From developer Gamesare Studios comes their second Steam release, a casual puzzler named Quadle. Judging from their past library of free games, puzzle games are a big part of their wheelhouse.
Quadle is a game about eliminating all squares on the screen until you have just your final square left. You accumulate a running score for completing levels and clearing squares. If you are unable to clear all the squares from the screen or are propelled to an empty space, the game is over. Scores are kept on a local leaderboard. You control Quadle, who is similar to a Qbert, without the legs, nose, and the “#@$@!.” By hopping to any diagonal square adjacent to yours, you change the color of the landed square. Initially, you only work with squares of a few colors. Green squares will change to orange, then to red which then fall off the screen. You cannot leave cubes behind, so developing a pattern that can eliminate all cubes but one is key.
Quadle offers controller support, but it is not full controller support until you enable it first in options. I had trouble with a wireless 360 controller but I was able to use a wired controller on a different PC. You are only able to utilize your analog stick to jump in diagonal directions, not your d-pad.
Each game world consists of 32 levels that increase in difficulty as you progress. Each world has its own soundtrack. It can be a little monotonous, but then again so is the level design. Every ten levels or so another game mechanic is introduced that increases difficulty and planning per level. At first a faux landing platform that leads to another cube below is introduced. Later, it’s a cube that has one bounce ability, shooting your Quadle character up to rows. In world two, it introduces a purple square which requires four landings to eliminate.
The main issue is that these variations do not offer a great deal in terms of exciting gameplay. In addition to difficulties with controller play, I also had problems getting the game to expand to fullscreen. These small quirks and what boils down to removing small 4-6 section of cubes at time as the solution to every puzzle makes for low replayability. That said, there is fun to be had with solving all of Quadle’s puzzles. I was stumped on a couple of levels, and several are above-average in difficulty. With a couple of the quirks fixed (working fullscreen, complete controller support) this is a slightly above average puzzle game. The value just isn’t there at the $7.99 asking price. As a quick pick up and play title, I would start to see value for Quadle at around 60% off that starting price point. Especially when I’ve walked away from Steam sales with other gems such as Hexcells and Mini Metro for far less.