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Old 04-07-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
RandomRob
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Arrow Please Rate This Review: Chime Super Deluxe

HIGH Enjoying playing it and knowing that the proceeds are going to help disadvantaged children
LOW Finishing the 10th board
WTF No online multiplayer? Really?

OneBigGame is a bit of a rarity, a not-for-profit videogame company that raises money for children's charities. Their latest effort, Chime Super Deluxe, as it's called on PSN, combines area-cover puzzle gameplay with minimalist electronica, and features 5 new tracks not heard on the original XboxLive release.
Chime is part Tetris, part Qix. As a track of music plays, a series of random shapes appear one at a time, to be moved around an empty playing field, then dropped and assembled into 3X3 sections called quads, which can be expanded by adding segments to 2 sides to make the quadrilateral shape larger. The basic goal is to cover at least 50% of the playing field before the timer runs out.
The background music affects 2 gameplay aspects. The tempo of the piece is represented graphically as a wave (the 'timeline') that moves through the play areas. In order to expand quads successfully, the player has to stay ahead of the timeline. Once a 3X3 shape is in place and the timeline 'hits' it, you have until the next pass to expand 2 sides of the shape to cover more area and make more points.
In addition, each piece of music is a free-form construct of the original piece that will be partly arranged by the player. Simple tonal structures grow organically out of the arrangement of pieces the player lays down, and as the player's score increases, the overall structure becomes more dynamic as well.
If there's a quibble or two I have with Chime it's that it is a short ride to unlock all the tracks, and it can be difficult to sort out the live blocks from the dead ones on the board because of some monotone color schemes. Not all the time, just sometimes.
Other than that, Chime Super Deluxe is a game that I found a very relaxing departure from the usual flash and noisy bells and whistles of puzzlers. It has a slow ambient fluidity and grace that deeply appealed to the gamer and electronica afficianado in me. With music by Philip Glass, Moby, Orbital, Shlomo, Sabrepulse, and others, it's the creme de la creme of soundtracks for this kindof game.
Beyond the gameplay and the music, knowing the 10$ cost was benefiting troubled kids was icing on the cake.
Highly recommended.

8 out of 10
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