The merging of genres in video games has provided an array of results in terms of audience and critic feedback; however, this has often proved quite negative. Nevertheless, every once in a while, a video game that merges genres releases that restores faith in merging. The most recent example arriving on the Xbox Live Arcade in the form of Chime, developed by Zoë Mode and published by OneBigGame.
Chime creatively merges the music and block puzzle genres to create a relaxing, pleasant Xbox Live Arcade title. The game plays out quite similarly to Lumines Live, tasking players to cover a number of different grids with irregular shapes to form rectangular blocks, known as quads. Players aim to cover as much of the grid as possible (known as coverage). In doing so, players build up the song playing in the background, in a unique manner. The results of this are surprisingly great with players clearly able to distinguish the progress they make through the audio, with the song taking place rather well.
The songs featured in the title aren’t the typical pop tracks and stars you regularly see and hear across the media, not by a long shot. Instead of Lady Gaga there’s Markus Schulz, and the likes of Moby are in place of Jedward (some may say that’s for the best). The full line-up is as follows:
- Brazil by Philip Glass
- For Silence by Paul Hartnoll
- Ooh Yeah by Moby
- Spilled Cranberries by Markus Schulz
- Disco Ghosts by Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly)
As you can imagine, the five songs don’t provide much in terms of content, with the list stretching across Chime’s two game modes: Time and Free. Time Mode gives players a choice of 9 minutes, 6 minutes or 3 minutes in which to obtain as much coverage of the grid as they possibly can, with Free Mode allowing players to carry out the same task for an unlimited amount of time. Neither game mode provides much in terms of depth, though this is possibly due to the title’s charitable donation.
Chime was developed with charity in mind, with a minimum of 60 percent of the game’s purchase price of 400 Microsoft Points being donated to Save the Children and Starlight Children’s Foundation. This factor alone deems Chime a worthy purchase.
Graphically, Chime features beautiful, sleek designs that greatly incorporate the game’s relaxing style, accompanied by the soothing, high-quality music the game offers.
Overall, Chime is a brilliantly-designed title that players can easily sit down and relax to. Whilst it lacks in terms of content, the title can be enjoyed in short bursts and the donation to charity makes the Xbox Live Arcade title a deserving purchase, especially at the 400 Microsoft Points price tag.
David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.