Modern gaming has become a hectic, stressful hobby in the past few years. If you’re not trying to save the world seven times by Sunday, you’re probably micromanaging your adventurer’s gear or grinding out that rare sword you still haven’t found after the 50th wild boar. Why not take a break for a couple hours and solve mind-bending puzzles with Fallen Tree Games’ Quell Trilogy? Originally released for iOS back in 2010, Quell and its sequels are now available on multiple platforms and I got the opportunity to try them out on PC.
Quell takes place in a person’s house in the early 1930’s with the house’s window acting as the game board. You play as a raindrop with an insatiable lust for pearls, an original concept indeed – though one never explained properly. Nevertheless, your thirst for pearls is the entire point of the game, with each one needing to be collected by sliding your drop around the level while avoiding spikes and other obstacles. As you progress through each stage you get bonus coins for completing a level in the minimum number of moves possible. which can be used to unlock solutions to other levels, as well as showing you the location of the hidden gem contained in every single stage.
The sequels, Quell Reflect and Quell Memento, add more interesting elements to the game. Reflect adds golden pearls, which are used to unlock doors, and multiple raindrops that need to be controlled individually in order to complete a level. Memento, however, was my personal favorite. It not only adds new game elements like its predecessor, but as you progress through the stages you’re presented with dusty images that need to be cleaned off using your mouse. Doing this, you get a brief story from the narrator, a kindly sounding old man who is reminiscing about his life as he explores his old home, within which the entire trilogy has taken place,.
A beautiful piano melody is the soundtrack for the game, and while it doesn’t vary much, it fits perfectly with the simplistic and relaxing tone that the game sets. The sound effects, as well, are quite satisfying, especially the resonating chime that signals a level’s completion, a sound I very much longed for towards the later stages. For a game that has been touted as relaxing in both its description and its reviews, there are quite a few puzzles which caused some hair pulling. I feel no shame in admitting that I had to spend a few coins to find their solutions.
All three games are currently available on Steam for just $3.99 each; $7.99 will snag you the full Quell Trilogy. This updated PC version also includes achievements and even a leaderboard. So, if you’re tired of inventory management, auction houses, raids, and room clearing, why not take a break, sit back, and relax with the relaxing raindrops of Quell?