2. 4 Elements II: Special Edition (Win 8) General hints and tips

The main game is a tile matching game. The objective of each level is to clear the game board to allow the magical ooze to spread from the starting point to the end of the level. Each square that is part of a chain of matched tiles is removed. If you make a chain of 5 or more tiles, then a small explosion occurs at the end of the chain. This explosion is larger the longer the chain is and is especially helpful if the tiles require multiple matches to clear.

Generally, you want to make chains as long as possible to maximize the benefit of the explosion. While the placement of tiles is generally random, there are places where the tile placement is ‘rigged’ and you need to take advantage of this: failing to make use of the gimmick can make tiles in that area difficult or impossible to clear.

Start your chain on the side you don’t need the explosion on. If one end of the chain is already connected to the ooze, you want to start from that end.

Explosions can go through walls if they are large enough. This can allow you to use a large chain to clear a tile from a narrow path neighboring the region with the chain even if there is no direct connection between those two areas.

You can always work on tiles further along in the puzzle. In particular, if you reach an obstacle that needs clearing, you might have better luck making a chain on the other side of the obstacle and clearing it from that side.

Use your power-ups when you get stuck. The shovel is most useful to clear a single block. The swap can often do the same thing by making a chain and can often clear larger areas by joining two sets of matching tiles together to making chains on both sides of the swap. Fire seems much more useful than it is – it’s generally helpful only to clear ice and stone blocks. Fire does not clear squares that block ooze and the new tiles generated when the old ones are destroyed tend to usually not help clear a trouble area. The reshuffle is great for a board reset when you don’t have many chains to make. The new tiles seem to generate useful chains more often than not.

Embedded in the middle of some levels are sliding block or pipeline puzzles. Most of these can be bypassed using narrow, obstructed paths. Almost always, you should just solve the puzzle instead of trying to avoid it.

In the settings charm, there is an option to enable Relaxation mode which disables the level timer, giving you unlimited time to finish a level. If you’re having trouble clearing a level, you can enable this option. While it doesn’t affect any achievements, this option does not apply to the bonus levels (which are always timed).

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