Chime
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

It is a pity that Chime does not have more songs and levels as the game is extremely addictive. It plays like a cross between Tetris and Lumines, but is unique enough to keep you hooked. The audio plays a big role in the game and features tracks from some famous artists so this is a great title to add to your library.

Gameplay: Simple but very addictive.

Graphics: Simple but stylish.

Sound: Tightly integrated with the gameplay

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Chime

Developer: Zoë Mode | Publisher: OneBigGame | Release Date: 2010 | Genre: Casual / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Falling block based puzzle games are a dime a dozen these days, but despite borrowing heavily from both Tetris and Lumines, Chime manages to bring something new to the table. The game takes place on a grid based playing field where the objective is to combine shapes into 3×3 blocks called “Quads.” You can take on more blocks to make your Quad bigger or create multiple Quads for a score multiplier. This is just the tip of the iceberg however.

While you are busy manipulating your shapes on the grid a beatline slowly moves across the screen. If it passes over a completed Quad the blocks are pushed into the gird and counts as coverage. You can create new Quads on these covered areas which will contribute to your score, but it won’t increase your coverage. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated as Chime is a game that is much easier to play than it is to explain.

While the different shapes that you have to work with can feel a bit “off” compared to Tetris the gameplay is undeniably addictive. What makes the game so unique is the way in which the audio is integrated with the gameplay. The music playing in the background is influenced by blocks and coverage on the grid so the better you are doing the more layers the audio will have. This is a great idea, but you are sadly limited to only six tracks. At least they are good ones featuring the likes of Moby, Philip Glass, Paul Hartnall and even Jonathan Coulton with is Portal hit, Still Alive as sung by Ellen McClain.

The minimalist visuals along with the almost hypnotic music makes Chime a very relaxing experience. This is in stark contrast to other similar games that have a very frantic pace. The “Time” mode allows you to choose between three, six and nine minute periods in which to amass the most coverage and highest score. “Free” mode on the other hand, allows you to sit back and experiment with the music you can create with the blocks.

Playing a block based puzzler where the goal is to fill up the screen instead of clearing it is a novel experience and distinguishes Chime from the rest of the pack. The game is also addictive enough that you might end up spending a lot more time with it than what you had anticipated. The low price tag means that at this point the game offers superb value for money. My only complaint is the limited selection of musical tracks which is hopefully something that is remedied with a sequel.

*Review originally published 2010.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP (Home Edition/Professional/Media Center Edition/Tablet PC Edition)
    or Windows Vista (Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate)
    or Windows 7 (Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate)
  • Processor: 1.7 GHz processor
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: VGA
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c compatible video card, shader model 3.0
  • Hard Drive: 180Mb
  • Sound: Stereo
  • OS: Windows XP (Home Edition/Professional/Media Center Edition/Tablet PC Edition)
    or Windows Vista (Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate)
    or Windows 7 (Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate)
  • Processor: Pentium 4 processor, 3.0 GHz or better
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280×720
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c compatible video card, shader model 3.0
  • Hard Drive: 180Mb
  • Sound: Stereo

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