Elemental Story is a Japanese match-three-game published by Crooz, Inc for iOS and Android.
The player controls a team of four monsters and explore six areas in the world map. To attack, the player must match three of more pieces of the same color in a 6x5 board. Sounds familiar to Puzzle & Dragons? But that is where the similarities end.
Matching of pieces are done by swapping pieces anywhere on the field within a time limit of 7 seconds. Skills are activated by matching pieces of a particular pattern. All monsters initially carry only one skill, but by evolving them using evolution slabs earned as drops or rewards, the monsters can evolve up to twice, gaining one new skill with more complicated patterns each. The fields can be restricted with hard rocks, reducing the play area which forces the player to adapt new strategies.
Players can also battle against each other in the Battle Arena, in which rewards are mostly the same with normal stages.
Also, up to 4 players can cooperate together when getting through stages or battling trial monsters to increase drop rates proportional to the number of players in the same session.
Elemental Story contains examples of the following:
- Allegedly Free Game:
- Most of the time, this is downplayed that some characters can be only obtained through crystal (this game's in-app-purchase currency) rolls through luck during limited time campaigns featuring them, however this is subverted by the fact that all monsters are subjected to elemental weakness and the game is balanced enough that it is possible to go through most regular stages and trial bosses without using (paid, as crystals are given as login or mission complete bonuses) crystals. It is also possible to use co-op sessions to temporarily use monsters that one normally doesn't have access to. However,
- Arena tournaments played this trope straight in the sense that paying players are more likely to get powerful monsters than the ones who don't, which gives unfair advantage than those who are not. It certainly does not help that most battles, unless players are very unlucky, ends in 3 turns at most. This is further exacerbated by the existence of ability cards which its usage is locked by ranks, which paying players is more likely to have higher ranks and gain more slots than those who not.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- If you somehow managed to get this game, the time for trials, soul collecting stage and battle arena as displayed in loading screens will be automatically adjusted to your phone's system time, eliminating the need to manually calculating local time from JST. This does not apply elsewhere in-game, though.
- The first attempt on any trial bosses and mirage towers is free to allow players to figure out how to battle a particular boss.
- Connection drops are not penalized as opposed to retiring. See No Fair Cheating below.
- If the player has less than 5 effective element pieces in the first turn of Battle Arena matches, the pieces will be redrawn.
- Life costs for failed regular stages which are accessed first time will be returned to the player until the player cleared it.
- As of version 2.6.0, players battling in battle arena are automatically matched with CPU if they failed to match with other players instead of getting timeout. On top of this, battling in battle arena gives standard rewards as with clearing other stages.
- Artificial Stupidity: The enemy AI simply do random matches, which is a good thing because the CPU units are as strong as actual high level players.
- Boss Rush: Tower events consists only boss battles typically seen in trials, split into five levels.
- Color-Coded Elements: Fire, Water, Wood, Light and Dark, which is similar to that of Puzzle & Dragons.
- Cute Bruiser: Hestia, Sakuyahime and Alice, to name a few.
- Crossover: There was a collaboration event with Attack on Titan, in which players would attack titans and characters from that series are available as monsters.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: It is a common occurrence to see players forgetting that the piece switch monsters are either downed or uses another pattern, leading to doing matches that often triggers nothing instead of skills.
- Disc-One Nuke: Your first two 5 star monsters, the first being Amaterasu, are essentially this since that it will take a while to get the necessary 30,000 mana or 30 crystals to perform special rolls needed to get another 5 star monster. However, Amaterasu is a healer, which limits its usefulness.
- Dual Boss: Some trial bosses are monsters which have evolved once and twice respectively.
- Earn Your Fun: As of Version 1.9.0, events can be only accessed upon reaching prerequisite ranks.
- Evolution Powerup: Evolving monsters with the matching evolution slabs grants them stat increase, new skills and unlock their evolution abilities.
- Fixed Damage Attack: Bog has one skill which exclusively deals 77 damage on any monsters. Evolving them grant another skill which deals 777 damage.
- Forced Tutorial: This serves as a way to teach players the basics of the game and disencourage players to restarting the game to re-roll 5 star monsters.
- Last Chance Hit Point: Some monsters can revive with 1HP at certain probability when downed, but this is useless against multi hit skills because due to the way it works, the skill has to be activated for every single hit.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- Getting 5 star monsters is very rare in mana rolls, Even doing a 10 time roll often fails to drop one.
- Getting evolution slabs requires luck as well, especially when aiming for very rare ones. However, if the players have maxed out their levels beforehand, they will drop during evolution slab events.
- Match-Three Game: As stated above, the gameplay revolves around swapping pieces anywhere on the board within 7 seconds per turn. It is essential to plan ahead and make swaps to maximize combo and number of skills activated. Combo increases monsters' attack power and for some monsters their skills' effect are tied to their combo.
- Metal Slime: The bogs which randomly appear in stages. They run away after constantly attacking for several turns, but killing them gives decent boost to mana and experience.
- Microtransactions: As with most mobile games, it has its in-app purchase currency called crystals.
- Mon: The characters that you collect are called monsters, after all.
- Most Gamers Are Male: Outright exploited a few times:
- No-Sell: Some bosses have the ability to reduce all damage to 0 if the player could not make combos over a certain number.
- No Fair Cheating: As of version 1.8.0, players who quite battle arena matches will not receive any rewards. This is to prevent players from repeatedly quitting matches to gain battle coins and points which is usually given when a player lose. However, players whose internet connection drop are not punished to avoid penalizing players who have to do so or having a sudden connection loss.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: This is easily doable if players know what they are doing while not having monsters normally needed. One particular example involves using Themis's 3rd skill on Hatia. Due to the usage of anchor core which prevents light and dark pieces from appearing, setting up the skill carefully to gain high number of combos allow the skill's one hit kill ability to trigger. When this happens early in the boss fight, it results in very high damage and battle scores to earn normally hard-to-get trophies.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: The bog paradise stage is this, but you need to earn metal coins to even attempt to play this stage.
- Point of No Continues: Tower events and some trial bosses have continues disabled, but the latter is set to have this restriction removed later on.
- Palette Swap: There are several low rarity monsters which are slightly redesigned monsters from other elements.
- Random Effect Spell: Some skills will hit the player's monsters randomly for several hits.
- Random Drop: Completing any stages or events aside from battle arena gives you monster pieces, evolution slabs and slab fragments randomly with varying rarity.
- Scratch Damage: All non-nullified attacks will always deal 1 damage at minimum. Some monsters, especially bogs will always take 1 damage for every hit, but they have low HP and will go down easily with multi-hit skills.
- Standard Status Effects: All of them are applied to the pieces unless stated:
- Poison, which will damage monsters and scales with number of poison pieces matched.
- Paralysis, which gets ignored in attack power multiplier when matched and prevented from descending.
- Confusion, which increases enemy's attack power when match.
- Bind, which applies to monsters and prevents them from attacking and activating their skills until the effect disappears.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Any trial bosses except the Android Bog is this because defeating them without continuing requires a party which fits to the strategy from its hint page with high level and fully evolved monsters.