a new game. I am experiencing the excitement that I felt when I played the standard version for the first time. I absolutely LOVE this game. My favorite for sure. So if you're going to get 4 Elements II, get THIS version, the Collector's version. For less than the price of a movie outing with popcorn, you could have this game, which has entertained me for hours and hours. And hours.

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Enchanted Cavern 2 Icon
An Unexpected Challenge!
by ooakPlayer, - Mar 8th 2016

I do not understand the low ratings this game has gotten. I find this to be a VERY challenging Match 3. There are a total of 50 Levels and they get progressively more difficult as you progress. So, if you think it's going to be an easy game from your experience with the demo, you would be mistaken. Or if you're playing in "Relaxed" mode and wonder what the challenge is because you don't have trouble completing the Levels (since you don't have the stingy Timer to deal with), then try it again in timed "Casual" mode and I'm quite sure you'll change your mind. In fact, the final Chapter has a couple of levels [7-1 and 7-6] that I had to redo many times before I could complete them in the amount of time allocated by the Timer. Even then, I could not manage to get more than a single Star for my efforts! But I like that. In fact, I got a little obsessed with this game and I found myself going back to it again and again, even after declaring "no more, I've had enough!" I love, love, LOVE it and highly recommend it to anyone who likes Match 3 games.

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4 Elements II Icon
Perfect
by ooakPlayer, - Mar 4th 2016

Sadly, I have read reviews on this site and others that do not give 4 Elements II the stellar rating it deserves. So, for those who say it's "boring", "endless" and completely lacking in both rhyme and reason, I am here to say that there is not only reason but purpose, not simply rhyme but poetry. It has provided me with hours of entertainment and I have completed it several times so it very most definitely has an end. Please remember that this is a Match 3 game so if you simply prefer a different genre, stick with what you prefer. No need to bash a perfectly designed Match 3, which this game is in my opinion.

That being said, the object of the game is to get the Magical Energy from one end of the field to the Altar at the other end of the field in the amount of time allocated by the timer. It's that simple. But the Magical Energy flows only through the cleared cells of the field, so you have to clear cells by dragging the cursor over 3 or more adjacent same-color Chips. As you progress to higher levels, the fields become increasingly lengthy and convoluted. The Guiding Arrow is always there to show you the way and as it moves along, the field moves too. At first this is a bit disconcerting, but then you realize that it is absolutely necessary as there is no way to see the entire field onscreen at one time [even on my 27-inch iMac!] and that's why there's also a Map you can click on to see exactly where you are at any given time.

There are impediments along the way, like Metal Plates, Rocks, Frozen Cells and closed Gates. Conversely are also weapons that can destroy them or tools that can open them up like Magic Arrows and Beacons that are activated by clearing the cells around them and exposing them to the Magical Energy. Sometimes there are disconnected pipelines that need to be reconnected or stone blocks that need to be rearranged in order for the Magical Energy to continue its flow toward the Altar. This all adds to the interest and challenge of the game.

There are bonuses that can be earned by making matches of a particular color of Chip. The Spade bonus is earned by making matches of green color Chips, the Swap bonus is earned by making matches of yellow Chips, etc. The bonuses can help you out tight spaces, however, because they take a while to power up, they should be used sparingly yet strategically.

The fairies are a little cutesy for my taste but I can overlook that as the graphics overall are beautiful and display crisply on a large screen. The music is pleasant and even uplifting in certain chapters. Simple and easy puzzles are interspersed between chapters that are interesting. And you must solve a hidden-object challenge at the beginning of each chapter so there is a bit of variety within the game that makes it all the more enjoyable. If I could give this game 10 stars, I would.

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