[Review] Chime Super Deluxe – Take Control of the Music
Available on: PS3; Publisher: Zoe Mode; Developer: Zoe Mode; Players: 1 – 4; Released: March 29, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Website
Who can forget the music of Tetris? Even though it is embedded into our memory from now to forever, who wouldn’t want a little variety? Chime offers players the opportunity to use the environment of a puzzle game to let the music develop as they progress. This may seem almost gimmicky but Chime is a unique game that goes way beyond the music environment.
Chime offers several different game modes: single player and either co-op or versus multiplayer. Regardless of which mode you choose, the gameplay stays largely the same. Once you choose your mode, you choose to play for either three, six, or nine minutes. Personally I felt this option to be rather silly. It might be easier if you can choose a time between one to ten minutes or maybe a time system similar to that of Bejeweled where certain bonuses are rewarded with extra time.
After that, you choose the level and song; here is the heart of Chime and one thing that really makes it stand out. Though the song list might be small in quantity, it more than makes up for it in quality. Here you can choose a song from either the multiplatinum recording artist Moby, world renowned classic and film composer Philip Glass and everything in between. The variety and the quality are truly unprecedented in any music-based video game. You start off with only “Brazil” by Philip Glass, but once you begin playing, it won’t take long to unlock more.
The gameplay is a simple concept of placing puzzle pieces on a gird. Depending on the stage, the grid and puzzle pieces might vary in shape, which also adds to the difficulty. The goal is to cover the entire grid with ‘quads’ that are created by placing the puzzle pieces on the grid and creating shapes that are 3×3 or larger. Once you’ve filled the grid completely then you move on to the next stage. This may seem like a simple task but the further along you are, the more certain pieces become unnecessary and end up hindering your progress. The gameplay itself is quite simple but the music is what really takes this game to a whole new level.
You may notice a white line that loops on the screen from left to right. As this line comes in contact with a puzzle piece, a sound is triggered that goes along with the background music. Depending on the location and the shape of the piece a different sounds is triggered. Coming in contact with a quad also creates a different sound based on the size of the quad. Although the repetitive nature of the music might seem like it would make the gameplay drag on, the variance you get with placing puzzle pieces in different areas prevents the game from ever becoming repetitive. Before long, playing Chime begins to feel like a meditative experience as the music entrances you and your mind focuses on the puzzle.
Although Chime might appear to be a simple game it comes with some surprisingly addictive gameplay. The game puts the players in a trance-like state that creates a stress free environment which is foreign to most puzzle games. This game will easily become a classic for the average player and any music buff.