Chime consists of laying block pieces down on a grid and creating "quads". Quads are formed when you make a contiguous set of 3x3 squares. Each block is of a varying shape and is made up of squares which cover the grid. Once a quad is created it begins to fill up. Quads that are in the process of filling up can be extended by adding blocks to any its four sides. If one side of the quad is completely lined with squares those squares are added to the quad and it begins filling again. Points are scored as quads fill up. When completely full quads become solid. They can no longer be extended and can no longer be used to create new quads.
A beatline travels from left to right across the grid at regular intervals. As soon as it passes off the right side of the grid, it appears again on the left side. When the beatline passes over a completed quad, that quad disappears and is added to coverage. The area the completed quad covered is now available again to places blocks on, and it's shaded red to denote that part of the grid has been covered. Coverage is tracked throughout the game from 0%-100%.
By creating quads a score multiplier increases and more points are scored as more quads are created. Any extraneous squares that are not converted to quads will disappear after several passes of the beatline. These extra squares start to flash when they're about to disappear. Once that happens to any single square, all non-quads disappear from the grid and the score multiplier is reset to 1x.
There are two main modes of play in Chime: Time Play and Free Play. In Time Play you choose a time limit of 3, 6, or 9 minutes before the game begins. This is the only mode in which scoring takes place. When time runs out the game is over, but time can be extended by increasing coverage. Covering 100% of the board increases score and the coverage limit goes up to 200% essentially giving the opportunity to cover the grid again. Free Play has no time limit and no scoring.
Each level has different music, beatline speed, block shapes and grid shapes.
Release and Charity
Chime was released February 3rd, 2010 on XBLA for 400 Microsoft Points ($5). For the following 10 months, Zoë Mode donated all proceeds from Chime sales (60% of the sale price) to the charity OneBigGame, who in turn donated over 80% of its income towards UK charities Save The Children and Starlight Children's Foundation.
After December 1, 2010, the proportion donated changed to 5% of the 400 Microsoft Point sale price, matching the proportion donated from PC sales.
As additional incentive for purchasing the game and the ensuing charitable donation, the game immediately awards the 50G achievement "Fairy Godmother" when first launched, thanking the player for their donation.
Chime for PC was released over Steam on September 6th for $4.99. It is largely similar to the XBLA version but with an additional 6th track "Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton from the game Portal. It features Steamworks integration, 15 achievements and controller support.
Chime is coming to PSN in Spring 2011 under the name "Chime Super Deluxe" and adds the following features:
- 10-song tracklist
- Two multiplayer modes
- Philip Glass - "Brazil"
- Moby - "Ooh Yeah"
- Paul Hartnoll - "For Silence"
- Markus Schulz - "Spilled Cranberries"
- Fred Deakin - "Disco Ghosts"
- Jonathan Coulton - "Still Alive" (Steam Exclusive)
- Shlomo - "The Looping Song" (Super Deluxe Exclusive)
- Plaid - "Tender Hooks" (Super Deluxe Exclusive)
- Sabrepulse and Jorden Milnes- "Play With You" (Super Deluxe Exclusive)
- Joe Hogen - "Sympathy" (Super Deluxe Exclusive)
- Nathan McCree - "Machine Dream" (Super Deluxe Exclusive)