When you spend as much time as we do scouring the App Store, desperate to find a delicious new puzzle game that doesn't rely on core match-three mechanics, it's always exciting to stumble across one that feels genuinely new. The last such time was when we discovered AppyNation's Guide The Light, a game that should have achieved considerably more success than it did - something you can help remedy by downloading it from the App Store right now.
But that's not why we're here. If Guide The Light caused us to breathe a huge, satisfying sigh of relief as we eased ourselves into its mind-bending yet charming light-refracting charms, Quell Memento is enough to make any mobile gamer want to run around the room shouting for joy.
This is not just one original puzzle game, it's a whole feast of them, layered thickly on top of one another as you work your way through a storyline, unconvering fragments of an old man's memory. It's nice that there's a story to hold all the beautiful artwork and level design together, but really it's the puzzles that are the stars of this particular show. Your tool for solving each one is nothing more complex than an orb that you set off in motion with a directional flick, and the orb then travels automatically until it encounters a wall.
The actual challenges are many and varied, however. In one chapter, you'll need to guide the orb around a complex maze, changing the colors of the tiled-based walls to match the color of the orb, simply by brushing alongside them. That's easier said than done when your orb can change color itself by passing through a certain pick-up, or when you have to coordinate the movements of multiple orbs. The game is move-limited too, so if you want to achieve the best possible rating, you're going to have to master these solutions with perfect planning and minimal execution.
As you progress through the game, you'll have to move light-emitting gems around the screen to light up certain areas of the level. when that all comes together, a harmony of quiet singing voices erupt gloriously. Frozen ice cubes, so essential for protecting or redirecting your traveling orb, shatter after the first contact, adding an even further headache to proceedings. Each of the game's nine chapters introduce a new type of challenge, and while you'll breeze through the early part of the game, true mastery will require no small amount of replay.
Yet for all this high praise, we found ourselves feeling slightly deflated at the fleeting nature of these fascinating mechanics. Just as you begin to delight in the design of a particular puzzle type, you're whisked off briskly to the next chapter, with mechanics blended together only very occasionally. "Hey, I was playing with that!", you feel like shouting as you're moved on to the next cluster of puzzles.
It's a minor complaint, however, in the grand scheme of things. In design, execution, sheer quantity of content and attention to detail, Quell Memento is one of the finest puzzle games we've played in a very long time. Your favorite moments may be fleeting, but rest assured there's always a fascinating new challenge to be discovered around the next corner.
What's Hot:Top-notch puzzle design, and a huge amount of variety in the challenge types. The love and attention lavished on this game is apparent and extraordinary.
What's Not:We'd like to play with each toy just a little longer than we're allowed to.