By Marty Mulrooney
Chime is a puzzle game reminiscent of Tetris, Lumines and Rez, created by the Zoë Mode studio. It also happens to be published by a none-profit publisher called OneBigGame, with a slice of the game’s proceeds going to charity. The Xbox Live Arcade version hit consoles earlier this year (reviewed here) and now Steam users on PC can get in on the action too!
AMO’s earlier review of Chime pretty much covered everything there is to say about the game, so I shall try not to recover too much old ground. Gameplay in the PC version still revolves around placing different shaped blocks on a grid, subtly affecting the accompanying song and gaining coverage with every quad (3×3 or more squares) gained as a beatline moves from left to right across the screen. The more quads on the grid at any one time, the higher your score, the more coverage you will gain and the more layered the song gets.
Mouse controls feel made for this game, no doubt enabling a quicker, much more precise game to be played than would be possible on the earlier console version. Load times are non-existent, the graphics remain beautiful, and the trance-like music is still sublime. I would recommend players to always choose 3 minutes as their time limit during Timed Mode: it offers a fair challenge to gain 100% coverage and lengthens an overall slightly short experience. Free Mode levels are certainly fun to play around with once unlocked but loose their appeal quickly due to all of the regular challenge being stripped away.
The best – and perhaps only significant – addition to Chime on PC is a new level, featuring Still Alive, the theme song from the video game Portal. Fans of said game won’t want to miss this: it was actually my favourite level, with the lyrics causing laughter that threatened my score every time, adding a considerable extra layer of challenge!
It is a shame that the the proportion of royalties given away has been lowered here (a minimum of 5% goes to charity), especially considering that the Xbox version originally gave away 60%. Yet buying this short, sweet game is still helping Save the Children and the Starlight Children’s foundation… so why not give it a go? This version has the slight edge on the Xbox Live Arcade release content-wise, offering addictive, charitable fun… and therefore shouldn’t be missed!
8.5 OUT OF 10