Chime Sharp Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Chilled Mouse

Published By: Chilled Mouse

Reviewed By: Leigh Wynne

Thank you so much to Chilled Mouse for providing a review code.

Story / Introduction

Chime Sharp is a musical, puzzle experience on the Nintendo Switch. The goal is to rotate and place, Tetris like shapes on a grid and try to cover as much space as possible, to create 3X3 quadrants across the map.  

You can increase your score by adding to your quadrant multiplier, all the while the music will evolve with each quadrant created. Chime Sharp is a journey of musical discovery

https://youtu.be/lhdkAY-xlxo

Quadrants

Each song comes with its own unique shapes and by lining up these shapes in 3X3 lines you will create a quadrant or quad for short. These lines can be set up horizontally or vertically depending on what works best.

Every quad gives a certain amount of points and, if you can add to these quads once they have been created, you can expand the ever increasing multiplier to score big! What you have to watch out for is the heartbeat line that scrolls across the grid. Any quads that are not being expanded will be consumed by this line. You really want to keep each quad alive and expand it to keep your multiplier going. If not you can miss out on a huge amount of points.

The charm of Chime Sharp is when you’re able to successfully cover an area and collect points that cause the musical score to expand. Each added beat turns the originally simple sound into an immersive experience.

Chime It

Chime Sharp is another unique musical experience on the Switch and it fits perfectly on the system. I’ve really started to enjoy the rhythm genre on the Switch with titles like VOEZ, Lyrica and others. I especially enjoy the titles that add puzzle like elements.

Chime Sharp does something rather clever using its Tetris like shapes to create quads, which increases your time limit and points. Yes, to increase the game’s intensity, there’s a time limit that’s set for each song. If you can create enough coverage and quads you can earn bonus time to keep you going.

 Trying to cover as much of the grid as possible with your selected pieces, all the while trying to create quads, to earn enough points to generate bonus time can be really tricky early on.

One of the really cool aspects of Chime Sharp, is as you actively change the playing field, the music changes adding beats and extra parts to the soundtrack. It really made me feel immersed into its gameplay. I constantly wanted to improve so, I could unlock new songs.

Control The Shapes

The controls are pretty simple, you move your pieces with the left analog stick or the directional pad. The triggers allow you to rotate each one of the pieces. You can activate the grid with the X button and place the shapes inside of it using the A button. It’s all fairly simple to get the hang of and becomes really entertaining, once you’ve gotten used to it.

Music

There is a total of 16 different songs/soundtracks that are available in Chime Sharp. Each one has to be unlocked, as upon loading the game only the first one is available.

The music ranges from ambient soundscapes to more upbeat tempo’s which I really loved. Out of the 16 soundtracks, I had 11 that, I personally really enjoyed.

During my playthrough, I really became invested In Chime Sharp. As the tracks slowly start to open up to you, adding new beats and sounds, you get the feeling that Chime Sharp isn’t just some low quality title. No, Chime Sharp is truly a unique experience.

Scoring Quads

There’s a constant time limit ticking down during each song, which I mentioned earlier on. The only way to increase this time limit is to fill the grid, keep creating quads and score big. However, this can be difficult as placing shapes can sometimes block areas you need to cover and should that happen, you’ll be finding yourself waiting for quads to be consumed by the heartbeat line, so you can cover the area that was missed.

After completing a level your results will be displayed showing the number of quads you’ve created, your largest quad, your highest multiplier, your total coverage and the total time it took to complete the soundtrack. You’ll also receive your final score, which will be displayed on the online leaderboard to compare with friends or the world.

Unlocks

By completing 60% of the standard mode, you’ll unlock a new game mode to play. Then by completing 60% of this game mode you’ll unlock another.

The extra modes are called, Sharp, Strike and Final challenge. There’s also two extra unlockables in the main menu that I haven’t unlocked yet and honestly I’m still not quite sure how to unlock them. While some may be annoyed that they have to play each song 3 times to unlock everything, it does add some extra replayability to the game.

Unlocking everything Chime Sharp has to offer, will definitely take some time. So far, I only fully completed a few of the songs, but I’m perfectly happy with that. Just beware that unlocking stuff can be a tad difficult and you’re going to need a bit of practice for each song. Each track comes with its own unique set of shapes and grid so new strategy’s will be necessary to plan ahead and execute to assure success.

Puzzle veterans may unlock some of this content much quicker. but the beauty of Chime Sharp is aiming for that high score to broadcast on the online leaderboard.

Audio & Visual

The audio in Chime Sharp is pretty good and I really enjoyed the wide range of songs that were available. I do really wish there was an option to listen to the different tracks in the options menu, however.

Each of the songs/soundtracks were good and there were a few that were especially fantastic. The soundtracks ranged from exhilarating and energetic to more relaxing and ambient.

The visual are bright and clear, but there’s nothing ground breaking here.  Each grid has its only color palette, with the heart beat line constantly moving across the grid.  Once coming into contact with a quadrant, it will consume it showing off little visual flairs. overall the visuals do the job, but they’re not anything special. Overall Chime Sharp is presented in a very well done manner.

Summary

I really appreciated my time with Chime Sharp. Its unique music/puzzle elements makes this a must have for fans of either of those genres. Chime Sharp is an interesting premise tied together with some kick ass tunes!

8/10

Pros

  • 16 Songs Enjoyable Songs
  • Music Evolves Over Time
  • Addictive Gameplay
  • Lots of Unlockable Content
  • Online Leaderboards

Cons

  • I Wish There Would Have Been More Songs
  • An Option to Listen to Songs in The Options Would Have Been nice

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