Chime Super Deluxe

  • Release: April 20, 2011
  • Developer: Zoe Mode
  • Publisher:
  • Genre: Puzzle

The Tintinnabulation Of The Bells!

Chime Super Deluxe squares off in the puzzle genre and hits a sweet note.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: April 3, 2011
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Have you ever wondered what Tetris would be like if the shapes were made of five squares instead of four? Did you ever think Lumines would be better if you had more than squares to work with? Do you get nostalgic for the "coverage" gameplay of Qix? Of course you do! That's why you should take a long, hard look at Chime Super Deluxe from developer ZoŽ Mode.

A clever music puzzler, Chime features ten songs by quite a few luminaries in the minimalist/electronic music scene. Legends like Phillip Glass and Moby share a soundtrack with indie wizards Shlomo and Sabrepulse, resulting in a throughly relaxing ambience pervading the game. As a single player, you'll choose one of the ten tracks (only one at the start, but after your play each track, you'll unlock the next one) , then choose between Timed Mode and Free Mode.

Regardless of which mode you choose, you'll find yourself looking at a grid or set of grids and you'll be tasked with finding a way to cover every last square that is circumscribed. To make the task something more than mundane, you are given tetrisesque pieces that you try to fit together within those constraints to make "Quads". Anytime you have a solid regular quadrilateral of 3x3 or larger, it fuses into one giant square or rectangle, and a timer inside the box ticks down. If you can lay down enough blocks to extend one of the axes further out, the timer will reset and you can continue to grow your Quads. Once the timer runs out, the ever present beatline (much like Lumines) will cross over the quad and imprint it into the grid and give you more coverage. Once imprinted, the covered areas can be built over again, not for any coverage gain, but to help create quads in uncovered spaces. Naturally the majority of Quads aren't going to be perfect quadrilaterals, so after a bit quite a few orphan bits of blocks will litter the playfield, but the of course can also be incorporated into future Quads. Your goal is to get 100% coverage, and then start the whole process over again.

Chime has two ways of adding a little more depth and style to this simple formula. The first is the pieces themselves. There are quite a few more variations of shapes that can be made using five blocks to construct the playing pieces as opposed to the four in Tetris. Rather than throw them all into the mix at once, Chime Super Deluxe only use a select number of them on each level. This adds a sort of forced variety, as you'll start to see new shapes as you progress through the songs. Geometry nerds like me will get a kick out of trying to find the best way to work the cross piece in, or the dreaded staircase shape.

Sure, Chime is a puzzle game. But once again, much like Lumines, music plays a huge role and allows the player to influence the melody. Whenever the beatline passes over a completed Quad, a music samples plays, and the sample varies based on the shape and size of the Quad (and possibly where on the grid you place it). Turn on Free Mode, and the game sort of becomes the most unwieldy and obtuse sequencer you ever saw (albeit with the most beautiful interface). Each song also has 5 different grids and sets of samples that will be revealed as you 100% cover the previous grid. Unless you are some sort of savant, you'll likely need to go into Free Mode to see most of the later grids and samples, as I was never able to get much past 200% coverage on the longest timed modes (nine minutes).
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