Elemelons (out now, free) is a casual game of color matching and swiping. It’s simple enough for anyone, from kids to adults, to pick up, yet gets quickly challenging.
Apparently, the elements have been broken down into melons, which present themselves in red and blue, green and yellow squares. The game involves flicking each square into the appropriate-colored wall.
It starts slow at first, with stationary “elemelons.” At this point, it’s super easy to swipe and match the colors. When the colored squares start moving, it gets trickier, especially when they materialize in a cluster. Luckily, you can bump them against each other to move them apart. Each time you send an elemelon smacking against the correctly colored wall, you gain a point. Once you make a mistake, however, you lose a life.
Losing a life may mean losing the entire game. Or it might not. You can spend lives to continue the game (depending on how many lives you have stored up). Since this is freemium, more lives are available for purchase via IAP. You can also get one free life every day that you login. Another way of getting a free life is by taking a selfie of yourself within the game and sharing it with friends.
To me, it’s a pity Elemelons offers unlimited lives for those who are willing to spend the money, instead of limiting the number of times you can extend a particular game session. This has the potential for making a high score feel fake. I would have preferred it if two or three lives were given for each game session, with the option of extending the game for another one or two lives, and not much more than that.
One problem I faced was that when the squares were moving, I sometimes found it difficult to swipe at them. Perhaps because the squares aren’t very big (this is sadly not a universal app so it isn’t great on iPads), my touches didn’t always register properly. This meant the square could hit the wrong wall despite me swiping in the correct direction, thus ending the game. This swiping issue became a much bigger issue when there were more squares to deal with.
Elemelons would also have been a whole lot more enjoyable if it had power-ups. There is a boost function, which sort of reverses time (to make the elemelons move backwards), but like the lives, you can use it any time, limited only by the number you have accumulated. Power-ups, if available, would introduce a new level of fun. In its current form, the game feels quite ordinary.
Elemelons is a challenging casual game, but doesn’t feel like anything special. It also rewards those who pay, to the point of making game scores meaningless. Since it’s free though, there’s no harm in trying it out.
Free (but with optional IAP)
Not a universal app
Only one game mode
Swipes don't always register well for moving "elemelons"