Finney: Whatcha playin there?
Brandon: Elementos, my dear Finney!
Brandon: What? At least I didn’t title this review “Elementos, my dear Watson”. Though, I still could…
Finney: How do you play?
Brandon: It takes only moments to learn, but a lifetime to master. You will think, at first, that you will be able to win easily. You will then assume that it’s like Tic Tac Toe and that the only winning move is not to play. Then you will realize that it is more challenging than chess, yet more fun than a family game night of Pit. Then..
Finney: Seriously, how do you play?
Brandon: Right. Sorry. It’s a two player game. Each player picks their color of these round elements pieces, black or white, and sets them up on their side of the board with three of each element showing.
Finney: I see fire, water, and a tree. The wood element?
Brandon: I guess. I hadn’t thought about it.
Finney: What’s this?
Brandon: The wand! You place that in the center of your elements.
Finney: I bet the goal is to get your wand across to the other side of the board. And, the elements consume each other. Water consumes fire, fire consumes trees, trees drink the water! Hey, these are two sided. Can you flip them?
Brandon: Yes! And you can move the wand between your own pieces. Oh, and the piece with the wand in it can’t consume or be consumed.
Finney: Let’s play!
A few games later…
Brandon: So, what do you think?
Finney: This is a fun game!
Brandon: What do you like about it?
Finney: It’s a great strategy game. It seems simple, and it can be if you want, but it’s also complex. The flipping of the pieces adds an extra layer of strategy.
Brandon: Yeah, I also found that flipping a piece over could really turn the tide of the game…
Finney: It’s also easy to pack and take with you. The box is the board! Other strategy games aren’t as portable. And the art style on the game pieces and the box is straightforward and well executed. I don’t think it needs the exterior packaging.
Brandon: The little cardboard wrap?
Brandon: Yep. Also, we do have to talk about the one big problem.
Finney: Oh yeah. I mean, they did address it in the instructions…
Brandon: They did, but still…
Brandon: Shall we delve into it?
Finney: Yeah, there might be a point where the players are just flipping the same two pieces over. Back and forth, back and forth. ‘My fire is now a tree!’
Brandon: ‘My water is now fire!’
Finney: The instructions say, basically, just don’t do that over and over and be reasonable.
Brandon: That they do.
Finney: I just wish there was a more specific rule about this. Maybe something like you can only flip the pieces 3 times when it’s clear that it’s just going to go back and forth like that.
Brandon: Not much of a drawback though. Let’s go ahead and house rule that. Deal?
Brandon: I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes light strategy games that offer deeper play should you want it.
Finney: Me too! Let’s go again.
You can buy Elementos at the Tyto website or at your Friendly Local Game Store.