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'Elias The Mighty' Review (PC)

Submitted by thankeeka on May 22, 2008 - 8:01am. Exclusive Game Review

As a child, do you remember the pre-school toy where you were supposed to take square pegs and place them in square slots? If so, perhaps Elias The Mighty is a game right up your alley, as it follows the same premise for the most part. You wouldn't think it, but trying to properly recognize shapes can be rather difficult at times. So is Elias The Mighty truly mighty or merely average?

Elias The Mighty tells the story of Elias, supposedly a hero within Russian folklore. When it comes to folklore I'm not too knowledgeable on Russia, so the story of Elias The Mighty was one completely foreign to me and is still admittedly so given how poorly it was executed in the game. The story of Elias The Mighty is told through static cutscenes that look as if they were borrowed from a currently existing animated movie on the subject matter instead of created specifically for the game. Every once in a while the scenes will play with a few captions of dialogue, but most of the time you're only given a picture to help you try and fill the story in. Seeing a picture of a horse reared up on its hind legs or someone looking menacingly to convey evilness isn't uncommon.

The gameplay of Elias The Mighty is unlike any I've ever experienced before in a casual game, so that's a boon for it though it isn't perfect. The game board is presented as a series of scrolling areas that have seven different shapes cut into them in random patterns, each level usually consisting of around four to five different cutout shapes. In order to complete each level you need to take the matching pieces from the bottom of the level and put them into position along the scrolling bars, filling up a bar with each point placed that will eventually give you access to an in-game item that has an overall point total. You successfully complete a level whenever you reach the level's point total before you complete the last item.

When starting out, Elias The Mighty is really easy, as all you need to do is put shape to shape and you'll automatically have enough points by the time you complete the last item. The further you go along, however, the more you'll have to rely on various multipliers. Each puzzle piece, for example, comes in one of several colors, and the more items of the same color you place in a row the more points you get. If you put four blue pieces in a row you'll get a four times multiplier. The highest multiplier you can get is a seven times multiplier. So though you can breeze through the first levels with very little thought or careful planning, the further into the game you make it the more you'll have to use these multipliers to get close to the level goal.

You'll also get more points for placed pieces by having more health, which is always ticking down as soon as you start a level. You can replenish your health by matching pieces or by buying food that you can click on to raise it even more. Scattered around the levels you'll also find purple gems, which you earn by placing a puzzle piece on the corresponding open slot. You can use the purple gems in order to buy higher point totals for each item you collect. Simply completing a horse's saddle, for instance, might only net you so many points usually, but if you buy the powerup you'll get more points each time you complete that same item afterwards. Besides being able to buy item powerups, you can also purchase food items to replenish your energy.

Graphically the game is pretty nice, relying on the slick animated cutscene stills to drive the overall look of the game. The game board's main cutout layout isn't the greatest, but when you're looking at a bunch of scrolling black shapes you can't really improve the look all that much. The game sounds a lot better than it looks, however, featuring a very Russian sounding background tune and plenty of twinkling plinks and bar clearing kaboom sound effects.

Elias The Mighty isn't a great game, but it is a nice diversion from the usual crop of casual games and their all too common formulas. With a new core gameplay, however, also comes a rather challenging adventure that might have you feeling really frustrated from time to time. If you're looking for something new then Elias The Mighty might be the game for you to try, but don't go in expecting anything truly revolutionary to the casual game genre.

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