Game review: Elemental

Screenshot from the game. The text of the review is mostly copied from my LiveJournal, where I have a couple friends who are into gaming.

I had a sickday yesterday (for unrelated reasons!) and spent some time with Stardock’s brand new game, Elemental: War of Magic. There was some serious patching first, and I got two new patches over the course of the day. From what I read online, Stardock may have intentionally released the game buggy and only provide patches for registered customers, to thwart pirates. The game has no conventional DRM.

The game plays like Master of Magic and Civilization III had a love child who is now grown up. (Let us just disregard that Master of Magic was the love child of Civilization I and Magic: The Gathering. That makes MoM the aunt of Civ3, I suppose…)

In-game help is a virtual tome, similar to the Civilipedia but in character for a magic game. The help for the user interface is pretty much absent (or well hidden) so there are still things that I can’t figure out even with the PDF manual. They are not essential though.

The game is probably not intended for the casual gamer. This makes sense since it is from Stardock. Even at Novice level, the easiest, by the time I was sure I had started on a peninsula, the nearest AI had already begun building outposts across the entry to the mainland, blocking me off. It had no hurry to expand in other directions.

The game is still not completely stable, but it autosaves, and load time is acceptable. Actually, I don’t mind the occasional crash as it provides an automatic break. Most people probably don’t think like that though.

Seems like a good catch, but overall I would rather not be sick on the first place, even if it means working instead of playing Elemental…

(I thought this may be of some interest since my website was originally named after a feature in Master of Magic, which this game is a successor to. Stardock even tried to buy out the original game, which has not been for sale for many years, but did not succeed. This game is similar, but not enough to excite lawyers, I think. As for me, well, I would probably not have named my website “” today, let us just say.  But more about that later, if ever.)

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