Chime: A True Music Game

Going further into one of Steam’s sale gimmicks, I bought Poker-night at the Inventory and Chime. Today I will discuss the latter and I’ll discuss the former some other time. Unlike most music games, rather than building game-play off of music, Chime builds the music from the players actions. Like most music games the game-play reflects musical functions such as breakdowns and crescendos.

Conceptually, Chime is simply Tetris on a two dimensional bi-linear mechanic. Rather than building a continuous line at the bottom of a pit, you are building a box on a flat surface. For anyone who has played Tetris, the skill required is already redundant. Whilst playing a beat mapping line will cross the screen, striking bricks on the surface that resemble notes. This effect on the music reflects the player’s status in game-play. For instance if there is less clutter on the board, the music will be calm, crisp and relaxed.

Music games similiar to Chime, like Audiosurf and Beat Hazard use game-play to emphasize changes in intensity. Audiosurf had steep inclines and declines, Beat Hazard had enemy counts and jerky visual effects, Chime has clutter. In Chime clutter builds up as a natural side effect of game-play, like in Tetris. Having the intensity build through this more subtle technique makes the pace more natural and unenforced.

Making the experience all the more interactive is really what sells it for me. Having the music actually modify depending on the player input, in my opinion exalts Chime as a true music game. This game is definitely worth the $5, eventhough the ability to use your own music selection is not available.

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