One of my favorite games to come from the early indie revolution was Chime, a music puzzle game that landed on Xbox Live Arcade back in 2010. It was tiny, with only five songs to play through in that initial release, but it was a great game for falling into flow.
Take Tetris, mix it with Lumines, and you’d have something a lot like Chime. You place oddly shaped pieces onto a grid, trying to make quads of combined shapes. A beatline moves across the grid, clearing quads as it passes. Your goal is to fill the board with cleared quads. The music was gorgeous, what little as there was of it, and there’s nothing I find more calming than meticulously clearing out a puzzle board.
Six years later, Chime has returned with the release of Chime Sharp on Steam. It punches the track count up to 15, including luminous songs by Chipzel, Message to Bears, Chvrches and Kavinsky. But the best thing about this new version is the inclusion of Sharp Mode, which does away with the one thing that kept Chime from being a perfectly relaxing game: the timer.
It looks like there’s also a new Lumines out in some territories, so 2016 is coming together nicely if you like to chill out to trancey music puzzle games.