I’ve played so many games over the years, but none quite like the one I’m about to describe. I had the chance to check out Chime Super Deluxe which is coming to PlayStation Network in late spring.
It’s a puzzle game with the added element of music and is Developed by Zoë Mode, who were responsible for the original Chime game released on Xbox Live Arcade. The game is quite hard to describe unless you’re sitting there in front of the screen playing it, but players control one coloured shape at a time and they can move, rotate and place it into the special grid. If you can imagine Tetris, it has a similar feel. A beat line moves across the grid in with the music which triggers events when it hits placed shapes. Players can form Quads which are constructed when solid blocks of 3 x 3 are formed. Once a quad is completed and the beat line starts, different types of music are triggered which is all dependant on the shape. The score is determined by the size of the quad and players can even create multipliers by having many quads on the screen at the time. Once the beat line has hit a completed quad, it’s then stamped down into the grid. The overall objective is to try and complete 100% coverage.
There are various modes to play, from Timed mode, Free mode and the new multiplayer. In timed mode it’s a race against the clock with three levels of difficulty based on a designated time. Free mode is the basic game, where there is no time limit and the player is then able to place shapes in their own time and leisure to create the different sounds. In multiplayer, which allows up to four players, you can play against one another making as many quads or combos as possible, or even stealing the opponents and claiming them as your own, or work together to complete coverage and unlock all the musical elements. Combos can be created by connected quads, but you’ll also be on the look out for disappearing blocks which are removed when the beat line moves through the grid. They start slightly flickering, which is an indicator that this is about to happen.
The original game included five songs which were created by respected artists such as Brazil by Philip Glass and the more well known ‘For Silence’ by Paul Hartnoll of Orbital. Chimes Super Deluxe boasts up to ten tracks and is exclusive to PlayStation network. New artists to the PSN version of this game include Sabrepulse, Nathan McCree, schlomo and Plaid.
Listening and playing the game, it’s very easy to get absorbed into the puzzle grid, while feeling you’re being relaxed by the great selection of music. I was told that it took three weeks to a month to do the audio alone and that they wanted to bring Sony fans into the mix of music. The rhythmns and beats allow players to learn to listen to the music, while trying to concentrate and gain coverage on the grid. Playing in multiplayer can be a little frantic, as you all race to create quads and try to gain the most score. Its definitely one of the most unique games I’ve encountered. It’s an unusual experience, but generally feels like solid gameplay. To describe it probably comes across as quite complicated, but in it’s true form it’s worth your attention if you require something a little bit out of the normal selection of general puzzle games. The non profit video game publisher OneBigGame works alongside a number of charitable organizations,and originally developed the original ‘Chime’ game back in February 2010 for the Save the Children and Starlight Children’s Foundations.