Synyster Graves


by on Apr.13, 2011, under Xbox Live Arcade

Chime is a game released on Xbox Live Arcade and is, in all honesty, quite possibly the most addictive game I have ever played.

In it’s purest form it’s a puzzle game with bold origins in music games. The object of the game is to organise shapes into a minimum of 3×3 “quads” for them to fill up. You can make bigger quads by adding them onto the existing quad before it fills up completely which will increment your score. Each filled quad represents a different sound as the music plays in the background creating a plethora of sounds and colours, augmenting the music. It also has a moving transparent line called the “beatline”, which passes over the quads firing off the created “chimes” and adds them to the music track. The beatline also “stamps” the quad to the grid allowing you to lay more shapes over the top of it to create more area coverage. The aim of the game is to fill the grid up to 100%. Filling up multiple quads nets you a nice score multiplyer bonus, but you’ll lose it if the remaining squares not part of a quad get passed and after a certain amount of time depending on the level, will decay, losing your multiplyer bonus.

There are five levels in Chime all with different shaped grids, available shapes and music. The music is contributed from ambient dance acts such as Phillip Glass, Paul Hartinoll (Orbital) and Moby. For the style of game, the music is perfect and sets a fantasic ambience for the game while you’re playing.

Chime is addictive but the levels aren't half tricky shapes!!

There are two kinds of mode in the game, Timed and Free. Timed lets you select the level and either 3 minutes, 6 minutes or 9 minute limits to complete. Filling up a certain percentage of the grid enables you to get a Coverage Bonus, which adds more time onto your timer. Free mode has no time limit so you can practice getting your technique down. The next level will unlock in Timed mode when you complete at  least 50% coverage of the previous level.

The only niggles I have with the game are that the colours get out of hand and it’s hard trying to see what on earth is happening at times especially when you’re pushed for time to get the remnant pieces to be part of a quad before they decay. Similarly upon obtaining a Coverage Bonus, a large sign obscures most of the screen telling you that you got the bonus, which doesn’t stop the timer and you can’t see what’s going on and you could lose your bonus or lay a wrong piece. Some of the grids are quite challenging as they are weirder shapes in later levels and the pieces are more obscure. Multiplayer would be a great addition as would more than 5 levels but if that’s the only gripe, this game has done well.

In summation, Chime is a fantastically addictive XBLA title and for only 400MS points, seems quite a bargain as it’s a great game to just pick up and put down at will. I would have liked to have had more levels but that’s more than made up for in the music being fantastic and fits very well, and you will find yourself glued to it for hours as it’s well worth a purchase. (Oh and if you’re an achievement fiend, you get 50G for just buying the game! What a lovely gift!)

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