Puzzles with shapes, puzzles with shapes… there are never enough puzzle games on the market based around shapes and Chime Sharp is another which is gracing PCs and consoles alike. Funded by a Kickstarter, Chime Sharp is a “crossover between Tetris, a music sequencer and a hypnotic pop dream”…according to the PlayStation store. For me, it’s a puzzle game which loses its charm quite early into the gameplay. That’s not to say it doesn’t have elements of appeal but the repetitive nature of the gameplay is unexciting after a while.
The game published by Chilled Mouse and developed by Ground Shatter, is a sequel to the critically acclaimed game ‘Chime’. You place blocks, score points and create music by doing so. It’s a pretty simple concept which has been done in one variety or another more than enough by plenty of developers. The gameplay is smooth and runs nicely, but once you’ve played one level you’ve essentially played them all. There’s nothing unique about each level from what I can gather after playing, except for the layout of the levels themselves. You are presented with a sort of board where you place your blocks, each of these level boards having a pattern of holes of indentation to make the levels differ from one another. You place shapes together to create blocks and the bigger you makes these blocks the higher your score and you keep doing this until your time runs out.
However, this time limit is one of the games major flaws. There just isn’t enough time to play the level to fullest. This makes the game far more quick paced than really suits it, especially for such a chill puzzle game. This, along with the colour choices for some of the levels make this game more difficult than it needs to be. Each level is made of different colours and one issue I found is that sometimes your game board was practically the same colour as the blocks themselves, making it unnecessarily awkward trying to figure out what shape block you’re place. Sure, lots of gamers like a challenge, but this is not the type of game that suits fast paced and awkward colour schemes.
Chime Sharp’s charm throughout the game is that you build music as you play. The soundtrack is down to you, and if that’s the case: I am a terrible composer. It was sloppy and messy and nothing fitted with anything else. I was creating music that sounded electronic which then had some sort of string section and even more electronic sounding noise.
The soundtrack is composed by eight different musicians: Chipzel, Los, Message to Bears, Shirobon, Timothy Schmalz, Magic Sword, Luc Grey and A Mote of Dust. Each individual layer of music doesn’t sound half bad, in fact they’re all quite good – but when you proceed with the game and mix them together in some sort of weird remix you get a complete mess which frankly spoiled the game for me; it was intrusive.
It seems the game focussed a lot more on the music than the gameplay itself. Putting together a good game is difficult: you need engaging gameplay, a mesmerising score and slick graphics for a successful game. Each of the elements individually are okay for what they are, but put together something didn’t quite click. I’m not saying this is a bad game, I kept playing and it was nice to just play to chill out but I couldn’t just sit and play it for hours on end. It’s a very cute game but I can’t sing many praises.
Now, unless your favourite genre of game is puzzle then I wouldn’t waste your time playing this. It is sweet and has its charm but it just isn’t worth spending money on for what you get. Sixteen levels and four game modes might seem like a decent variety but those levels all seem practically the same. There’s something special missing from Chime Sharp. It’s good for what it is, but has too many awkward faults to be able to recommend it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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