This article is a repost from the now defunct Kombo.com.
Kombo’s Review Policy: Our reviews are written for you. Our goal is to write honest, to-the-point reviews that don't waste your time. This is why we've split our reviews into four sections: What the Game's About, What's Hot, What's Not and Final Word, so that you can easily find the information you want from our reviews.
What the Game’s About
Chime is the first release from One Big Game, “a videogames charity initiative… best compared to Live Aid,” with the goal of donating the proceeds from releases under their banner to children’s charities around the world. Chime is not, on the other hand, developer Zoë Mode’s first release. Zoë Mode is the developer behind a variety of music games, including some SingStar and SingIt games.
Chime takes inspiration from games like Tetris and Lumines to bring a surprisingly addictive music puzzle to Xbox Live Arcade. Placing various block shapes on the board to form 3x3 or larger blocks changes the music as the clock ticks down. Cover the board and keep your combo going to rack up more time and a higher multiplier.
Chime is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Lumines. Even looking at the screenshots, it’s easy to see the influence. Don’t mistake that for saying it’s the same game, though. Where that game was a stress-infused race to keep the board clean and points high, Chime has you trying to fill the board. The goal is to surpass 100% coverage. There the two DO match is that horizontally scrolling wiper. Just like Lumines, that bar establishes the beat, and you use the blocks to create sound. The mechanic is a lot of fun, and it’s much less stressful. You pick a 3, 6, or 9 minute session (Hard, medium, and easy) and try to fill up.
At just $5 (or 400MS Points), the price is right for just about anyone to pick up. Even better, over half that money goes to charity. It’s a great idea that I’d love to see more of. I wouldn’t feel quite as bad paying some of the prices publishers expect if I knew some of that money was going somewhere useful.
The most memorable part of the game for most will be the music. While there are only five songs, the licenses and quality more than make up for it. The soundtrack includes Philip Glass, Moby, Markus Schulz, Paul Hartnoll from Orbital, and Fred Deakin from Lemon Jelly. All of the tracks are easy to listen to a few times through and stand up to repeat play.
The game is a lot like Lumines, and if you didn’t like that one you won’t like this one. It scratches most of the same itches, for better or for worse. More tracks would be nice, too. I can hardly complain considering the price, though hope remains for future DLC.
There also just isn’t a lot there. While the five levels do have different layouts, there isn’t much difference from level to level. If that sounds like it would lose appeal after a bit, try the demo first. Some sort of local multiplayer would’ve been nice as well, maybe competing to take the majority coverage of the board or something like that.
Chime is an inexpensive, fun music game that results in helping someone in need; can you ask for something better? The value for the asking price is excellent even without the charity piled on top. Chime is definitely worth checking out.