LGR – Chip’s Challenge 2 – PC Game Review
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LGR – Chip’s Challenge 2 – PC Game Review

September 12, 2019


[typing] Well here’s something I never thought I’d be reviewing: “Chip’s Challenge 2,”
the official sequel to “Chip’s Challenge.” The original was first released for the Atari Lynx in 1989 but eventually saw increased
popularity due to its inclusion in the “Microsoft Windows Entertainment Pack” in 1992. If you’d like to know more about those,
then I’ve got a full review video, so just look at those at another
time and let’s move on right now. Chuck Sommerville, the developer of “Chip’s Challenge,” had pretty much finished
developing this sequel back in 1991. But there was a problem. The publisher, Epyx, had gone bankrupt. Many of their assets were sold to a
Christian media group, Bridgestone Multimedia, and they were not interested in
bringing the new game to market. Sommerville tried to release it on his own, but Bridgestone would only continue to negotiate if he
handed over a large undisclosed sum of cash up front. He wasn’t able to afford this, further attempts to renegotiate
the rights went ignored for years, and the game was forgotten. In the meantime, he developed and released
“Chuck’s Challenge,” which I also reviewed in the past, but it was more of a stand-in for
“Chip’s Challenge 2” rather than a true sequel. Finally in April of 2015, it was announced
that the rights to “Chip’s Challenge” had been granted to his company, Niffler, Ltd., and the sequel was released on Steam on May 28. Has it been worth the decades-long wait? Well, yes and no as that depends on
how hardcore a “Chip’s Challenge” fan you are. Personally, I was psyched to finally be able to
play this thing that was long considered vaporware, if only for the curiosity factor. But as with so many things
that languish for such a long time, it’s normal to be a bit disappointed in the result. “Chip’s Challenge 2” is a game that acts
like it just emerged from a 25-year coma, not stopping to consider what decade it’s in. As a result, it looks and plays
just like a game from 1991, complete with MIDI quality music and low-res graphics that can’t be
upscaled to modern resolutions. Now I think that I prefer it this way, myself, in the sense that in such an unusual case,
I want the original artistic intent to be preserved. But being that it’s being released
as a new game on Steam in 2015 with a price tag putting it in
the territory of far beefier games, it’s not going to be an easy sell to everyone. That said, it really is a proper, enjoyably tricky
sequel to the original game from 1989. For starters, the look and feel
of the game is highly familiar, falling somewhere between the Atari Lynx version and the Windows 3.1 game, in terms of aesthetics. I can easily see this being exactly how Chuck
Sommerville originally envisioned the game back in ’91, and it’s just cool to be able to see this
finally step out of the shadows. But it’s a bit of a letdown that it’s such a bare-bones
program with only the most basic of options, and certainly nothing like the ability to
play at a scaled-up widescreen resolution. The game window is restricted to the same play area
as it was originally, which is fine, I suppose, but it would be nice to at least have the option for
some art around the edges instead of just black space, or even just to be able to play the game in fullscreen. And even though it’s a Steam game,
you can’t use the Steam overlay, and achievements are an old school pop-up
dialog window straight out of Windows 95. [laughs] Okay.
Actually, I kinda dig that, so whatever. The graphic styles and designs
of the levels are all awesome, though, and there are 79 additional features to play with, consisting of new game
elements, abilities and monsters. In some levels, you can even play as Chip’s companion
from the first game, Melinda the Mental Marvel. She not only looks different but can
access certain areas that Chip cannot and has different strengths and weaknesses. But even with all the new textures and logic,
the basic gameplay remains. It’s a top-down, tile-based logic puzzle game
with a timer and a goal for each level. There are a number of chips to collect,
which are often in plain sight, but grabbing them quickly enough is another story. 200 hundred of these levels await you this time, created by a number of talented designers, but the goal is always to reach the swirly exit tile
by way of logical object manipulation. The new items, tiles and enemies make
for some new absolute mind-benders, with things like dynamite, railroad tracks,
electric wires, logic gates and bandits. But again, it really is just more “Chip’s Challenge”
with very little in the way of evoluton. If anything, it feels like an iterative expansion pack,
and there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess, it’s just that I feel that it could also have done
a bit more to appeal to gamers of 2015, instead of just those of us from
the early-’90s who never got their fix. For instance, “Chuck’s Challenge 3D” included a rewind feature that made playing with game logic a breeze, but no such feature is on offer here. Again, I can understand keeping
the original game’s integrity in tact, but I also would just like to enjoy this
with some new optional features to get past the parts that didn’t age so well. It does let you skip levels at will,
but sometimes I’d rather just retry from a certain part than punk out on the entire thing. Ah, well. It’s is what it is. And what it is is a game for a niche audience of
“Chip’s Challenge” fans and retro puzzle gamers. The fact that it is now purchasable at all is a serious accomplishment and I’m seriously happy to see it! I’m not so happy about the bare-bones nature of it,
being a 2015 release and all, but I can also excuse it in a special case like this. I’m also not so keen on the level editor
being an extra piece of $3.00 DLC. Ugh! I could have don’t without THAT bit
of modern gaming business practice. But if you buy it in the pack
alongside the original game on Steam, you get everything for five bucks
at the moment, so it’s no big deal. If you’ve been curious about the sequel,
or have never even tried the original, it’s worth giving “Chip’s Challenge 2” a look. But just go into it expecting a
game from over twenty years ago, and the tappings, or lack thereof,
that come with such a thing. [ragtime piano] And it you enjoyed this video, then perhaps you would like to watch my reviews on
“Chip’s Challenge 1” for the Lynx and Windows 3.1, as well as my review of “Chuck’s Challenge 3D.” As you could see, I quite enjoy these games. So, uh, yeah. There’s coverage, if you’d like to see it. And you can also subscribe to the channel
to be notified whenever there’s more stuff, which happens every Monday and Friday. There’s also Twitter and Facebook and Patreon,
if you’d like to do some extra things, social and monetarily-wise… if that’s– Is that a phrase? I dunno, I just said it. And as always, thank you very much for watching.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I'm surprised given the context, they didn't release it on GOG instead.

