Element is the latest game from Rather Dashing Games. Like all the other games it’s quick to learn, fun to play but hard to master.
Your goal in Element is to surround the other player’s sage and prevent it from moving. This is done by harnessing the power of the four elements, Fire, water, wind, and earth, Game play is pretty simple, but do not let that fool you! There is a very deep “Element” of strategy at work here, see what I did there!
All players set there sages in the starting area according to how many are playing, the rule book makes this simple, with great detailed instructions.
Player will move there sage, then draw four stone from the bag, these will be one of the four elements. Each has it own unique thing it will do,
• Fire spreads. You can place next to another fire and you get a free fire stone, If you place fire orthogonally adjacent to another fire already on the board, then the space on the opposite side of the existing fire also catches fire, assuming that space is empty or holds air.
• Water flows. When you place water orthogonally adjacent to existing water, then you can make those pieces “flow” across the game board, taking right-angle turns as desired or required and putting out fires along the way. You are making a river
• Wind enables. Wind creates strong winds, so a sage can travel over spaces that contain air in addition to making any other moves allowed on that turn.
• Earth blocks. If you have 2 earth stone placed on top of each other, you have created a mountain, and these can’t not be replaced by another element.
That in a nut shell is the basic of game play, as you can see it’s easy to learn, but oh so hard to master. As it depends on the elements you draw, and how you play, but don’t forgot your opponents are doing the same and trying to block you in! So you are have to play defense, as well offense, And figure out the best moves to make for yourself and against yourself, it’s pretty challenging really, and it is super fun at the same time. The game will end if you can block your opponents sage in and he/she can not move.
As with all other Rather Dashing Games products, this is one area, where it really shines. The artwork is top notch, Grant Wilson knows how to draw you in, with his art, and this is no exception. The game board has a unique design with the squares and circles, the game pieces are well made and quality. The sages are nice heavy carved wood. I do have to point out the bag, it’s very high quality you can tell they did not want to skimp on this, as you will be using it a lot in your game play. I just wish they would have done something different with the element chips, they are like a checker, I wish they would have gone the way of a poker chip.
The game is very easy to lean and teach. But as I said above, it’s very hard to master, as it’s very complex in it’s strategy. The fun I feel comes with how you use the different elements, you can build it up and unleash some fury on your foes, if you build it right, each brings its on feel to it. You can really learn how to use it one to the best way possible. Don’t expect to play this game one time, and then have it mastered. It will take time, element is one of those rare games that you can bring out and I think a non gamer would enjoy. Luck plays a small factor into the game, as you at the mercy of which stones you draw, but designer Mike Richie has made a fun game that you will want to play over and over, to see how you can improve from your last play.
To learn more about Element head over to the official page
You can pre-order now at your local FLGS, rather dashing games
Check out our unboxing video
A special thanks to Rather Dashing Games for providing us with our review copy. Which had no effect on the outcome of the review