Mento's May Madness: #21 - Chime

01/05/12 - Amnesia: The Dark Descent12/05/12 - Nimbus24/05/12 - Chime
02/05/12 - Blocks That Matter13/05/12 - Puzzle Bots25/05/12 - Diamond Dan
03/05/12 - Capsized14/05/12 - Rhythm Zone27/05/12 - Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
04/05/12 - Delve Deeper15/05/12 - Starscape28/05/12 - The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom
05/05/12 - Eufloria17/05/12 - Tobe's Vertical Adventure30/05/12 - Gemini Rue
06/05/12 - Frozen Synapse18/05/12 - Uplink: Hacker Elite
07/05/12 - Greed: Black Border19/05/12 - Zen Bound 2
08/05/12 - Hammerfight20/05/12 - Max Payne 2
10/05/12 - Lume21/05/12 - A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda
11/05/12 - Machinarium23/05/12 - Avadon: The Black Fortress

24/05/12 - Game #21

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The game: Zoë Mode's Chime

The source: Bought during the 2011 Summer sale for a single Britbuck. Around the start of July, if you're wondering when this year's will probably begin.

The pre-amble: In this musical puzzle game, the player fits pentominos inside various grid shapes to create "quads" - quadrilaterals of any height or length equal to or greater than three blocks - as the background music's beatline constantly sweeps the board and eliminates existing quads to free up more space. The goal is to fully include every space on the grid in at least one quad. I think this is the first Indie game I've covered that came from my homeland.

The playthrough: Well, it's an interesting if slight puzzle game. I'm always up for a new spin on Tetris and this is better than most. Though, of course, the pre-existing puzzle game people are likely to compare this to is the PSP killer app Lumines. I haven't really seen much of Lumines, but I played enough to tell that Chime's continuing what that game (and Rez, admittedly) started marrying music and gameplay in a far more tangible way. But whatever, at this rate I'm just going to end up waffling about synaesthesia and harmonic synergy like some oblivious new media dipshit. Which was maybe Chime's plan all along.

Chime doesn't have a lot to it content-wise, with five songs plus a bonus track for PC users (Jonathon Coulton's then-ubiquitous "Still Alive" from Portal), but there's a few modes to mix things up. Well, there's two: Time and Free, with the former being more "game" and the latter being more "futzing around while listening to the music". Besides that, there's not really much more to say. The longevity is at least availed by a high skill requirement, especially when you're frantically trying to keep a big square going in every direction you can with as many useful pieces as you're fortunate enough to receive while still being careful not to accidentally drop pieces in the wrong place, which is super likely with how small the individual blocks in the grids/pentominos are. So really, being good at this game is like being Maverick in a Krogan production of Top Gun: You gotta have speed (and a need for it, even) and an enormous quad.

I think I'll spend the rest of the day imagining what a Krogan production of Top Gun would be like.

The verdict: I've seen everything the game has to offer and it's not super enthralling, so...

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