Quell Reflect

Quell Reflect's sliding puzzles provide an enjoyably meditative experience

By c_rake, Posted 14 Mar 2014

It’s often the easiest solutions that solve the hardest problems. In Quell Reflect the reverse is also true: that the easiest problems are solved by the hardest solutions. Developed by Fallen Tree Games, Quell Reflect is a block-pushing (or orb-pushing in this case) puzzle game. It originally came out for iOS in 2012 and has now made the move to 3DS. It translates well to Nintendo’s portable platform with nothing at all lost in the transition.

The goal is simple. You slide a blue orb – sometimes a few of them – around a board collecting pearls, avoiding obstacles like spikes and negotiating tight corridors all the while. The catch is you can’t move orbs one square at a time. Rather, they keep moving until a wall or some other object is hit. It’s like one giant ice sliding puzzle – only good.

Quell Reflect,Review,3DS,Puzzle,Strategy,Cover,Screenshot

It starts off easy enough; the only challenge you face being how to perfect each level and perhaps find the hidden gem. The early puzzles are laid out in such a straightforward way that you needn’t think much on how to solve it. Solutions either come about by absent-mindedly moving orbs about the board or immediately upon glancing at the lay of the level. You won’t perfect any of them by doing so, but that’s hardly a concern. Progress is progress after all.

Besides, it doesn’t take long for the challenge to kick in. As more elements are introduced – gates that close behind you after passing over them, gold blocks that can be destroyed after obtaining pearls of the same hue – the process of problem solving steadily becomes more daunting. Complex puzzles with no clear strategy in sight replace the once obvious answers of early stages, forcing you to contemplate each movement carefully instead of flinging orbs about and seeing what sticks. It’s in these later levels that a hint system would have been handy, a strange absence given its presence in the iOS release, if only to provide even a glimpse of guidance.

Still, it’s hard to get frustrated when its atmosphere is so calm and inviting. Soothing tracks of music underscore the calculated play. Violins and pianos serve as the primary instruments, each producing moody, drawn-out notes to match the old, homely aesthetic of the menus. It presents the levels as quadrants of a portrait, each row holding four frames apiece, which amounts to 112 puzzles. At only $4 that’s quite a lot of entertainment.

Callum Rakestraw, NoobFeed.

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General Information

Quell Reflect


Platform(s): 3DS, Mobile
Publisher(s): CIRCLE Ent.
Developer(s): FK Digital, Fallen Tree Games Ltd.
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Strategy
Release Date: 2014-02-20

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