Chime Sharp Brings Calm, Soothing Soundtrack To Puzzling – Review

Credit: Steam
Credit: Steam /

Chime Sharp brings back the addictive coverage-based puzzler from the last generation to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with new shapes, new sounds, and a frantic familiarity.

Developers: Ste Curran/Chilled Mouse/Twistplay/Ground Shatter

Publisher: Chilled Mouse

Platform: PlayStation 4 (Version Reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Credit: Chilled Mouse
Credit: Chilled Mouse /

CHVRCHES blares in my headphones as I search for the right entry point of the next tile piece to place on the floor of the latest Chime Sharp grid. Unlike many puzzle games since Tetris, the idea is not about removing the tiles, but using puzzle foresight to cover as much space as possible. Also, unlike most puzzle games, CHVRCHES is not coming from an outside playlist, but is the soundtrack to my success or failure in-game.

Each new “quad,” Chime Sharp’s name for any 3×3 square, serves to add more into the musical twist of your playthrough. Hearing the next few elevations of a track depends on creating the perfect chain of pieces together.

Credit: Chilled Mouse
Credit: Chilled Mouse /

With only two minutes to maximize tile coverage, the ease with which the game presents itself fades as the clock ticks away. Each quad you make or build up further has the potential to land you another note and another feeling of success. Each tile placed without direction feels like cause for panic.

Let’s break down how these mechanics work: A 3×3 square is a quad. Create quads on the board using the tile shapes given to you. Quads have internal timers that allow you to add onto them for a limited time. Once the quads time is up it is set to expire off the board and that space is now marked as covered.

The board itself has a timer called the beatline. The beatline crosses the board continuously throughout a match. Each pass it makes of the board sets pieces to expire and will remove any inactive quads from the board as well. Using any leftover pieces of the quad, you can fill in places of grid coverage you may have missed.

As you create quads and they stamp onto the grid, the time extends and you create a score multiplier. Let any of the leftover pieces from a quad expire, and you lose the multiplier. Keep making quads, keep multiplying points, keep extending the timer, keep adding to the music until you cover the entire board and the hear the song in totality.

Credit: Chilled Mouse
Credit: Chilled Mouse /

Chime Sharp falls under the category of “Games I Am Abysmal At But Love.” Similar games on this list include OverwatchParagon, and the entire Legend of Zelda series. This is no fault of the games, mind you, but my own inability to process the mechanics of what I am attempting to accomplish.

[Chime Sharp] challenges you to think of the full scope of each decision you make and rewards you with a smooth soundtrack you want to hear more of.

It is this feeling of complexity within the notion of simplicity which Chime Sharp pulls off so well. Tetris clones abound trying to mimic its feeling of success by staving off inevitable puzzle doom. Chime succeeded in using an idea and notion of experiencing success in the sounds you hear in 2009.

Eventually, the tiles will be cleared, but the more you chain together, the more of this pleasing soundtrack you hear. One of the trophies in the game is to spread a quad from one side of the stage to the other–a challenge for even the most thoughtful of puzzle heads.

Credit: Chilled Mouse
Credit: Chilled Mouse /

Chime Sharp does not attempt to shake up the winning formula of the original Chime from 2009. After all, the almost 1,000 backers who supported Ste Curran’s Kickstarter wanted more Chime. Instead, old fans will find a new soundtrack, new modes, new levels, and a new aesthetic added to the already polished Chime core.

In the end, this a game that welcomes newcomers to explore this wonderful addition to the puzzle genre. It brings with it polish and new challenges for knowledgeable fans as well. It challenges you to think of the full scope of each decision you make and rewards you with a smooth soundtrack you want to hear more of each new try on a grid.

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The above image is a breakdown of how the game judges your accomplishments. It’s a numerical breakdown. Yet, in-game goals are sensory. Accomplishment is tied to you hearing the full sound of the grid. Chime Sharp embodies this notion and, as such, it is difficult to give a numerical score.

Credit: Chilled Mouse
Credit: Chilled Mouse /

Let me keep it simple for you. Chime Sharp is a sensory delight and a thoughtful challenge. It is one of my favorite games of 2017 on consoles and is available on PC as well. If you have the spare $10, or equivalent currency, do yourself a favor and seek out the experience.

Chime Sharp takes the simple concepts of the original Chime and brings with it new music and new challenges and puts it together in a robust, affordable and unique package.. Chilled Mouse. . Chime Sharp. 9

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