Saturday, March 12, 2016

Gaming Bits: Chip's Challenge

There's many great games in the Windows Entertainment Pack. It had many solitaire variations like Golf, Tut's Tomb, Cruel, Freecell, TriPeaks, and other puzzle and card games, like Dr. Blackjack Taipei (a mahjong type of game), Jezzball, Maxwell's Maniac, Klotski (a sliding blocks game), Pipe Dream, Rodent's Revenge, Rattler Race, Stones, and more, but My favorites are SkiFree, Fuji Golf, and of course, Chip's Challenge. SkiFree should be it's own gaming bits someday, but here we're talking solely Chip's Challenge...

Chip's Challenge was created by Chuck Sommerville, and was originally released for the Atari Lynx in 1989 by Epyx. It was developed in 10 weeks. The game stared computer nerd Chip McCallahan as he goes through Melinda the Mental Marvel's Clubhouse to join the Bit Busters. The gameplay itself was like the Japanese game Sokoban. an overhead block pushing Puzzle game. except Chip had obstacles like ants, color coded doors and keys, dirt, gravel, water, ice, fire, moving floors, bandits, teleporters, buttons and more. The game starts out easy, but gets increasingly harder as the game goes on, requiring some logical thinking plus trial and error., and this was before the Internet, so no GameFAQs or VGMaps to help you. The game was received well, but didn't get the attention it deserved since it wasn't released for the better selling Game Boy, but the Atari Lynx. The game was ported to many different UK Computers like the ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, and even a version for MS-DOS, none of which are fondly remembered.

It wasn't until the game was released for Windows 3.1 on the Microsoft Windows Entertainment Pack 4, and later OEM, that the game started to gain popularity, The game had 1 more level than all other versions of the game. It was made by Tony Garcia, a well known game programmer for Microsoft. This is the version of the game that put it on the map, thanks to being a version coming on a platform more and more people were using worldwide. The game had sound effects like "Bummer" and splashing. The Game is remembered by all those PC Gaming 90s Kids today.

Chuck Sommerville completed the sequel to the game in 1999, but was unable to release it due to Epyx give all their assets to a Christian publishing company known as Bridgestone, who just didn't want to release the game. Sommerville couldn't buy the license to release the game since it was just too much money they wanted. So many years later, Sommerville released a spiritual successor for Chip's Challenge, since his old game was pretty much vaporware for now.

In 2012, Chuck's Challenge was released for Mobile Phones by Niffler. It had everything that made Chip's Challenge great and then some, including a level editor, a rewind feature, and multiplayer. A couple years later after a successful Kickstarter Campaign, Chuck's Challenge 3D was released. it was essentially the same game but in 3D!!!!!!!!!! Also you had to pay for it, and it was on a horizontal screen. It was released on Steam for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android (on the Google Play Store). In this game you play Woop, a gremlin type of creature who meets Chuck Sommerville, and he has to go through many different puzzles created by him. The game was enough of a success to not only warrant a enhanced Remake of Chip's Challenge, but to release Chip's Challenge 2 after all these years...

Chip's Challenge 2 was an update to the original game that allowed you to play as Chip and also Melinda, It had 200 more puzzles for you to solve, new obstacles like Tracks, Spaces that block you if you have a certain item, and ice blocks. Melinda can access areas that Chip can't and vice versa.The game was generally well received, but felt a little bare bones for a $5 game, it didn't even come with a level editor included in the game, you had to buy it separately for $3, but the complete pack for $5 that includes both games and the Level editor, is the best version of the game in my opinion.

So yeah, that was Chip's Challenge, a nostalgic game that you can get for not that much money now. Who knows if there'll be another version of the game, or an update that allows for more objects to be put in, but it was amazing to share this game with you...


Oh yeah, we're going here, in this upcoming 3 Part Series...

A. Yoshi's Carranger Review, a goofy sentai series, reviewed. Racing to the finish April 1st, only on GO, GO!!!!!! CARRANGER, CARRANGER!!!!!

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