In the Old Testament, King Solomon says, "there is nothing new under the sun".

We're inclined to agree with Solomon to an extent. Especially with regards to the increasing difficulty of making an original video game. There are thousands upon thousands of games out there, so originality is at a premium.

Over time we've learned to settle instead for those games that put an original spin on an old idea - games that, to quote Isaac Newton, stand on the shoulders of giants.

Square peg

Paying homage to a variety of classic puzzle games, Element's goal is to guide a three-dimensional block around a floating maze of platforms, dropping it into a target hole surrounded by arrows.

You guide your 1x2 block by rotating it in any direction, flipping it end over end within the limited space, without falling off the edge of the platform.

At first you'll face tricky pathways with limited turning space, requiring careful flipping and rotating of your block so that you're lined up correctly. Then there are the switches that need to be activated, lowering and raising blocks or bridges to open up new pathways.


There's an organic feel to the learning curve in Element that defies its clean geometric looks. Each new obstacle is introduced with such fluidity that you're only vaguely aware that you just learned a new trick.

Such careful pacing of new ideas means that you'll rarely find yourself completely stumped by a level. The solution will almost always make itself evident, though there were one or two occasions where we resorted to trial and error.

It's such a shame, then, that you'll breeze through Element's 45 levels in a relatively short time. The final few levels are a disappointment too, lacking in any real challenge. It's almost as if the designers ran out of ideas but didn't want to end the game on level 43.

All's well

In a bid to rescue some longevity, Element stores records of your performance on each level. The maximum score for each level is 10,000 points, which is reduced according to how many steps you take, and how long it takes you to get to the end.

There's even an option to compare your scores to those of others online. while there doesn't seem to be much incentive to do this once you've completed the game, perhaps the more obsessive puzzle fans out there will find some extra mileage.

Element gets so many things right: the puzzles are challenging without being annoying, there's a selection of catchy tunes that drive you through each level, the learning curve is as near to perfect as you can get in a game.

Unfortunately, the quality is ultimately diminished, if only marginally, by a simple lack of quantity.