There’s nothing like giving your mind a workout while letting it relax at the same time, and some puzzle games can truly deliver such a phenomena. Quell Memento is a new puzzle game that tries to entwine you into a complete experience that doesn’t feel like just another puzzle game. There’s a story driven adventure surrounding recovering lost memories, which is unraveled as you solve puzzles. The base mechanic revolves around a new twist on the block sliding puzzle mechanic so that you simply swipe in any of the four directions to move your bubble through the level. It starts out simple enough, but becomes a mind bending treat as you progress through the more than 150 levels.
Each level pack uncovers new mysteries, and also provides a unique set-up to contend with. There are nine level packs of 16 levels each, and your goal is to solve them perfectly by using the exact number of moves. The levels get nice and complex as you have 20 something moves to make with two bubbles to move into position. The best part is how the mechanics keep switching to keep the challenge fresh, and invite you to play though all of the memories. You begin by collecting pearls, but soon you’re inundated with spikes, blocks to light up, ice blocks to break, transporting circles, and simply trying to get your piece in the right position to illuminate each diamond on screen. Of course, the mechanics start to layer on top of each other in true logic puzzle fashion. There are also hidden gems, and special challenge levels to discover by cracking certain blocks in the layout.
The most remarkable aspect is how well designed the difficulty curve is so that it never feels too easy, but you’re also never overwhelmed. It’s interesting to take a step back after awhile, and see how challenging the levels have become, and yet you’re perfectly prepared. All of the puzzles are delivered brilliantly, and everything is made to keep you immersed in the experience. In fact, the developers have done a great job of putting your mind at ease to solely focus on the puzzles at hand, which again gets your mind working without offering frustration. Quell Memento is a great example of how to make a puzzle game, along the lines with the wonderful experience of Go Round, and what future puzzle games can aim for. The game isn’t without its faults as the story could be fleshed out more. The biggest drawback is that the levels, even with their variety, blend together, and are on the simple side due to the familiar block sliding mechanic.
Quell Memento ($2.99, Universal) is an immersive puzzle experience that is inviting and long lasting that anyone can enjoy making it a should buy.