Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Chime Sharp (Xbox One) - Review
People have repeatedly compared this game to Tetris and I have to say I disagree. Yes they're both games about placing blocks and clearing the board, but Tetris is so much more intuitive and simplistic than Chime Sharp. You don't need a tutorial on Tetris to know what you need to do. Chime Sharp tried to reinvent the wheel a little and didn't tell us that that was what they were doing, resulting in me playing the game for about an hour wondering why I was only getting 40% progression, thus not unlocking any new tracks or modes.
The reason for this, once you know is fairly simple, but it shouldn't be something that isn't clear from the off in my opinion. In Tetris the aim is to clear lines, hopefully more than one at a time, yeah? Well in Chime Sharp you clear blocks using "Quads" or blocks of at least 3x3. Simple enough. But you also have to try and use every part of the game screen. This is what the progression percentage is linked to, not how many quads you get or whatever. You're supposed to try and utilise the whole screen with your quads and doing so unlocks more of the song that is playing. So put a quad in one corner and then you never have to use that corner again. It is a fairly interesting mechanic, but it's one I'm not so keen on in all honesty, especially considering that the game NEVER TELLS YOU that that's what you're supposed to be doing.
You have a point multiplier in play that seems to be lost randomly. I ended up asking someone because I couldn't really see why I was losing my multiplier. Turns out that the fragments you have on the board (the pieces that aren't part of a quadrant) drop after some time. When they drop your multiplier waves bye-bye too.
As I mentioned before when you hit a certain percentage completion on each song you unlock new modes and new songs. In these modes is Sharp mode which sees the timer disappear and be replaced with lives. Earn more lives by forming the perfect quadrant and lose them by letting the fragments drop. You also get Strike mode which gives you 90 seconds to get as high a score as you can and Challenge mode which is basically the same as the standard mode but you have a dodgier board and a smaller variety of pieces to play with. Oh and you can practice any of the songs endlessly too.
In all Chime Sharp offers a pretty good alternative to games like Tetris, but to compare them properly is unfair on both. I'm a huge Tetris fan so I thought I'd love Chime Sharp too. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy my time with Chime Sharp and it does have that addictive "one more go" quality. Unfortunately though I found the colours used in game to be too bright in Chime Sharp for an extended play and whilst the game is addictive enough I feel like it just throws a little too much at you if you want those high scores. They both have their own merits, exclusive of the other, so if you're not a Tetris fan don't be put off by the people that tell you that is basically what Chime Sharp is. It isn't. It's much more than that, I just don't know whether I was ready for more yet.