Game: Four Elements
Designer: Robert Murelli
Board Game Type: Party Game
Duration: 15 minutes
Time to Learn: less than 5 minutes
Four Elements Board Game Review
Four Elements is a free flowing game that requires more physical dexterity than the majority of games you will see on our site. Four Elements was recently funded on Kick Starter, and I can see why. The game has beautifully carved pieces, and comes in a very creative wooden box.
Four Elements is a very straightforward game, where you are trying to knock the other players “lords” off the table. You choose one of the four elements: fire, wind, earth, or water. Each element has its own special design. There are three types of pieces; each team has a variety of blockers, attackers, and one lord. Each player sets up his or her “army” before the game. Each player will use their “blockers” to set up a defense, and protect their “lord”. Players will then place their “attackers” on the table.
Once everyone has set up their army, you start flicking your attackers at your opponents. The fire element goes first, because you know… “Everything changed, when the Fire Nation attacked!” Players then take turns clockwise around the table flicking their attackers at the other team’s armies. Once a piece has been knocked off the table, it is out of the game. Once a team’s lord is knocked off the table, they are out of the game. The last team that has a lord piece in the game is the winner.
I love how each element has their own specially shaped “blockers”. The “air” blockers are a little on the lighter side, but are able to connect into pairs. There are only 6 blockers in the “water” army, but they are much heavier and more difficult to move. Each army is unique, and I am sure players will find an element which they prefer to use.
We had a little bit of a mixed review of this game at first. When we started playing, we were in the backyard, on a glass table with a small lip around the outside of the table. It was difficult to knock pieces off the table, due to the lip so the majority of players were frustrated.
After a rough first round, we moved inside to a wood table that did not have a lip around the edges. The pieces moved much farther when “flicked” and the pieces were much easier to knock off the edges. This made the overall experience much more enjoyable, and everyone had a great time. If you try this game, and are not enjoying it, I recommend you try it on another game surface. The place you play this game really affects how it works.
A few days later, I played the game with my family, which includes my nine-year-old daughter. She loved the game, and really enjoyed flicking her attackers at my wife and myself. We are all fans of the Avatar the Last Air Bender series from Nickelodeon, and that definitely improved our enjoyment of the game.
If you are looking for a fun, simple, easy to learn game; then Four Elements is for you.
Gateway Game Score (what's this?) 10/10
Overall Rating – 7/10
- Easy to learn, you can literally learn how to play in 2 minutes
- Great party game
- It’s fun to flick pieces at each other!
- The pieces are hard, and your finger can hurt after flicking several of them.
- The playing surface greatly affects how enjoyable the game is.
- The “air” pieces are clear, and difficult to see when they fall on the floor
Review by Millhouse, who has played this game so much he's subconsciously flicking things without even thinking about it.
It's easy to flick too hard and end up with a bruised fingernail with the sturdy plastic pieces. It kind of reminds us of Fifi's experience with Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. Have you had any injuries from either of these games? Which one makes for the most finger-bruising good time? Let us know in the comments below.