By: Uma Smith
Quell Memento is a puzzler that made its initial appearance on mobile devices. Now developer Fallen Tree Games has brought this title over to the PlayStation Vita in an effort to spread its work of art. It’s perfect timing considering that there are a limited number of puzzle games (and actually other genres as well) for this particular portable game console.
When you enter into Quell Memento, you’ll notice how clear and concise the interface is. It’s got both simplicity and functionality. This is essential for a puzzle game since you want to dive right in and get down to solving the challenges. By using the touch screen, you’ll navigate through the game with ease and comfort. Quell Memento also lets you choose the left stick and d-pad as an alternate means for movement during the game. At the end of the day, the controls are smooth and responsive.
Quell Memento demonstrates its artistic approach to the puzzler from its presentation. The soundtrack is absolutely splendid as you hear the piano playing softly in the background, giving a soothing and peaceful touch to the atmospheric feel. Visually, you get beautiful art populating the screen. The color scheme is light yet effective. Such implementations showcases what the PlayStation Vita has to offer both to the eyes and ears.
In Quell Memento, you control a small droplet of water as you figure out how to get it to its destination. The gameplay for each level consists of just a single screen made up of walls and blocks. You’ll need to guide the droplet within the open spaces available. The direction you choose to move it in will have it move in that direction accordingly; that is, until it reaches a wall. If there is a gap at the edge of the screen, the droplet will simply come from the other side.
While the concept may sound easy, the idea is to use the fewest number of moves as you can to come up with a solution. You will be notified of the number of moves you have taken by the indicator on the top of the screen. In addition, you’ll need to avoid various hazards, collect items, and activate lights that happen to represent the inner workings of the human mind.
When you complete a number of levels, you’ll enter the next stage, which in turn, gives a different theme. This ties in with an old man that’s featured in the game—you get to see how this individual views himself as he tries to forget his past filled with pain. Essentially, by successfully solving the puzzles in each level, you are unlocking the old man’s memories. It’s an interesting concept that captivates its audience with the game’s narrative.
Quell Memento is not exactly the type of puzzler that’s going to distinguish itself greatly from other titles of the same genre. And while it does challenge the players’ minds, it doesn’t rush them, unlike puzzlers like Tetris or Bust-A-Move. Instead, players are evaluated by the number of moves they make (as mentioned before), meaning that they’re free to take as much time as they want to come up with the solution.
There is some replay value in that there are bonus stages waiting to be unlocked as well as online leaderboards to showcase your performance. Plus, with more than 150 levels and numerous trophies to earn from this game, you’ll be grasped by its sheer beauty and mind-stimulating challenges.
While Quell Memento may not bring anything new to the puzzle genre table, its style and graceful gameplay will definitely satisfy those hungering for some mental nourishment.