7 Elements by Bucaa Studios is a game not unlike Bejewelled, or to be more specific a game similar to Bejewelled Blitz. It’s a match three or more of the same shapes in a row game, set to a time limit in order to score as many points as you possibly can.
It’s hard to distinguish these games from each other as there are just so many of them, so 7 Elements needs to be something pretty special in order to separate itself from the pack. Unfortunately that’s where it falls down; while it plays well, it’s simply not different enough from games such as Bejewelled Blitz.
There are seven elements that you need to manipulate into rows of three or more that allow you to score. These are Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Crystal, Gold and Wood. When matched each of these have a different effect on the game. Gold turns into gold coins, which are needed to buy add-ons before you start a game, wood produce an X shaped power burst, water washes down everything underneath it, fire burns away everything above it, earth sets off a powerful earthquake, air (cloud) produces a strong wind that blows away surrounding Elements and finally the crystal (gem) will turn other Crystals into the Element you swapped with.
In addition to these special effects, the game is unique in that you can move multiple gems at the same time. This means that you can for example move one gem from a row above, and one gem from a row below into a couple of gems, creating a row of four gems (as long as they are all the same). It’s a welcome addition, although it’s hard to get used to if you’ve been playing these types for games for many years.
There are no other game modes other than score as much as you can in a certain time-limit, which is one of the game’s major downfalls. Sadly, the time you have to play never seems long enough to actually get into the game and enjoy it. Also, unlike other games of a similar nature, there can be times when there are no moves available, and rather than the computer ending the game or automatically re-assembling the layout, you have to press the hint button. There are also bugs when you press the hint button; it will show you where you can go, but when you move the gems they get stuck on top of each other and you waste time when you have to move them again.
The sound is similar to the graphics, everything sounds right and adds to the gameplay with a great tune and some brilliant spot-fx. However there’s nothing to make it stand out from the crowds of similar titles.
7 Elements has some very interesting gameplay mechanics; however, there are too many little niggles that let the game down to make it a great recommendation. The gameplay has been done a thousand times before in a thousand different Bejewelled clones. The graphics and sound are nice but add nothing to the gameplay, and the strict time-limit really adds to the woes of the game.