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If you really like Sudoku, but you hate all those numbers reminding you of horrible things like math, then I've got the perfect game for you! Elemental from Vostu adds some innovation and color to the classic game and creates a fresh and enjoyable new experience.
The idea is to fill every space on the board without any elements repeating in the same row or column, much like Sudoku. Here, you're working with a simple four by four board and instead of numbers, we have the classic elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Unfortunately, no heart could be found, and no Captain Planet can be synthesized. The idea is to combine the elements into new substances, such as mud, dust, stone, ice or clouds. Some single spaces are given away for free, and eventually you'll have to mix three or even all four elements into the same section.
So anyway, if you're having trouble becoming the Avatar, master of all elements, you can cast a spell which will reveal a random space for you, although this ability has a very long cool-down timer. You can tap on any section for a free tip explaining which elements go into that section, accompanied by a fancy and memorable quote related to that section's substance. The game expects you to memorize the composition of each substance eventually, as using tips or casting the freebie spell will take away from your final score. Your final score is comprised of things like your completion time, and you'll even build experience towards whatever substances and elements you combine. For the majority of the game, each level takes anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute and a half to complete, but eventually the difficulty really ramps up. If you want a change of pace, you can try out survival mode, which asks you to complete puzzles within a certain time limit. It's a fun mode that mixes things up.
The art style is warm and well done, and the soundtrack matches it. This is a fun and creative take on the classic Sudoku formula, although it's pretty short and mostly easy. However, more level packs are promised in future updates. OpenFeint leaderboards and achievements are both supported, and best of all, the game is completely free. You can pay one dollar to get rid of advertisements, but I can honestly say that I didn't even notice them. Any puzzle fans, and especially Sudoku fans, have no excuse not to give this one a shot.