Swapping colourful objects to create rows of three or more is about as simple as a puzzle game can get. After years of playing titles like Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga, seeing the patterns that make the best matches is almost second nature to me. Then came CocoaChina's 7 Elements, changing everything by adding two more fingers to the mix.
With its crisp, polished visuals and familiar layout, it's easy to mistake 7 Elements for another gem-matching game of the 'blitz' variety, giving players a limited amount of time to rack up as many points as they can. At a base level that's exactly what it is.
The best match-three games spice up the basic formula with a healthy dose of spectacle, and 7 Elements certainly delivers on that front. Each of the seven pieces on the playfield represent a different element — wind, water, plants, earth, electricity, fire and gold (it's on the periodic table so it counts). Matching four or more of any of these creates a larger piece which activates a power when grouped. Water cascades down in a line, washing away the pieces beneath it. Trees send out piece-eating roots in every direction. Fire shoots up in a column. Gold, the most important element, drops coins that can be used to purchase power-ups between rounds.
Match fast and frequently enough and the frenzy meter fills, launching into a score doubling special mode, lighting up the screen.
Genre: Match 3 Developer: Bucaa Studio Platform: iOS Price: 99c Get 7 Elements on iTunes