Chime Sharp

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Chime Sharp Game Poster Image
Soothing puzzler moves to its own beat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Integration of music helps to build kids' interest in the fundamentals, including things like tempo and composition.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This is a straight-up puzzle game, with no other characters aside from the player. Therefore, no positive, negative role models.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn. Multiple difficulty levels challenge players, but core mechanics never change. At higher difficulties, it's more about reflexes, timing.

Violence & Scariness

Direct sequel to 2010 puzzle game Chime; was funded for development by Kickstarter.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chime Sharp is a downloadable music-based puzzle game and the sequel to the original 2010 game, Chime. The puzzle aspect of the game makes use of both the tempo and composition of original musical scores, potentially building up kids' interest in creating similar music of their own. The game is simple to pick up and play, with higher difficulties more focused on timing and quick thinking. The game has zero violence, with players simply placing blocks to create geometric shapes in time with the background music.

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What's it about?

CHIME SHARP is a musical puzzle game that challenges players' reflexes as they twist, turn, and drop random geometric shapes, all to the beat of some catchy instrumental scores. Each stage is made up of a grid with a vertical "beat line," which slides across the screen in time with the music for that stage. Players use the random puzzle shapes to cover sections of the game board in "quads" of three-by-three or larger. As the beat line hits these quads, it clears the quad from the board, shading that area of the board but reopening it to place more pieces. The ultimate goal is to try to shade in the entirety of the gameboard with quads before the timer runs out.

Is it any good?

This is a game with simple yet elegant gameplay requiring players to move basic brightly lit shapes and set them to the soothing beats of some original music. While some puzzle games rely on shiny gems, big explosions, nifty power-ups, and other tricks to keep the player distracted, this game moves away from that frenetic pace. It tries to keep things simple and just let the player go with the flow. That's the appeal of Chime Sharp. Its elements come together to make for an almost Zen-like balance of quick thinking and calm relaxation.

Although Chime Sharp may be a relatively relaxing game, that doesn't mean it's a cakewalk by any means. The game gets even trickier as quads get removed from the board, leaving straggling bits of the puzzle pieces in their wake scattered around the grid. These extra bits left behind can sometimes work in your favor, fitting perfectly inside a new quad, but more often than not they just get in the way. You also have to remember about each stage's time limit while trying to maintain combo streaks to keep racking up that high score. It's a lot to absorb at once, especially on the game's higher difficulties. Yet, even as it gets a bit more frantic, the game never crosses that line into being frustrating. If there's one big complaint to be had, it's that the overall experience feels just a bit … small. With only 15 music tracks to choose from and little variety between stages other than cosmetic changes, it can start to feel a bit repetitive. Even so, Chime Sharp is still a wonderful puzzle game, perfect for those moments you want to just zone out and come away with a clear head.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about music. What are some of the ways that listening to different types of music can help us with our thinking? Is it more of a benefit or a distraction?

  • Talk about critical-thinking skills. How can puzzle games such as Chime Sharp not only improve reflexes but also quick critical-decision-making?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

Themes & Topics

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