PSN Review: Chime Super Deluxe



The brainchild of developer Zoë Mode and OneBigGame, Chime was originally released with noble intent as an XBLA charity venture, with all proceeds going to Save the Children and Starlight Children’s Foundation. Now expanding their title as a full commercial game, Chime Super Deluxe hits the PSN with twice as many songs, local multiplayer and a new visual polish. While you might not get the warm, fuzzy glow of knowing you helped needy children by buying it, there’s a tonne of addictive fun and enough extra content to keep newcomers and original fans alike entertained. And you can always go ahead and donate to charity, too – it’s a win-win!

Reminiscent of Lumines, in this fusion of block puzzler and rhythm game, the aim is to arrange Tetris-style blocks on a grid to form cubes and rectangles, building up a musical beat in the process. If you form a solid block of at least 3 x 3 squares, it’ll form into an quad with an active timer – if you extend the rectangle on either side while the block’s clock is still ticking, your points and your combo will build. When the timer runs out, the quad will evaporate, leaving a coloured ‘coverage’ stamp behind on the grid.
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All the while, a line charting a music track sweeps from left to right across the grid as the tune flows constantly. When the tune line glides over the coverage you’ve laid down on the grid, it’ll add a new element to the track depending on where you laid quads down, from a snippet of vocals to a drum beat; the more coverage you get, the more layered, complex and satisfying the music becomes.

It’s a simple and fun concept to get to grips with, and there’s a sustained rush of exhilaration as you start to build up combos and gain coverage, causing the music track to pulse and ramp up to a crescendo. There’s a hint of strategy at play, too. The shapes you position together to form quads might leave stray blocks left over on the sides after the coverage timer has ticked away, these scattered bits making it tougher for you to form more quads where you’d like.
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The errant pieces carry a time limit, though – if you don’t clean up the random leftover bits and bobs and use them in a new quad, they’ll soon fade away and vanish, killing your combo dead. It adds a fun challenge, and it can be intensely tricky to form perfect quads, especially when each grid takes on different shapes, more substantial and tougher-to-fill sizes and introduce more complex block shapes to lay down, too.

New to this edition is a more polished visual sheen which looks great and adds to the soothing, mellow vibe that the game bathes in, though the choice of red blocks on red coverage in one level makes it tough to discern which spaces are already occupied. Also added for the Super Deluxe release are five new tracks and a four player multiplayer. The lack of online multiplayer might irk some, but the local option is a tonne of fun; you can choose to play co-op with friends for a laid-back session of trying to fill the grid, or go head-to-head and screw with your buddy’s game, stealing their quads as you try to claim the largest chunk of coverage real estate.
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The doubled list of tracks is varied while keeping in line with the more relaxing gameplay aesthetic that Chime cultivates; you won’t find any grunge or thrash metal in the setlist, but the choice of songs, from the mellow, tranquil flow of ‘For Silence’ by Paul Hartnell (Orbital) to the pulsing chiptune beats of Sabrepulse’s ‘Play With You’, is a perfectly-suited, fantastic selection. The only problem is that even with progressively tougher stages to play through with each song, a playlist of only ten tracks feels pretty light, but it says a lot that it’s a game you’ll be instantly wanting more of. Between the multiplayer modes and the challenge of the solo grids, Chime Super Deluxe packs plenty of addictive, mellow tune-based puzzling entertainment in a package that both fans and newcomers are sure to be happy with.

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Chime Super Deluxe is available to buy on the PlayStation Network Store now, priced £7.19.