The wistful, whimsical platformer Element4l is now on Steam

Katie Williams at

Ignore that number jammed unharmoniously in Element4l's name, and focus instead on the relaxing music, the smooth curves of the landscape, and the satisfying way your happy cube-character dissolves into embers and sparks.

In Element4l, you're in control of the four elements, bound together on a journey to shape life. Whoa. It appears that life-shaping involves lots of sliding down hills and squeezing one's self into tiny caves in dreamy, palm-tree-dotted environments. Still, don't think that such guns-lacking, pastel-colored, meditative play is going to be easy. Its developer, I-Illusions, promises that you will struggle as the gameplay "rearranges your reflexes." Who knows? Your standard FPS experience may be forever changed after getting hold of Element4l.

Element4l launched today on Steam, where it's $10. There are 16 levels, and somewhat jarringly, there's a competitive race mode to busy yourself with once you're done with single-player too. The music-box soundtrack is included in the form of high-quality mp3s, and a free DLC, "Lap Races," is scheduled soon. There's an undeniable sense of style to Element4l's gameplay—if the graceful arcs and sunset-beautiful colors are joined by gameplay as challenging as promised, it may be worth taking on.


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