Charity gaming? Mind if I Chime in?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on May 11, 2010 12:32 (May 11, 2010 12:32)
Written by: Alex
"Chime" sits as OneBigGame’s first offering. A charitable game company their first title is an XBLA puzzle game retailing for a mere 400 Microsoft points.
Donating all of the profits from the game to children’s charities (Save the Children and Starlight Children’s Foundation) it more than justifies its price tag thanks to what it represents to the world of gaming; a chance to give money to a worthwhile cause and show that gamers are more than self-indulgent shut-ins.
Not content with being socially conscientious it is also one of the best puzzlers I have played on the 360. I will elaborate below, but will begin by saying you should buy this game now.
A simple grid based puzzle game makes up the core of Chime. Placing players on a variety of boards they are given shapes made up of five blocks stuck together. Each area is filled with different shapes so tactics are always changing slightly to accommodate these new board and block shapes. With no time restriction on when to place the shapes it isn’t especially frantic, but to get higher scores fast thinking and reflexes are essential. As with all such games it is far easier to understand once your playing (so buy it because its ace and for charity) but I will try and explain in more detail.
Forming parallelogram with dimensions of at least 3x3 is games immediate objective. Completing one of these shapes causes it to begin to fill with colour. This colour acts as a timer, and once filled it becomes no longer playable, and is eventually removed from the board by a scrolling tempo bar (as in Lumines). Before a shape is made unusable it is possible to reset the counter and increase the size of the shape (and thus its score value) by adding new rows or columns to its dimensions (e.g. 3x3 to 4x3).
Even after shapes are made their ‘shadow’ remains. This shaded area or ‘coverage’ is vital as only by covering sixty percent of the play area are new levels/boards unlocked. This is really the ‘goal’ of the game during the timed mode (three, six or nine minute settings). While score still plays in to this mode (and in the online rankings) the real aim is to reach this sixty percent coverage on each of the five boards.