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Android  header logo

Quell Reflect


For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad, Steam

Water lovely game

Product: Quell Reflect | Developer: Fallen Tree Games | Publisher: Fallen Tree Games | Format: Android | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Quell Reflect Android, thumbnail 1
It's rare that a developer promises to soothe your nerves rather than just jangle them to breaking point.

Yet, with its Quell series FallenTreeGames has lovingly crafted puzzle games that tease the old grey matter at the same time as lulling you into a soporific stupor with a calming soundtrack and plinky effects.

For the most part, it works, but this sequel throws a few too many difficulty spikes your way, snapping you out of that meditative state you've been quietly cultivating.

Splashes of inspiration

Admittedly, in the opening levels you'd be hard pressed to find many differences between Quell Reflect and its Pocket Gamer Silver Award-winning predecessor.

The gameplay is still centred around swiping tiny rain droplets around the screen and collecting pearls. Droplets can only move in one direction at a time, so you have to watch where they're heading and plan a few moves ahead to avoid getting stuck. 

Meanwhile, the muted palette of the graphics and gently haunting audio continuously give your synapses a light massage as you play.

Quell Reflect does up the puzzling ante a touch, with some new gameplay twists that are both welcome and occasionally obfuscating.

There are now multiple droplets on screen that you need to carefully manoeuvre to solve levels, and new obstacles regularly appear to hinder your movement around the confined, mini maze-like stages.

Getting rid of deadly red drops, for example, means sacrificing one of your own droplets by splashing it into them before the others can get past. Golden blocks will only allow you through if you've already absorbed a matching-coloured pearl.

Like the original Quell, there's nothing particularly innovative about these puzzle challenges, but they do add an extra layer of difficulty that's mostly welcome - unless, like me, you're prone to getting frustrated if you can't solve a level in a handful of goes.

Getting stuck is never too much of an issue, mind, as a generous achievement system awards you Hint coins that you can trade for solutions.

A drop in the ocean

With more than 80 levels to plough through, Quell Reflect is undoubtedly a generous, charmingly presented game that can easily make a few hours swim by.

It's just a shame that the creativity of the puzzles never quite matches the melancholic mood of the design. The game won't linger on your phone for long, but while it does it provides an unusual and meditative experience that makes it stand out in the puzzle genre. 
 
Quell Reflect
Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin | 22 March 2012
The difficulty curve has slightly steepened for the sequel, but Quell Reflect remains a gentle puzzler with a calming aesthetic
 
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