A fresh take on a stale genre or just another chime a dozen game?
Game Review: Chime: Super Deluxe
Release: March 29th 2011
Genre: Rhythm Action
Developer: Zoe Mode
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3
Players: Single Player / Up to 4 Local Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Some of you may remember a game called Chime that was released last year, the proceeds of which went to charity. This is the updated “sequel” created by the same developer and aimed at a larger audience. This new version includes more songs, levels and two brilliant local multiplayer modes.
When I first started this game I thought that it looked quite dated and really didn’t have high hopes for it. However I carried on regardless and quickly realized that I was playing something quite special. The basic premise of Chime: Super Deluxe is to use the shapes that fall down the screen Tetris style to create 3×3 squares, these squares then uncover parts of the music and the more screen space that you fill with these squares, the more of the tune you can hear. Once the player creates a square a multiplier starts and more shapes can be added quickly to expand the square as much as possible for a bigger score and of course, for the added bonus of more music playing. There are two game modes for single player, the first being Time Trial which is timed, scored and placed up on the leader board. The second is Free Mode in which the player can just uncover music without the pressures of a countdown. I personally enjoyed the Time Trial mode a lot more than Free play and so that’s where I spent the lion’s share of my game time.
The levels have to have a minimum of 50% completion before the player can move onto the next level which really isn’t a difficult goal to aim for and I found myself getting 70% plus without breaking a sweat. That isn’t to say that the game is easy though, in fact the shapes that you get to work with would have been burned at the stake for their blatant evil countenance by the more normal shapes that populate Tetris. A huge percentage of the shapes that floated down the screen had me cursing their very existence while they just mocked my poor grasp on geometry. After a lot of trial and error though, it soon became clear which shapes fit together best with each other. Chime: Super Deluxe then threw a huge curve ball by changing the shape sets with each level and kept adding new ones just to stop people from getting into the kind of comfort zone that can be found in Tetris. I found it very difficult to decide whether this game was for the hardcore crowd or for the casual market but to be honest, I really think it can appeal to both. It can be played and enjoyed for a short time just as easily as a long time and it’s definitely the type of game that will make people want to replay and replay levels just so they can 100% it to hear the whole songs in all their chiming glory.
The local multiplayer modes I mentioned earlier are co-op and vs. Up to 4 people can play either against each other, trying to get the highest score either on their own or by stealing square multipliers from their rivals. Then we have the amazing co-op mode which has players working together to fill the soundboard as quickly as possible while attempting to create astonishing multiplier scores. I had great fun with the co-op mode and it has real potential to be a great party game, one which I found very easy to get into on the PSN version as it doesn’t require the sign in that most XBLA co-op games require, you just turn on the controllers and you’re ready to go. The multiplayer also has the same Time Trial and Free play modes found in the single player experience but I still found Time Trial to be the most worthwhile, especially so considering you’re playing with friends. If I had to pick one fault with the multiplayer, it’s that you can’t play with friends online, they have to physically be in the room with you. This could put some people off and it seems like an odd design decision when you consider that almost everything nowadays has online multiplayer.
The soundtrack is a very eclectic mix by artists such as Moby, Sabrepulse and Orbital along with many others. Out of all the songs there was only one that I disliked which had a beatboxer who sounded like he was passing wind. My only real complaint about the soundtrack is that ten songs isn’t enough, in fact that could also be a complaint about the game; ten levels aren’t enough. It has definitely left me wanting more and I hope that some DLC will appear soon, or even better would be the ability to create our own levels using songs from our own collection. These are minor gripes though and the fact is that for Ten Bucks, this game is well worth your “chime”.
- Brilliant addictive gameplay
- Possibly the best shape puzzler since Lumines
- Co-op fun for all the family
- A must buy with lots of replayability
- Needs more levels / songs
- No online multiplayer