About two months ago, a friend sent me a link to Elements. I played around with it for a few days to see if it would be something I was interested in, and it was. So I backed away from it and then came at it fresh for 30 days.
If you’ve ever played and enjoyed collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering, then this is probably right up your alley. When you begin you pick an element from Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Light, Darkness, Entropy, Gravity, Time, Aether, Life and Death. Don’t worry about picking wrong, you can change later if you like, or just make a new account. You’ll be given a starter deck and your first Quest: to defeat a Level 0 foe. This first quest works like a tutorial, explaining how to play the game. A coin is flipped to see who goes first, on your turn, if you aren’t first you draw a card, then you can play any resource cards you have and any cards you have the resources to play, and then you end your turn where any monsters you have will attack, any effects you have will process, and you’ll collect a round of resources. The goal is to reduce your opponent to zero hit points before he does the same to you.
There are too many cards to spend any time talking about there here, but you can go to the bazaar and see them all. You’ll earn money from winning duels, and sometimes even win cards in bonus spins after a win which you can use or sell, and you buy cards to continue constructing your deck. If you are worried about spending money on the wrong cards, go play in the trainer that lets you have unlimited money but you can’t save your deck.
I started the game with a Death deck, built mostly on poisons and infections and boneyards (that produce skeletons when monsters die). If you can survive long enough with this deck, you can kill just about anyone… its the surviving that is the trick. After a while, I switched to playing Darkness, which I enjoyed more as it was definitely more active. Basing the deck around Drains (a card that sucks life out of the opponent and gives it to you) I started regularly ending matches with 100 health and earning double the winnings. I really ended up liking this slim deadly deck, but I felt I should also try out some others. I played in the trainer and eventually I decided to build a deck based entirely on quantum pillars/towers (random 3 resources instead of 1 specific) and drawn resources (1 of each resource), and even went so far as to look up the ultimate god killing deck which was similar to but much better constructed than my rainbow deck. Now I take turns playing my god killer for cash and my darkness for fun.
To be honest, this would never be a game that I played “seriously”, as in “for hours straight a day”. But it is a very nice throwaway game to keep running in the background while you work (if your work doesn’t mind you playing games and they don’t block the site). As a programmer, I know I occasionally need a momentary distraction from work in order to let my brain wander away from a problem so I can approach it from a new angle later, and Elements is perfect for that. The only negative I would say exists in the game is that it is very grindy in that it takes quite a lot of time to be able to upgrade cards and build a better deck unless you play a certain way (Google “elements god killing deck”). One “would be nice” thing is I would love to be able to build multiple decks and switch them out easily instead of having to rebuild them every time.
Overall, the game is very well constructed, it doesn’t appear to have any game breaking balance issues, and since it is free to play there is no harm in giving it a shot. And if you enjoy playing it, feel free to throw a few dollars at the developers via their PayPal donation link.