Quadrel logo

Loriciels £19.99

More oddness but this time from Loriciels. Quadrel is a puzzle game that is played over a grid system. Using four colours you must fill an entire grid so that no one colour is placed adjacent to itself. It is is dead easy when it is in solitaire mode, you can play with friends or against the computer - when it gets much more complex.

Simplicity is often a boon in puzzle challenges but this one is rather too simple and lacks the solid depth of strategy. An amusing diversion nonetheless, for a while at least.

Quadrel logo

French-puzzle-games-where-you-have-to-fill-in-various-grids-with-a-limit-of-four-different-colours-and-where-two-touching-shapes-cannot-be-of-the-same-colour, eh? Who needs 'em? Nobody I know, that's for sure.

According to the instructions, 'The Greatest games are usually the ones with rules easy to understand' (sic), which is a fair point, but doesn't actually apply to this one as the rules aren't particularly easy, and it's pretty crap too.

The main problem is that the whole concept just isn't fun enough - it's more like the sort of game your Auntie Molly insists the entire family play when you go round to her house for Christmas than something on a par with the likes of Tetris and Klax.

The idea revolves around the theory that you can colour in any type of map with only four colours without any two countries of the same colour touching each other. A fair idea for a puzzle game as these things go, I suppose, but a bit marred by the limited appeal of the horrible block-like graphics they've presented us with here (wouldn't a few wibbly country-like shapes have been better?).

Another problem is the lack of challenge - you can fiddle around with so much of the game, including choosing which screen you start on - that there's no real excitement left to the thing. There's not even any guessing what the next screen is going to be like as there isn't one (each new screen is treated independently as a brand new game). And you can effectively 'cheat' as well by turning off the time limit, going back on your moves and asking for help.

As you may have gathered, this game didn't really appeal to me, although this may simply be a matter of opinion. Perhaps the die-hard puzzle addict (and a friend) will find that the two player game offers more entertainment where (instead of you taking on the computer) each player starts with a different amount of pain, and then takes it in turns to fill in the grid - the loser being the player who's first unable to fill in an area.

Overall, I'd say that Quadrel is a bit of a try-before-you-buyer.

Quadrel logo

Using the popular belief that simple games are the most fun, Quadrel attempts to dispel this. In the past, such puzzling classics as Tetris, Puzznic, and Block Out, have built up a reputation for solid, if limited, fun with the emphasis on stretching the grey cells rather than the reflexes.

With Quadrel, though, the all-important idea behind the game just isn't enough to sustain interest and consequently we are left with a very bland 'paint the squares' affair.

The game is split into a number of beige levels, each of which are broken up with a pattern of crossing lines and shapes. Below this main area are a limited selection of four coloured paints, and these must be used to colour the screen.

However, this apparently simple task is made harder thanks to a rule that means that two squares of the same colour cannot be placed next to each other. Thus, strategic plotting is required before the screen is fully painted and the next level reached - especially since the number of paints available decrease with each stage.

Although the addition of some extremely tough levels and a two-player mode add to the game's longevity, I don't think that anyone will be bothered to see it through to the end as the game is basically very dull. In terms of presentation, there is very little to raise it above the norm, and the slow nature of the gameplay is the final nail in the coffin.

In all, Quadrel has a lot of potential as a game idea, but Loriciel's implementation leaves a lot to be desired.