Mobile Game of the Week - Quell: Memento
By Edward Smith | July 13, 2013 1:47 AM EST
Playing Quell: Memento is like doing a crossword puzzle, or a Sudoku in the back of a newspaper. It's peaceful, relaxing - it requires just the right amount of brainpower. You're still engaged with it, but able to kind of switch off while you play as well.
Your objective in each of the puzzles is to guide raindrops (it doesn't matter that they're raindrops, but that's what the game calls them) around obstacles, collecting other raindrops as you go. But here's the rub: Once you've swiped the screen and sent your raindrop in one direction, you can't change direction until it's stopped moving.
So, let's say the raindrop you need to collect is sitting just in front of a spike. If you swipe towards it, you'll pick it up, but be unable to stop yourself from hitting the spike, thus failing the puzzle. You need to find a different, more complex route to getting to it without being "killed."
And from that basic premise, Fallen Tree Games, Quell's creator, is able to create dozens up dozens of different puzzles, adding in elements like gates that lock behind you once you go through them or doors which bring you out on the other side of a level.
It becomes more complex as you go on, but it's always restful. Behind Quell: Memento's brainteasers is the faintest hint of plot, something cuddly about a grandfather reliving his old memories while sorting through his attic. Some of the puzzles begin with you brushing dust off an old picture: The more of them you complete, the more the backgrounds begin to resemble a new house, rather than an old, decrepit one.
It's just pleasant, basically; it's just nice. That might be a boring opinion but sod it: Quell: Memento is the gaming equivalent of watching an old costume drama on the telly on a Sunday afternoon, and we love that. It's like cake and tea, a book at bedtime. And that's not to say it's dull - in its later stages, Memento is tricky enough to demand your full attention.
It's just friendly. There are no guns, no penalties: If you foul a puzzle up, all you get is a little reminder to push the restart button. Quell: Memento is soothing. It's a game to play with your shoes off.
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