January 16, 2012 | by Ben Crawford
Evaluated version: 1.0
Pros: New obstacles, polish and gameplay are unrivaled in their perfection
Cons: May have taken the Quell series to the edge of its originality
We all know how much I loved the first Quell, and despite the disappointing nature of sequels, I thought Quell had too solid gameplay to let us down. Of course, it didn’t, and it’s just as fun a game as the first. I’m not as giddy about this sequel as I was with the original game, but in terms of addictiveness, ease-of-play, and longevity, Quell: Reflect is every bit as good as the first game.
The gameplay of Quell is straightforward and nothing has changed from the original. You move the raindrop around the board while avoiding spikes, infinite loops, and, this time around, poison bubbles. With this type of gameplay, there is certainly no reason to change it up (see: Angry Birds), and Quell: Reflect sticks to the path Quell laid before it. You won’t get frustrated with controls or have your fingers stick, but with the extra raindrops you may accidentally move one instead of the other. This is by no means a frustrating, only a minor annoyance from time to time, and it isn’t something I think the developers could really help. Just make sure your finger is on the bubble you want to move.
Strategy has developed a good deal over the original Quell. With gold blocks to hinder your progress, multiple raindrops that you’ll have to sacrifice, and poison drops killing you, your wits will be challenged throughout the game. I can definitely say Quell: Reflect is harder than the original, but in no way impossible. I never thought to myself, “I will never pass this level”; I put my phone down, surveyed the whole puzzle, and tried again and again. If you need help, there are plenty of hints that you can unlock by completing a level perfecting or, if you need more, Quell’s Youtube page has all the answers (don’t cheat!).
As I said for the original Quell’s atmosphere, Quell: Reflect is soothing and melodic. While this brings quite the comforting environment, I would have liked a little something extra for the sequel. Not to say you won’t still fall into the dreamy state Quell surrounds you in, but the game could have used different types of music and background to change the game to something familiar yet completely different. Instead of Quell: Reflect (the name is absolute perfection), we could have played Quell: Frenzy or Quell: The Raindrop with a Dragon Tattoo.
I absolutely think Quell: Reflect is a worthy sequel if not better than the original. However, slight variances instead of complete newness can make a game go stale (See: Angry Birds), and I hope the Quell developers can learn this truth and keep the Quell series alive and fresh. Quell and Quell: Reflect are both in my top ten games for Android, and at least one is in my top five. So try them both and tell me which you like better. You can get both in the Android or Amazon markets now.