Jul 9, 2013
It’s back… and it’s called Quell Memento. It’s a pretty fun puzzler that retains the flair of its predecessors… and then some.
The background imagery is fairly stark, as the game relies on greyish hues to highlight the gameplay. The puzzles themselves mostly keep to that design motif, with mostly grey squares interspersed with other pieces in somewhat softer colors. The transitions into the boards was quite smooth, and I do think that the presentation was well done, and reflective of minimally beautiful design.
This allows all eyes to be on the play area. To begin, the puzzles are created with blocks in an otherwise empty regularly irregularly shaped grid. In every grid, there is a at least one type of completion button. Using bubbles as rolling, perishable controls, one needs to navigate through to get to the button(s) to complete the puzzle. The bubbles can only move one way in space, unless checked by another object in the grid; diagonal movements can not be effected.
All these different restrictions create some intriguing situations in which strategy becomes a major requirement to resolve.
Soon, the puzzles add extra elements that can help or hinder: spikes, breakable blocks, gates and even ice cubes. There was even a wraparound feature, which mimics the Pac-man way of going out a valve on one side and popping out on the other, and tunnels, that allow the bubble(s) to teleport, in a manner of speaking. In some levels, there are multiple bubbles and completion points; sometimes, it was necessary to use one bubble as a sacrificial facilitator that helps another one complete the level.
Each level had a prescribed number of moves to complete; doing it in that number earned a “perfect” moniker and a special coin. Success opens up advanced chapters, but coins earned can be used to buy solutions or open up levels. Levels can be repeated, and there are hints.
Much as I loved this game, I thought the navigation could have been more precise; there were times I got a bit lost after leaving the game for whatever reason. Still, it doesn’t really inhibit the enjoyment of this masterpiece.