Most of the games I have on my phone are in some way frenetic. They're filled with bold, bright colours, quick action and noisy effects. After watching my friend's preschool-aged niece school us all at Angry Birds, I have found myself occasionally desiring something a little more calm and adult.
Enter Quell Reflect. This puzzler, from Fallen Tree Games, exists in a world of calm earth tones and pastels. Its droplet-based logic puzzles become more difficult with each stage, as you would expect, but the game never feels harsh or demanding. Every puzzle has a solution, and every puzzle has an optimal solution. Achieving a perfect score (using the minimum possible number of moves to complete a level) unlocks hints that can walk a player get through some of the trickier stages.
The layout of stages, rather than some blocky or loud menu, is designed to evoke a memory shelf. Each group of levels is set to a year in the past (1962 through 1975), arranged in photo frames placed in a quiet but well-organised basement. The stages themselves have names, like "Snap Crackle" or "Curiosity".
I'm not out looking for zen enlightenment in my phone apps. But a chance to lose myself in logic that treats me like a grown-up is a pleasant change. I won't be giving up my Fruit Ninja anytime soon, sure, but I'll be coming back to lose myself in the nostalgic calm of Quell Reflect often, I think.
Quell Reflect [Android Market]
Quell Reflect [iTunes]