Review: Chime

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes


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Trying to cover everything

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A Companion Cube is ready

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Freeplay mode doesn't have a timer

General Information

Genre:Rhythm / Puzzle ESRB Rating:NR - Not Rated
License:Commercial My Rating:Everyone
Played on:Martha, Thaddeus
Available from: Steam

General Notes

Chime is a great way to relax and let your mind wander. Once you've managed to get the hang of it, you can do most of the puzzling by instinct. As the name implies, how you play effects how the music is played, and since the pieces you get are randomized, the music is never exactly the same twice.

As an added bonus, the store page states that 5% of the purchase price is donated to charity.

Gameplay Overview

Every level features its own uniquely shaped grid and pieces. Your task is to fill the grid by making squares and rectangles. As you play, a meter line travels the grid from left to right, marking used pieces for removal and collecting the filled squares. If pieces are removed by the line, your combo multiplier is lost and much of the board will be cleared.

As you fill the grid, the music will respond to your changes, slowly causing the game to come to vigorous life as the level nears its end. Once the board is completely covered, the grid resets and the game starts over.

Throughout all of this, there is a timer counting down. When the timer expires, the game ends and your final score is recorded.


The trick with the music is really cool
Chime's primary feature isn't really the puzzle itself. It's the way that the pieces you place dynamically alter the music being played. Probably the biggest feat of the game's design is that none of the changes feel or sound spliced together.

Popular musicians in the ranks
One of the levels is composed by Phillip Glass, who is often recognized for his ethereal songs that have accompanied animated sequences in the TV show Sesame Street. Another song is Still Alive from the popular game Portal.

Fast, challenging puzzling
Between the meter line's endless march and the timer that counts down to the end of the game, there's motivation to move quickly and see how far you can get before it's too late.

The Companion Cube makes an appearance
In the level based on Portal, you can use your multiplier to summon Companion Cubes. If you can do this enough times you'll even earn an achievement, and since it's harder than it sounds, that's an achievement you feel accomplished earning.

Endless mode
Just want to play Chime for fun? There's an untimed endless mode available. Naturally, you don't earn points in this mode.

Steam features offer alternative goals
The main goal of the game is just to earn a higher score or cover more of the level than you did earlier. However, the achievements provide some other ideas, such as attempting to make a rectangle that stretches the entire width of the puzzle.


Only 6 levels
One of the most common complaints with Chime is that there aren't many songs to play. Fans of the game often ask for more levels or the ability to create your own, even offering to purchase them as DLC. There are rumors of a sequel being made, but until then we're stuck with these songs. It's not that they are bad songs, it's just that more levels would really be nice.

And you have to admit, that it says a lot about the game when the fans are chomping at the bit for more.

Concerns and Issues

Mild caution with the lyrics
The only thing about this game that could be concerning is the last song, which is Still Alive from Portal. This song is sung by GLaDOS, who is the evil AI that the player seemingly destroys at the end of the game. Basically, GLaDOS is still alive...

Photosensitive warning
As you progress in a level, the effects on the music begin to be more dramatic. Specifically, levels begin flashing with strong beats, and these bursts of color may be problematic for people who are photosensitive.