Chime - 360 - Review
At first glance, Chime for the Xbox Live Arcade will remind people of two games, Lumines and Tetris. Though it doesn't play like either, it borrows elements from both.
Chime is a music puzzle game that tasks players to use different geometric shapes made up of squares to make quad shapes, while also filling up an overall grid. That means putting different pieces together to make shapes 3x3, 4x4, and up. The musical element comes into play with the scrolling bar which counts as four measures in the song, much like in the game Lumines. When the player puts quads together and the scrolling bar goes over each successful quad, it intensifies the music, plays different samples and simultaneously builds up the player's score. To achieve multipliers, the player must successfully keep creating quads without missing a full measure.
Filling up the grid to a 100% looks easier than it is
The difference between Chime and games like Tetris and Lumines is that the player can essentially place the pieces anywhere on the grid that they want, meaning they don't fall down. When an object is placed and a quad is created, that area gets highlighted, which shows the completion of the overall grid. One thing to note is that when a quad is counted towards the score, the shapes disappear from the grid, and even though that area is highlighted, the player can then place shapes over that area again, if it helps making a quad that is close to that area. The more of the overall grid that gets completed, the fuller the song becomes, and eventually unlocks the other songs. The game also includes a Free Time mode which isn't timed, instead letting the player relax and get really lost in the mellow soundtrack.
The graphics in the game are pretty basic. It essentially looks like a grid version of Tetris in HD. The overall presentation is very sleek though. The music is where Chime truly shines. Though the game only has five different songs, they are all great, and have a nice build up to them. Each song also has a different overall grid layout, which changes up each level quite a bit. Though the player isn't directly controlling the music like in regular music games, activating quads plays different samples that complement the song, so each time the song can sound just slightly different.
Let the colors and the music consume you...
Though the game is light on content, the gameplay it has largely makes up for it, and for a 400MS point ($5) asking price you can't go wrong. Chime is a great game to relax to, because of its mellow soundtrack. The inclusion of the Free Time mode is extremely welcome for people who don't want to worry about the time, but instead chill out, and focus solely on the music. One thing that is missing, which could have potentially been fun is a local or multiplayer component.
One thing to note is that 60% of the purchase price from this game go to charity, which makes this already affordable game an even greater excuse to buy. The charities are Save the Children and Starlight Children's Foundation.
Review Scoring Details for Chime
A fun and inventive take on the music puzzle genre.
Nothing special about the graphics, but the overall interface is very sleek.
The music is great. Though not all five songs are my favorite, they're all a blast to play through.
Though ideas were clearly taken from Lumines, it still has enough originality to distinguish itself apart.
Though missing a multiplayer component, Chime has a fun gameplay style that will have players wanting to beat their own scores way past after clearing the grids a 100 percent.