Quell doesn’t need flashy particle effects and top-tier 3D graphics to be fun. In fact, its simplicity allows you to focus on what’s important: the puzzles. What Quell does, it does well, and that’s just how we like it.
Conceptually, Quell isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. In a variation on sliding block puzzles, you control a raindrop that moves in the direction you swipe until it hits a wall. You’ve got to collect every golden ball with your raindrop without getting stuck or hitting spikes.
Gameplay elements added for variation include rings that teleport you to another part of the level, green walls that expand when you run over them, and glyph blocks that disappear when pushed together. Your raindrop can also move through exposed walls, ending up on the opposite side of the level.
Nothing like a hidden room full of gold.
What’s important is how the puzzles use these elements in conjunction with one another in order to create interesting levels. For example, you may need to teleport between separate rooms in order to collect all the golden balls, or use a glyph box to block off a spike. The level design is great throughout all 76 levels, and you’ll often need to think in abstract ways to prevail.
The downside to Quell is that once you beat it, there isn’t much else to do. If you’re big into achievements, you can try to complete any goals you didn’t get the first time through, or beat each level in the minimum number of moves. But otherwise, you may just delete the app after the final level.
Quell isn’t expensive at all, so this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in your purchase. We certainly recommend it to puzzle fans, especially if the simple concept appeals to you.