- Format: Xbox One (version reviewed), PC, PS4
- Unleashed: Out Now
- Publisher: Chilled Mouse
- Developer: Ste Curran, Twistplay
- Players: 1
- Site: http://chimesharp.com/
- Game code provided by PR
Chime Sharp is pretty darn good but, if you’ve played the original, then you might already know that. It’s more than a remaster, it’s one of those highly sought-after and often quite rare full remakes that even go so far as to actually add content. Chime was good as a techno/electronica Tetris type game before and it is, at the very least, better looking now than ever.
It definitely isn’t Tetris, the whole placing shapes on a board and watch as they either disappear or fill it up thing is about as close as the two come in terms of mechanics. The feel of it couldn’t be more different. Whereas Tetris is a slow-starting game that slowly speeds up and generally fills you with stress, dread or a combination of both, Chime is much more relaxing; even when the timer appears front and centre with a massive countdown.
This is due in part to the sharp – or rather, rounded but high fidelity – visuals, and the various techno/electronic beats that range from relaxing to heart pounding. It’s certainly a style that suits the game, but we found preferences to certain tracks outweighed the different boards and shapes we could find accompanying tracks we didn’t like. It’s a heavily music-centric game, and so to not listen to the music feels like missing the point of the game in general. You might recognize one or two of the names behind the tracks (CHVRCHES and Chipzel are ones we’ve heard of before) but, it’s not our genre of choice.
The basics of the game involve laying shapes (definitely not tetrominos) on a board and trying to make quadrilaterals of 3×3 or larger. As you manage to create these, a line will sweep across the board and wipe away any of these quads and earn you some points. The line sweeps at regular intervals and a newly created quad won’t get swept away until a short timer runs out. These timers are reset each time you increase any side of the quad, so other than watching the time you have left, the only other thing you’re really juggling is how much you can add to a quad before it gets scored.
It’s a fairly simple set of rules and it changes up nicely with the different board shapes and shape… shapes. Early levels have very Teris-y looking things but very quickly you’ll end up with more difficult to work with shapes, like crosses, zig-zag stairs and one that looks a bit like thumbs up. There’s a lot of variety, compounded even more with the other modes; like the timeless Sharp mode which vies to beat you through damaging a life gauge for each unused block that remains on the board for x number of sweeps.
It’s an easy game to pick up and play, though its goals can be more than a little difficult – but then there’s always the practice mode for each song too. With practice in particular it’s very mellow and we lost our first hour of playing the game just on the first level without even realising.
Chime Sharp is a game we can wholeheartedly recommend but it’s worth noting that the caveat isn’t so much will you/ won’t you enjoy it, but rather the same problem that some people have with Tetris. Like Tetris, Chime Sharp isn’t particularly worried about how much you play it or whether there is progression; outside of achievements there’s little to do other than enjoy the game and unlock a new track every now and then. It’s a fun game than can be hard to put down when you’re into it, but also difficult to pick up amongst more structured, story or objective-driven games. Either way it’s unlikely the game itself will be anything other than fun and/or relaxing for you.