Chip’s Challenge 1 & 2 Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Chip’s Challenge 1 & 2 Review



25 years ago a game called Chip’s Challenge grazed the lives of many Microsoft gamers. I wasn’t around the time Chip was released, but I do have some fond memories playing it throughout my grade school years. This was a game in which I competed with my buddies as we raced to see how fast we could get through all the levels in the game – damn near impossible. If one of us got past a level gloating would ensue, with the rest of us wondering how did he do it. Now Chip is back in this wannabe remake of the original title and with an addition of the first ever release of Chip’s Challenge 2. Is this game the same as it was in my early gaming years?


This is the size of resolution…. can’t be altered.

Firstly, I don’t remember there ever being a story but apparently there is one, and it’s not very eye-popping. The tale is simple; Chip joins the Bit Buster Computer Club and wants to win the heart of his true love, Melinda. Unfortunately, she is a cold hearted bitch and cannot accept Chip’s love until he completes challenges – 144 of them. Pretty desperate for someone to go so whole heartily out the way and win these grueling challenges. The second Chip’s Challenge isn’t any better as the story continues after Chip already won the heart of Melinda. Regrettably, the Brain Club Committee Challenges the duo to a competition in who is the best. This creates a race of who is the best Bit Buster: Chip or Melinda. See? Not a stunning story but Chip’s Challenge was never about the story but more for the gameplay.

Gameplay is what defines Chip’s Challenge to this day. If you ask anyone born in the 90’s about Chip’s Challenge they would most likely scream nothing but praise for the game’s puzzles and difficult levels. Some features have changed in the remake, and that’s a good thing. The positive news is all the levels from what I can remember are still in the game. Surprisingly enough, I was able to whirl through most of them on my first try but for those who have not played this classic the levels are basic – for the most part. You are a Chip – a nerd with glasses and a backpack – and your objective is to collect all the chip pieces scattered throughout each of the 144 levels given. There will be many challenges to face including keys to collect, objects to use (fire boots or ice skates), burning walls and some weird creatures to deal with. The stellar thing about Chip’s Challenge 2 is the original developer (Chuck Summerville) spent two years making the game and just released it this year. If you didn’t think Chip could hold any more content, then you thought wrong. More baddies with 200 more levels, challenges and two playable characters – that’s quite a bit of content. On top of all that there is an achievement system allowing the game to serve a purpose in playing through every individual level rather than skipping the tough ones. Finally, Chip’s Challenge offers a level editor but the only downside toward the editor is that you have to purchase the DLC. The question bouncing around in my head is if the maps made from the editor can be shared as Workshop items to other steam players, yet I’ve no answer to offer as of now.

The Negative thing about both Chips’ Challenge games has nothing to do with the gameplay but more with the visual effects, sound effects, and resolution. The resolution seems to be the worst thing about both of these games as there’s no option to change the size and enable full screen. Both Chip’s games open up at a 400×600 resolution adding discomfort to my eyes as I had to scoot up close to my monitor rather than kicking back and relaxing. According to the devs’ forum posts this will be fixed in later updates but is a disappointment not have it on launch day. Visually the game is mediocre, and while this is okay for the older gamers, others may be a bit taken aback by how the level design is. Also, what the hell happen to Chip? They modernized his character model to a skinny nerd with glasses instead of a kid with shirt and pants – this has no effect on the score I’m just nerd raging. Sound effects and music are not terrible nor do they bring joy to my ears. The effects are very basic with beeps for every chip byte picked up and, well, death. Death is the most memorable sound as Chip dies quite a few times in both games – along with Chip’s companion. The background music plays old-timey, ragtime tunes from the composer Scott Joplin. Alas, as you progress through each puzzle the more tedious and redundant the music and sound effects become – especially when doing a puzzle that requires the collection of 350 chips. Luckily – before grabbing the closest object you can find to gouge your eardrums out – there is a mute sound option.

Overall, both Chip’s Challenge games are quite good but I felt as though it wasn’t a remake that it seemed like it should have been. Although, the fact that the original game developer sought through and completed the second one after 25 years for his fans is a sure fire winner in my books. Also by adding achievements and loads of levels with a level editor (albeit DLC-locked one) will surely keep the fans satisfied.