08/07/2019

⏹️⏹️ Chime Sharp - REVIEW - "so it's a bit like Tetris, I guess" ⏹️⏹️ #GameDev #IndieGame

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Within two minutes of playing, Chime Sharp gave me a new gaming experience: I had to Google the actual objective of the game because I had literally no idea what was going on. 

The game doesn't so much throw you in at the deep end as tie lead weights to your feet and smack you in with a two-by-four. A bit of research and I discovered that this is a sequel to an Xbox 360 game called, as you might expect, Chime, which came out in 2010, so maybe the lack of hand-holding is for the benefit of seasoned players, of which, even after several hours of play, I am definitely not one.
It's a lazy comparison, but the game involves placing geometric shapes, so it's a bit like Tetris, I guess. It's sort of a cross between that and Lumines. The objective is to place shapes onto a grid to make 'quads', defined as a solid block of at least 3x3 blocks. These disappear, and the background changes colour to show you've covered it. You've got to cover as much of the board as possible within the time limit. Simple. 

The other factor to consider is the music. Chime Sharp has 16 licensed tracks, from 8-bit chiptune stuff to 'Science and Visions', by Chvrches. At the start of each level, the music is just a simple loop, but filling the board up adds complexity until the song is playing in full.

There are several game modes to choose from. Standard mode just gives you a fixed amount of time to cover as much as you can. Should you get over 60% on one song then you unlock Sharp mode, which removes the time limit, but every leftover piece after a completed quad vanishes costs you lives, and you only have a limited number before game over.

There's also a practice mode with no time limit, and once you get really good you can unlock Strike mode, which gives you a very short period of time to cover as much of the board as possible, and Challenge mode, which introduces more complex boards and fewer pieces.

Graphically it's about as simple it can get, although some boards have a colour palette that makes it hard to distinguish between the quads and background. The music is really good, although until you start hitting the targets to 'fill out' the songs the loops might drive you a bit insane.
Summary
To sum it up, this is a strange little game that puts up a hell of a challenge. 
I would have liked a more comprehensive tutorial (read: a tutorial), but once you get into it you can throw shapes around to make quads with gay abandon. 

I can see myself going back to it for the odd blast for a long while, and there's a real sense of achievement when you unlock a new mode, not least because it's bloody hard.

💧❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️💧
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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