Free to Play Game Review – Elements The Game

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Overview

I have been playing this game for the last few months and I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever enjoyed Magic The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh or other popular CCG’s.  The game can be found at www.elementsthegame.com

Elements is an ENTIRELY free to play browser based Collectable Card Game.  When I say free to play I actually mean free to play, not free to sign up for and join but to get all the good stuff you need to use an item mall to pay for the best stuff to pwn teh noobzors.  In Elements everyone starts the same, the only way to expand your collection or upgrade your cards is to play the game and win matches.  When you win a match you will get currency that can be used to buy more cards or upgrade existing ones, as well as currency you will also get to roll a slot machine style mini game which has your opponents deck in it.  If you match 3 copies of a card in a row you win a copy of that card.  When you lose or quit a match you lose a small amount of currency.  You can play against the computer (AI), other players (PvP) and take part in regular community run leagues, tournaments and competitions at all levels from noob to pro.

Starting Out

There are 12 Elements to choose from for your starter deck.  You will be provided with an overview of each Element before you make your decision during an excellent tutorial which will guide you through the early stages of the game.  There is also a lot of fantastic starter guides on the forums which I will cover later on to help you on your way.  You will start off using a mono colour starter deck but you can use multiple colours and customise your deck using cards from all 12 Elements if you wish as you collect them.  The Elements and a brief description are detailed below:


Entropy – Science, Mutations and experimentation.  Buff creatures.

Death – Poison, skeletons and zombies. Damage over time.

Gravity – Destroys/ignores shields, defensive control.

Earth – All rounder, evasive creatures, good control and life gain.

Life – Bugs, Frogs, Life Gain, Speed/rush decks.

Fire – Direct damage, destroy shields, spot removal, Speed/rush decks.

Water – Squids, clams, poison, slow control, spot removal.

Light – Unicorns, creature buffs, heals, slow defensive.

Air – Fireflys, spot removal, spawn creatures, all rounder.

Time – Pharaohs, Scarabs, Draw cards, spawn creatures, spot removal.

Darkness – Vampires, life gain, steal items, resource denial.

Aether – Untargetable creatures, strong shields, spot removal, slow defensive.

Battles

Ok so you are now armed with your very first deck, now to explain how a match works.  Each deck contains cards of various types, here are the main ones:

Pillars/Towers – These are your resources, for example a Gravity Pillar will generate you one Gravity quanta (resource) per turn.  These can be stored up over numerous turns until you have enough to play your desired card.  The more pillars/towers the more quanta you gain per turn.

Creatures – Fairly straightforward, each of these has a quanta cost that you need to pay in order to cast them.  You use reatures to attack your opponent each turn.  Each creature has an attack/defence stat.  Attack is the amount of damage it can deal to your opponent, its defence is the amount of damage it can take.  For example if a creature is a 10/4 and someone casts a spell dealing 5 damage to it, it would die outright.  Some creatures also have special abilities that can be used on the battlefield against other players/creatures.

Spells – These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They can be anything from healing your own life total to casting buffs or debuffs on the creatures on the field.

Weapons/Shields – Each player has a slot for a weapon/shield and each Element has their own specialized items with suited abilities.  Weapons are all Rare cards and can be obtained only by defeating tough opponents and completing the initial quest series.

Other items – There are other rare and unique items and battlefield effects you can discover, I will leave it to you to do a bit of experimenting and exploring.

Your deck can be between 30 to 60 cards in size, if for any reason you run out of cards (deck out) and you can no longer draw a card at the start of your turn you lose by default.

A coin toss decides the start of the game as to who goes first, each player draws 7 cards starts with 100 health.  You play any pillars from your starting hand and pass the turn (using space bar) until you have enough quanta to cast a spell.  At the end of each turn you will gain quanta based on the pillars you have.  When you play a creature it can attack your opponent straight away but if it has any special abilities they cannot be used until the next turn (similar to summoning sickness in MTG).  Unlike other CCG’s your creatures do no attack each other, just your opponents health.  Some creatures can devour others, some can absorb damage from attacking creatures and some can poison them so there is still a great deal of interaction between them despite not physically attacking each other.

It is also important to note, you CANNOT play spells during your opponents turn.  It took me about 20 games to realise that.  The rest is all pretty much common sense, use every card at your disposal to destroy your opponent any way you can.

Community/PvP

This is something I love about this game.  It has a very active and dedicated growing player base.  At times it is essentially an MMO as there is a chat room and tournament rooms for events to talk to others online at the same time as you.  The forums are pretty huge and cover everything from deck building guides, card improvements, competitions and the best thing – forum based PvP games.  This includes weekly tournaments on a Saturday with varying themes at different times to suit those from the East and those in the West, Beginners Leagues and Advanced League and the big event at the moment is the War.  More information about the events ran in game can be found here: (copy and paste into your browser)

http://elementsforum.co.cc/index.php/board,76.0.html?PHPSESSID=1fecf1f5c2375ef63de365f0b0e24eef

I would encourage anyone who is looking to try this game out to have a good look about the forums as there is a wealth of information there.  The forums are regularly patrolled by experienced players all with various responsibilities to the game from Bug Hunter, Competition Organiser to Deck Advisors.

Performance

The games visuals are fairly basic and so it can be ran quite smoothly regardless of your internet connection.  I have played it in my office at work and I’m pretty sure they still use 1-2 MB Broadband tops.  I have spoken to people who have some issues when it comes to PvP and losing connection but the majority seem ok as long as your Computer and browser have no ongoing issues.

Lastly while the game is TOTALLY free they do accept donations to help with the running of the site but these are in no way mandatory it is purely at your own discretion.

Overall I really enjoy this game and the community that surrounds it and I would advise anyone who is into this sort of game or even curious about it to give it a go.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and if you give it a go feel free to let me know what you think.  You may even see me about in the chat room or kick my ass in PvP under the user name Dreggs.