I came across this little gem about a year ago and wasn’t sure if I’d take a liking to it. It played very similarly to Tetris, but promised the introduction of various musical instruments as more of the board was covered. Its price tag was five dollars on Steam, so that factored in a bit…what’s more, the developers donated a portion of sales to charity. Not only was the game cheap, but they were helping to support a good cause. It was honestly a no-brainer, so I picked it up and dove right in.
Chime is a musical puzzle game, which throws blocks similar to Tetris (but not quite) at the player to make them form “quads” on an open grid. Unlike Tetris, the grid is flat and there is no gravity, so the player can rotate and place pieces wherever they wish. If they manage to form a 3×3 block, or quad, a number of things happen. First, the player scores points, which is an obvious side effect. The quad takes a second to register, so the player can further add to the quad by placing more pieces next to it, but they must cover one complete side in order for the quad to expand. Completed quads change the background color of the grid from black to a pinkish purple, indicating that you filled an area.
The goal of Chime is to completely fill the black grid with the above mentioned color, by completing quads in all areas of the grid. Players are timed, of course, but as they fill up the grid, time bonuses are awarded. You’ll score multipliers when you are able to continuously create quads, though unused pieces will start to flash after a while and if left too long, will cause some of the pieces to wipe from their current positions. You’ll lose the multiplier, but pieces that were stuck should be gone at this point in case you made a mistake somewhere. You can place pieces overtop completed areas of the grid, allowing you to clear a small area that you may have missed.
Finally, there’s the musical side of Chime. There’s a bar that slowly shifts from left to right and repeats in this fashion. As you add quads to the grid and this bar hits them, various musical instruments will start to “chime” in over top the barebones music playing in the background. What starts as dry and dab karaoke music ends up being a full-blown song, though its tones and measures change based on the quads you form. It’s almost like you’re making a song remix as you go…I haven’t figured out the science behind it, nor am I in a rush to. All I know is that it is fun to watch the song progress and change as I add more pieces to the grid.
The song list isn’t all that big, five songs in fact. The PC version includes an extra song called, “Still Alive”, which you may recognize from Portal’s endgame credits. However, for five bucks, I think it’s worth it. If you like puzzles and enjoy musical themed games, take a look at Chime.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can see video play sessions here: