Element Crush is a mashup of a match-3 game and a tower defense. There is a 6x6 board where one must make towers to prevent enemies from getting through. The match-3 elements make it tricky to maintain towers in the correct places, making each move important. 

Element Crush is being made into a full game!

Follow me on twitter - https://twitter.com/vfqd_

And join our discord - https://discord.gg/GpE5K3s

Ludum Dare 41 Entry - https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/41/element-crush

Old highscores - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19GdaYPmaMtQ9t-HtSmLcWSO7jklYijzqB1ZR2yfP...

How to play:

- Left click to select an element, left click again on an adjacent element to swap

- Right click to deselect an element

- Get 3 of the same element in a row to combine into a tower

- Get 3 of the same tower in a row to combine into a stronger tower

- Hover over a tile to see more information about that tile

- Enemies will spawn at the red arrows

- Choose 3 abilities at the start of the game, you will be able to use the gold you make in the game to buy these abilities

- Survive for as long as possible 

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(35 total ratings)
Made withPyxel Edit, Unity
Tags2D, Arcade, Casual, Fantasy, Ludum Dare 41, Magic, Pixel Art, Tower Defense
Average sessionA few minutes
LinksLudum Dare


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Download Original Compo [HTML 5 offline] 6 MB

Development log

View all posts


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Ok... I'll accept I can't reach beyond wave 418. 6th place :)

wave 111, best td :)

I can't get past wave 36 with the combinations in the high scores ... I've become obsessed with the game but I can't seem to progress very far ...

Music source? (or did u make it urself)

it's zircon

Okay but can you give me the actual song names, maybe a link?


There is a exploit where in the ability selection screen click randomize then click it again, after that you can choose 6 abilities :o

What a beautiful soundtrack! Where to get it separatly?

all we need is new enemy types

Really cool game. I love match-3 games and the combination with tower defense is neat.

Cool concept really fun. Liked the music. Not a fan of pixel art but still was overall relaxing and enjoyable. 

Have you thought about making the infill of new tiles come from a different direction?

With infill happening at the top and blocks falling down, towers end up being 'thicker' at the bottom than at the top. This makes towers that shoot vertically or diagonally 'feel' more powerful than towers that shoot forwards (and I think the top scores would support this - everyone uses wood, and often dark towers and water).

If infill came from the 'front' and everything 'fell' towards the back, then towers wouldn't be rearranged vertically except by direct player action, and choosing which row to place towers on would become more predictable and strategic. I suspect it would make horizontally shooting towers more balanced against vertically shooting towers as well.

I suggest infill from the front rather than the back, as you generally want your most powerful towers in the back, and giving the player what they want is often a good idea. That said, if the enemies removed more than just walls, pushing towers forwards and into the line of fire does become interesting... but destroying towers creates a significant positive feedback loop where if a player starts doing badly they will have trouble recovering.


Hey, thanks for taking the time to write such a long comment and give such detailed feedback. I've had people mentioning this problem to me before with similar suggestions of solutions. I'm really not keen on making the tiles enter from a different directions, for a few reasons:

1. The metaphor of match-3 games with tiles falling from the top is incredibly important to me. Not breaking this expectation goes a very long way to making the game easier to pick up and understand.

2. Since the very beginning, one of the main challenges of the game has been keeping your towers up, constantly reshuffling for an optimal ordering.

However, I do agree that there may be an issue here, I just don't think the solution is to change the direction of the falling. It's probably also a question of balance, where I haven't made the horizontal shooting towers strong enough / vertical shooting ones weak enough.

As for your second point, I don't think that allowing enemies to destroy every tower will be a particularly fun experience, and I agree with you that the feedback loop will make the game very hard.

(2 edits)

did this get "harder" with the new release?   or perhaps the light tower multiplier isnt working?  

Hey, the balance has definitely been tweaked. The late game is harder for sure. And I'm pretty sure the multiplier is working :)

playing again and I don't think I'm "further along" build wise,  but with fast forward off it seems that the enemies are defeated much more handily.

Yeah, for reasons I don't really understand, the FFW doesn't accurately do everything and the same speed. It's on my bug list atm

fast forward definitely makes the enemies come faster more so than the towers fire.  

only other thing I can suggest might be some way to save(rogue style of course)  just because the end game can be rather long.

Really fun concept! I played an earlier build a while back I think, excited to hear it's being made into a full game. What platform will it be for?

Hey, I'm very glad to hear you like it :D 

Initially for desktop but planning an Android/IOS port after that

woo number 3... totally more productive playing this game at work than actually working

Congrats :D

Woohoo! I finally made the top 10! it only took me 8 hours to do it too! :) multiple play-throughs 

:D Well done! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it that much

almost rage quit when a 2x2 square of IV towers turned into a V tower with my ftift IV tower already waiting to make a VI tower.  Is that supposed to happen?   Also get's tedious and kinda boring at the upper levels.  reminds me of 2048 as you're trying to get level VI and VII towers and tyrying to manage massive clutter.  decided I was done at 200 and it took a concerted effort to rearrange towers to lose.perhaps some expensive way to change abilities say 200 gold to swap out one ability for another?  also selling off towers would be too convenient.

Hey there, sorry to hear about that. That is intentional 2x2 is one of the combinations you can make. I see you managed to top the leaderboard, it would be awesome if you would join our discord and come and share some of your insights and strategies, plus you can see how the development of the game is going :)

I originally got to wave 21 without knowing you can spend gold. Also I thought the animation of your gold getting collected was you shooting something.

I want to see high scores. I got to wave 41. Also my browser crashed after playing 3 hours straight. But I played again 3 hours straight and it didn't crash so idk.

Thanks for this feedback, come join our discord so you can share these insights and see the progress of the new version :) https://discord.gg/GpE5K3s

You should make the waves come in from the top or bottom  because it's really awkward trying to keep towers on the top when they keep falling down when I make matches.

That's very much an intentional design decision :) keeping towers evenly spread  is one of the challenges the player must overcome. I am, however, in the process of building some nice new tools that allow players the ability to restructure their towers more easily, so watch this space for a new version.

I'm curious how did you manage to make the music not sound so much like a midi track? It sounds way better than anything I've gotten with abundant-music.

You need to download the midi file and then use a different program to add instruments and convert it. Try http://www.synthfont.com/