Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 4/10/2012: Quell

Amazon.com has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Quell.

Quell is priced at $0.99 in Google Play, and it is normally priced at $1.99 in the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted before, there are sometimes differences in pricing between the two marketplaces.

Quell is described as follows:
Quell captivates and enchants the mind with challenging puzzles and all-encompassing, Zen-like gameplay. The critically-acclaimed Quell boasts more than 80 levels of ingenious puzzles, gorgeous graphics, and a custom soundtrack by renowned composer Steven Cravis.

You Are the Rain

Play as an individual raindrop within a unique puzzle design. You share the space with a handful of pearls, fixed in their positions. Collect the pearls in as few moves as possible, while avoiding obstacles or traps. The perfect move count is displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Swipe your finger across the screen in the direction you want your raindrop to move. The raindrop cannot change direction while in motion, so movements are controlled and predictable. Swipe your raindrop to the left, and it will move directly to the left until it hits the wall.

Using the Elements

Each puzzle's environment differs from the last. Each puzzle has elements for you to use to your advantage, and some elements that you must avoid.

Many puzzles are surrounded by stone walls, while other types of walls allow you to continue through and come out the other side. Move through gates that only allow you to pass through once, or travel through ring portals. Always be on the lookout for ways to use your environment to help you solve the puzzle.

Avoid the spikes. You don't necessarily lose lives in Quell, but rather hitting a spike will burst your raindrop, and it will melt into the puzzle and blend into the background as water. Quell lives are eternal, and so is the gameplay. No loud buzzers. No Game Over. You just have to try again to move on. Completing a puzzle unlocks the next.

Windows to the Past

Upon launching Quell, you find yourself in the home of someone who doesn't seem to be present at the moment, however there is a presence. Small sparkles fill the air and invite you to explore. With the beautiful 3D graphics, you can't help but notice the dreary day, but you you can also see the beautiful tulips outside the window, boots by the fireplace, and the shadows cast from the wall sconce.

The bookshelves are where you'll be guided. Each shelf contains windows into the past. This is where your puzzles yearn to be explored. Begin in 1928: the earliest stage.

Awards and Helpful Hints

Along your journey, earn hints and awards. Hints occasionally pop up along the top and teach you how to use new elements in your environment.

As you progress through the shelves, Quell offers awards for certain milestones and accomplishments. Earning the Magpie Award means you've already collected 25 pearls. The Minimalist Award is won by completing three levels perfectly. You can also earn awards for less brag worthy accomplishments like the Scenic Route Award which is given to you for taking twice as many moves as necessary to complete the puzzle.


"A wonderfully simple and atmospheric puzzler"--AppSpy.com
"Unique, mature style, solid-puzzle gameplay, a perfectly judged learning curve"--Gamezebo.com
"We certainly recommend it to puzzle fans"--SlideToPlay.com
Quell is rated at 4.8 stars in Google Play and it is rated at 4.8 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

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This is not one of those apps with only two overall ratings in Google Play. You can believe that 4.8 rating, as it comes via 2,369 ratings. Meanwhile, the Amazon Appstore rating comes with an amazing number of ratings for an Appstore app, 1,781.

Want it: buy it. It's an amazingly highly rated game. In fact, there's also another game, Quell: Reflect in Google Play with 7,818 ratings and a 4.8 star rating. Quell: Reflect has 295 ratings in the Amazon Appstore with a 4.9 star rating.

Quell is also available in the iOS App Store, as is Quell: Reflect.

Those who are considering "buying" a Free Amazon Appstore app might want to consider what it means to developers.

Amazon.com opened up the Appstore despite a lawsuit by Apple, which has previously trademarked the term "App Store." Microsoft has filed an appeal against that trademark, saying the term is too generic. Amazon.com has responded to the lawsuit in the same manner.

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