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Wu Hing: The Five Elements

By Kudos Games Free to try Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Nov 7, 2008

This turn-based board game combines elements of classic strategy pastimes such as Go and Reiner Knizia's Samurai with gameplay based around Eastern spirituality. Two sides, representing Yin and Yang, place tiles that represent the five Chinese elements--Earth, Wood, Water, Metal, and Fire. Element tiles can either create, destroy, or transform other pieces on the board. You earn points for both creation (Seng) and destruction (Ko), with bonuses awarded for balanced play (both Seng and Ko, as well as scoring in all elements).

A helpful tutorial fully explains the basics of Dragon mode, which is the only gameplay variety offered in the demo. Unfortunately for smarty-pants gamers, it's not skippable. The five elements are linked in cycles of both creation and destruction, which are triggered when two pieces are positioned next to another. You can "create" your own titles--for example, by placing two Wood tiles next to your Fire tile. Conversely you can "destroy" your opponent's tiles--for example, by placing two Water titles next to your opponent's Fire title. Finally, you can "transform" or capture an opponent's piece as your own by placing two identical tiles adjacent to it.

Three special pieces--a wild Wu Hing title, a transforming Yin Yang tile, and a repositioning Move tile--add another layer of strategy to the proceedings. It's unfortunate that only one gameplay mode is offered against two relatively easy computer opponents in the demo, but it does provide an excellent introduction to the game. It might not blow your socks off, but Wu Hing is a well-designed and challenging strategy board game.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.02


Release November 7, 2008
Date Added November 30, 2006
Version 1.02

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows 98, Windows, Windows XP
Additional Requirements Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista, 3D graphics card


Total Downloads 4,010
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

Wu Hing is a strategy board game based on the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The game pits two players (yin and yang) against each other, with the objective to create, destroy and transform the elements in play. Only the most cunning player will win, so plan your moves carefully and come up with a winning strategy to outwit your opponent. Have you got what it takes to master the elements? Challenge your mind with unique and original game play. Immerse yourself in the atmospheric music & stunning graphics. hoose from 4 different game styles, including a solitaire mode. Play against a friend or 4 different CPU difficulty levels.