E4 is not a new gaming convention. E4 is the Xbox Live Arcade game called ‘Every Extend Extra Extreme’. It sounds complicated and if you’re not the type of person that likes flashy, colourful puzzle games, you probably won’t find E4 fun to play. I like to think I am open to all sorts of gaming experiences including hypnotic, trance-inducing games like E4. Yes it’s a puzzle game, but it’s a whole lot more than that.
E4 combines puzzles, music and time-related objectives in one snazzy, hip little arcade game. There are several different game modes to play and there is also single player and multiplayer game options available. Your main objective is to use the rhythm of the music to attack the flashing stars and objects on screen. You are equipped with a unit that looks exactly like a psychedelic coloured Starship (well, that’s what I call it, anyway) which you use to position yourself next to the other objects on screen. You are only vulnerable when your Starship no longer has a shield to protect it from running into other objects.
Music in the game plays an important part. The best way to score points in this game is to attack as many objects as you can to the rhythm of the music. You can do this by monitoring the bottom half of your screen where there is a volume indicator that tells you when the most optimal time to attack occurs. Then you release an explosive which hits all the other objects on the screen, creating ‘chains’ that you must collect with your Starship. If you’re playing a time-extended game type, your object is to collect as many time extension bonuses as possible. When your time runs out, it’s game over.
Every Extend Extra Extreme reminds me a lot of a Geometry Wars but with funky, trance-style music. One of the cool aspects of this game is that you can even create a game that you can play to your own music if you have music stored on your Xbox HDD. How cool is that? Not only do you get to play a really nifty little puzzle game, but you can do it rocking out to your own music!