“Gorgeous Indie Platformer” is pretty much a legitimate genre by itself nowadays, what with all the quality examples we’ve had in the last few years. Braid, Limbo, Thomas Was Alone, Fez – the list goes on. And it’ll get a little bit longer next year with Element4l, a new PC and Mac title from I-Illusions.
Before you dismiss Element4l as being another pretentious “art game” wannabe, though, take a closer look at the gameplay video above, as it demonstrates some very interesting-looking gameplay mechanics, and shows that the game is far from being a conventional platformer.
Playing the role of… an elemental, I assume… you are able to move through the game world by turning yourself into one of the four elements. Pushing up turns you into an air elemental, which allows you to float; down turns you into an earth elemental, which is heavy enough to break things and rolls down hills; right turns you into a fire elemental, which leaps forwards and bounces off things; left turns you into an ice elemental, which can skid along the floor and also be melted to get into tight spaces. Solving the game’s various levels requires that you make use of the four elements’ special properties in various combinations in order to negotiate the various obstacles that are in your way.
It looks gorgeous, with a Limbo-style abstract visual aesthetic, and the background music by Mind Tree is calming, relaxing and meditative. This could definitely be one to watch when it finally comes out next year — in the meantime, pop the official site in your bookmarks and check back regularly to find out more.