Xbox

Chime Review

Chime LogoChime is a stylish puzzle game that combines elements of Tetris, Lumines and the arcade classic Qix. The game was developed by Zoë Mode for the OneBigGame initiative, which raises funds for various children’s charities worldwide. At least 60 percent of all proceeds from the sale of Chime are being donated to Save the Children and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The goal of this geometry-based game is to cover as much of the playing field as possible. Players will make “quads” of 3x3 blocks or more using various pieces that are randomly queued, similar to the mechanics of Tetris. Read More…

Quads will remain active for a short amount of time, which is shown by the quad gradually filling up with colour. While the quad is active, players can add more pieces to build a bigger quad, which will also reset its active time.

Like in Lumines, the game includes a “beatline” that sweeps across the screen in time with music. Your coverage will be recorded as the beatline makes inactive quads fade. Once scored quads have been made inactive, their outline will remain and players can then use this covered area to put down new pieces.

Chime has a Basic but Attractive LookWhen a quad becomes inactive, any unused fragments will change colour. Fragments will grow lighter each time the beatline touches them until they start flashing and eventually vanish. Players can avoid wasting fragments by using them to build quads before they disappear. Once a fragment is set to vanish, it will also remove every other fragment on the board and break your combo multimplier.

Chime is broken down into two modes: Timed mode, in which you can choose to play for three, six and nine minutes respectively; and Free mode, where you play without scoring or a time limit.

In Timed mode, covering at least 50 percent of a board will unlock the subsequent level, while reaching 100 percent will reset the board and take you to a bonus stage which will continue to count your coverage progress. The same goes when you reach 200 percent coverage, and so on.

Each mode offers five boards playing a unique ambient song, to which musical elements will gradually be layered as you add pieces to the board, make quads and create chains. The game’s soundtrack was composed by Phillip Glass, Paul Hartnoll of Orbital, Moby, Markus Schultz and Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly. Tracks were contributed to Chime by the artists free of charge.

Each board ramps up the difficulty by giving players differently-shaped pieces and playing fields, making full coverage more challenging. The game contains a variety of achievements along with online leaderboards that track your scores in Timed levels.

Chime is a fun and creative puzzle game, which any fan of geometry puzzles will rapidly grow to enjoy. The game’s stylish presentation and haunting music will see you playing for hours, and sometimes completely forgetting to blink. Unfortunately with only five boards and songs, the game would benefit greatly from additional content. In any case however, Chime is a sure hit that has its heart in the right place.

Positives:

+ Engaging Gameplay
+ Excellent Soundtrack


Negatives:

- Light on Content

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Game Forward Score: 5/5

Nathalie Caron > Game Forward

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Chime (Xbox LIVE Arcade) Quick Facts:


Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Zoë Mode / OneBigGame
Publisher: Easy Tiger Media / Valcon Games
Release Date: February 3, 2010
Price: 400 Microsoft Points ($5 USD)
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)