Chime Sharp PC Review
Tetris is quite possibly the most well-known game of all time, it’s been copied and ported to every system ever made, and continues to this day to be played by every generation of gamer. While facsimiles are abundant, not many have proven up to the task of changing the core of the game. Chime, however, is trying very hard to put a new twist on an old classic.
At its heart, Chime is like a rhythm game, but using tetrominoes to build outward from the center of an enclosed area similar to the original, but on all 4 sides, and in all directions that adds to a song being generated. Since every gamer in the world knows how to play the original, it’s easy to grasp the concept basics instantly, which would normally mean more time to explain how it’s different, except that there is almost NO EXPLANATION of any of the mechanics. No info screen, no tutorial level, not even a hint as to what to do to progress and beat the level.
Only by trial and error was I able to figure out that I need to build the background out as far as possible to increase by score, not just make as many “quads” (full lines of tetrominoes) as possible. Also, while I understand that the repeating waves hits each piece to make music, it’s still unclear to me what each piece means to the music itself, and whether that affects my score. While I normally don’t care about my score in most games, roughly one third of the game is unlocked at the start and you can unlock any new levels until you have passed at least one level. This is incredibly frustrating when there is no information or guides built in to help, and you have to rely on the user interface to tell you everything immediately.
I understand the feeling that the developers were going for in this sequel, which absolutely beautiful user interfaces, a minimalist utopia with incredibly well made graphics and smooth transitions for every menu. But, with that absolute faith in graphic design comes the double edged sword of needing your graphics to do every job, like telling a story, and teaching the user to play which is simply too much to ask for this complex a game.
Beautiful art and sound design alone do not make a game. I admit that once I did get beyond the huge learning curve, I did begin to enjoy the difficulty, but only on the certain levels at the beginning, since I apparently wasn’t doing well enough to unlock almost any other levels, effectively cutting my gameplay by two-thirds. If only there was more instruction, this could have been so much more of a visual and auditory experience.