Crazed mobs holding pitchforks and torches and running misfits out of town are usually vilified for their actions. In the case of the questionable protagonist of Elemites, however, the mob was likely justified in running you out of town after you set it ablaze with your incompetent wizardry. Your task in this game is to make them and others rue that fateful day, as you use a mysterious tome to exact vengeance. Sadly, the vengeance this game offers feels lacking.
Controlling the wizard Relph requires you to summon creatures and cast spells, and occasionally guide his painstakingly slow walking in this vertically scrolling game. The creatures you summon are little golems with the game’s namesake who have very short lifespans, but attack any foes in their path. You have to summon them quickly to deal with the villagers and farmers protecting their homes, and we found that this quickly degenerates into frantic screen tapping.
An army of stones.
Each hapless villager you destroy with your minions leaves behind a sphere that replenishes your mana. Mana is required for summoning and casting spells, but it also shields Relph from attacks. Deplete it, and any attacks will deplete Relph’s puny health bar, which necessitates strategic mana rationing.
Elemites is a free download, but instead of allowing access to the entire game with optional purchases to aid your progress, it allows you to play one stage with ads, and then requires a $0.99 purchase to unlock the remaining stages and more spells, all ad-free. You can also purchase more vengeance points, which are usually awarded through destroying villages, and can be used to upgrade spells.
Magic: the weapon of choice.
Our major qualms with this game were its repetitive nature, its confusing spike in difficulty in the purchased levels, and the slow, limited movement of every character onscreen, which allows some enemies to be bypassed and others to be frustratingly difficult to target.
The game has a good sense of humor and a handful of creative spells, but even these enjoyable features didn’t make up for gameplay that we found to be satisfactory at its best and screen-mashingly frustrating at its worst. We advise caution, but you can always try out the first levels for free.