Reviews

Quell – Meditating on the reflections of raindrops and spikes [Game Review]

September 28, 2011 | by Ben Crawford

Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Android Games, Entertainment, Reviews, Uncategorized, Video Reviews

Quell

Quell is a very simple puzzler with a quality and value that make it an instant classic. Quell sets a new standard for smartphone games, and I almost let this gem of a game fall through the cracks. If it wasn’t for the Amazon Appstore, I may have never found it. While Quell may not be everyone’s first choice as a perfected smartphone game, I think it can compete with Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Fireball as a definitive casual-gaming classic.

I’m not sure of the specific name of this game, but Quell is a new take on an ancient game. These common games are often overlooked unless they bring something new to the table, and for Quell, it’s the atmosphere.  Quell has a soft, melodic background throughout, and the game itself is simple enough which adds to the whole drizzly, “I’m playing this in a study with a sweater on and glass of scotch beside me” atmosphere.

Your objective is to collect all the pearls in as few moves as possible while avoiding spikes, traps, and general impossible movements. For controls, you only have to swipe right or left, up or down, to move the raindrop which is as much interaction as you need – the rest is all in your head. Despite reviewing many mindless games, I love that Quell has mastered the art of difficulty mixed with simplicity mixed with creativity. The level designs are elegant and complex with only gates, spikes, and blocks to stop your raindrop. What may seem simple isn’t, and what may seem impossible isn’t.

There are hints to help you through the most troublesome levels and even some solutions on Quell’s Facebook page, but the fun and sense of accomplishment are the prizes of the game. You will be stumped, and you will get stuck. You will beat some levels perfectly on the first try. But, there are no evil tricks, no levels that need serious leveling-up to defeat, only a perfectly executed blend of  right and wrong movements. Besides being stumped, I experienced no lag, no bugs, or any other minor annoyances.

Quell has this perfect balance, complimented by a soothing atmosphere, that not many games have accomplished. It has an elegance mixed with polish and perfected gameplay. You won’t get a bird that bounces the wrong way or a finger swipe go unrecognized; although, you will have to use your brain while its being soothed by rain drizzle and a weeping melody. Quell is a near-perfect game in the sense that I want to say it’s perfect, but I’m hoping the next iteration, Quell:Reflect, will offer gamers even more (although I don’t know how).

 

My Rating: 5/5 Raindrops

App: Quell

Developer: FallenTreeGames

Price: $1.53 in Android Market; Free on GetJar; $0.99 on Amazon Appstore

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