Bejeweled, a classic in its own right, has transcended gaming like every title wishes. What once started as a single 3.5” floppy disc is now a gaming juggernaut. As the old saying goes though, the best form of flattery is imitation. If that is true, what is improving upon the original in nearly every way? Force of Elements is one of the latest “Battle Bejeweled” games that I have run across that is actually good. There are many titles in this sub-genre but not many that can hold my interest. Take Puzzle Quest and remove the “adventuring around the land” and long storyline and focus on the battles. You would think that would remove quite a bit of reason to play. It does not.
When you first start playing Force of Elements, you are greeted with a few options. A tutorial that explains a lot of what is about to happen and of course the ability to skip it (I suggest you don’t). Once you get into the game you will quickly realize this is the closest we will probably ever get to the original with a Battle Bejeweled game. There is no storyline to follow, there is no traveling around a map either. All there is here is fighting and growing your character while climbing, or falling down, the global leaderboard.
The basic idea of Bejeweled is alive and well here. So are the additions that Puzzle Quest made popular such as attacking your enemy with powers that you energize as you play. What is different in Force of Elements is that you are not alternating turns like Puzzle Quest. Instead, in the main mode, you are given 10 seconds to make as many matches as possible and cause as much damage as you can. Your opponent receives that same luxury. In this 10 seconds you can cast spells that you have powered up as you play. If you play well you can extend that 10 seconds well beyond with 1.5+ second boosts that are earned by making massive matches. For those that wish to think their moves out, rather than rush through a hectic 10 second turn, there is a five turn per player mode that allows time to think and plan moves.
There are plenty of characters available in Force of Elements. Some have the ability to slow down your cascades- costing you precious seconds during your turn. Others can literally blast the board causing massive damage. Some can make moves that won’t affect their opponent for a turn or two- really adding to the strategic feel.
Adding to the strategic feel is the rune system. Are you an offensive player or a defensive player? As you play you can unlock various runes that suit your needs. Some give health with color matches while others give more of a color when matching. Some can even extend your time.
There are pre-determined comments for each character accessed via a comment wheel. The wheel is the same for each character as far as what you see. This means while you click “Hi” from the comment wheel, one character may be gracious and actually say hello. Another character may be crass about it and give a backhanded compliment to their opponent. The cool thing is, all of the voices are done quite well and in character. My favorite character so far is Spark who reminds me of Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. He is a little midget of a character that rides around in the belly of his invention. When on the receiving end of a powerful attack, he screams stuff like “You scratched my paint job!” and other hilarious quips.
If you are not a Match 3 fan then Force of Elements won’t change your mind. For those of us that are fans, your next addiction is here.
Force of Elements by Wicked Fun
Genre: Battle Bejeweled, Match 3
Platform: Android (ZTE ZMAX 2 used for review), Steam
Rated: T for Teen on Google Play
In App Purchases: Yes
Available now on Google Play and Steam