Chime Super Deluxe review
Well, we got a new game as a review copy… which isn’t a frequent occurrence. The target this time is Chime Super Deluxe, an artsy puzzle game by Zoe Mode. It doubled in price from its Steam release, but it’s now “Super Deluxe”. It’s a game I was always interested in, but not really enough to fork out the money for it. So I was really happy to get a review copy so I could try it out.
Read on and see what I thought of it!
Developer: Zoe Mode
Publisher: Zoe Mode
Date of Release: March 29th 2011
Platforms: Playstation 3 (PSN)
Genre: Musical puzzle game
Rated E for Everyone
What’s good about the game
The basic gameplay is great. Fun, addictive and really fast-paced.
Basically, you’re putting blocks on a grid. They’re basically blocks from Blockus. The goal is to use those blocks to makes squares and rectangles, called Quads. Once a quad is made, you can add blocks next to it to make it bigger, which gives it a higher point value, but you have a time limit to make it bigger. When the time limit is reached (basically the quad fills up and you can’t do anything once it’s filled up), the quad “covers” the board, changing those grid areas to different colors. Once the quad is converted to level coverage, you can start using that area to place blocks again.
You get points for each area you cover, and each quad you make, but you can get various bonuses, like extra points when you make a quad without leaving any extra blocks outside of it. So basically you’ll learn different ways to place the blocks as you play the game, making the game very addictive. Also, blocks that keep being unused will eventually change colors and drop off the board, sometimes freeing out space you might need, so there’s some strategy when it comes to how you place blocks and how you handle unused blocks. Basically the game will constantly keep you thinking about where to place the blocks.
The basic goal of every level is to fill up the board 100%. There are 2 modes of play. There’s a mode where you have a time limit (you can choose between 3, 6 and 9 minutes), and you basically have to get as far as you can within the time limit (fully covering a board gives you a minor time bonus in the next), and a mode where you don’t have a time limit, so the goal is basically going to the end the fastest (or just using it for practice).
One interesting gameplay element is the music. You choose a track to play on, and each track has its own grids. At first it’s a really cheap and fairly empty musical loop, but, as you add blocks and coverage on the level, the music becomes more intricate, notes are added, more layers of sound are added, and it eventually makes the music come alive as you progress through the level. It’s a really nice element that adds to the gameplay in a way I’ve never really seen in a game before.
Really not much to say about them. You have your grid, your blocks, the outline of the grid, and nice colorful backgrounds. It’s incredibly simple, but very well made. You can easily see what parts of the grid are covered or not, which parts have blocks in them, and your cursor which changes shapes depending on the upcoming block. It looks nice and complements the gameplay perfectly.
What sucks about the game
It’s just not really good. Electronica-ish dance-ish stuff that’s generally not really interesting to listen to as it only revolves around short musical loops. And it’s BORING. Basically listen to 5 seconds of the music, and add random notes through that, and that’s about it. The game is super fast-paced and fun, yet the music doesn’t reflect that at all. I’ll be playing and, at the same time as I get excited at the fast gameplay, I’ll have the music putting me to sleep. Considering the music is such a big part of the experience, you’d hope it would at least be more interesting to listen to. The only tune I really had fun with is “Play With You” by Sabrepulse, with its use of classic gaming 8-bit sounds. But, otherwise, even when you start filling out the boards, the music is never really any good. I think this is a wasted opportunity.
Lack of content/repetitive nature of the game
Only 10 tunes? That’s not really a lot. Especially considering the music isn’t terribly good. Otherwise, unless you’re into online multiplayer, there isn’t much in the game. Basically just repeating each level non-stop trying to get your score higher in the leaderboards. Now that’s not a bad thing really, but I know it can be grating to some people. Puzzle games are basically repetitive by nature, but I’m sure the lack of modes and content will make people not really like the repetition.
Chime Super Deluxe is a very nice game. Visually very good, nice fast-paced gameplay that keeps you thinking all the way through, and an interesting use of music to accentuate the gameplay. As a puzzle game, it’s really well made.
It IS brought down by the lack of content, the lack of good music, and I’m sure the repetitive nature of the game (and, well, the genre in general) will keep some people from being happy of their purchase. Also, it’s kind of hard to see what’s so “Super Deluxe” about it, but then I found out the original version on Steam had only 5 tunes… So they doubled the price when bringing this to PSN, but they doubled the content as well. But it’s still a really low amount of tunes, a few more, maybe trying to span a few more genres (or at least better music of this style), would be nice.
If you’re interested in puzzles games and bad eletronica-ish music, or if you want a great puzzle game and you can get over the bad music, this game is definitely for you.
Pros and Cons
- Great addictive gameplay
- Nice enough challenge due to the leaderboards
- Simple but effective visuals
- Lame music
- It might get too repetivive
- Not a lot to do
(As mentioned before, we were given a review copy of this game … We strive for honest reviews, so the fact that we got a review copy does not affect what we think of a game, or what we write about a game… take this review as you will, but I assure you that this is my honest opinion)
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