    But I remember Chip's Challenge coming out on the Spectrum too,   had a whole bunch of new levels.   But Speccy programmers loved doing that for some reason,  like Marble Madness was the only port to come with a level designer.

  2. I had a friend who's Dad had an Atari Lynx and back in the day he used to sit in his study smoking his pipe whilst playing Chips Challenge. Oh the nostalgia.

  3. I find it fascinating a game like this is release. I see it more as a sort of historical piece then something meant to compete with modern games so I do not mind.

  4. Yeah, nothing is worth that much waiting. Except Fury Road, that masterpiece was worth a lifetime of waiting.

  5. Hahaha. The first game I EVER played back in 1992. I even burned the music of the game on cassette tapes with my dad to play them in the car. Urgh… the nostalgia… and … the destructive little gaming-seed that was planted in my brain. 😉

  6. I didn't know the game was called Chips challenge! I've been looking for the first one for awhile now, me and one of my friends use to play the first one a lot at school.

  7. I wonder how much of this existed before the rights were actually granted? I have very fond memories of Chips Challenge on Windows 3.11, but I think I'll keep them as memories for now and give this one a miss!

  8. Your voice is oddly deep in this video.  I do not know why, or if I am the only one noticing this.  I could just be crazy.

  9. Its cool to see a sequel . But sadly because the basic of this i see it been lost in the junk 99p games on steam . I see it being 99p at one point .

  10. When I thought it was freeware: Well, it may be old, but it's really neat that it's available to the public and I thank the creator.

    Now that I know it's commercial software: Wow, five dollars is asking an awful lot for something this old fashioned but newly released.

  11. Considering you get the first game along with it, 2.50 for the game isn't such a huge deal breaker, especially considering the circumstances.

  12. Can't say I'm a huge fan of the original Chip's Challenge, but this is cool the squeal got a release, but I would not pay more then $0.99 for it with it being so bare bones of a release.

  13. I wonder if the minimal options, lacking fullscreen, etc were on purpose in that the developer wanted to mimic Windows 3.1 style games released in 1992. It wouldn't surprise me given the achievements popup dialog, and the choice of using mid music. Still fits into the modern era given the rush of old school style titles from other studios (mostly indie).

    In short, Chip's Challenge 2 appears to emulate Windows 3.1 types games the same way that VVVVVV seems like a Commodore 64 title.

  14. I remember this game. I had it for the Atari Lynx. (Should still have it somewhere as I kept all my Lynx stuff.) I never did pkay the sequel since I'm not a big fan of touch gaming. I'll have to look into this. Shame it's on steam instead of gog. I'll have to hold ofv a bit and see if it gets released there first as I haven't been to happy with steam lately.

  15. I don't particularly want to play this game, but I love stories of spurned developers getting the rights to their IP back, and I love the idea of an absolutely genuine 90's program being released in 2016 as the result of a story like that.

  16. Does anyone remember a game very similar to this one where you had to 'save' little creatures before the clock ran out? It's driving me crazy and I can't remember the name! I think it was like 'Uhm's Adventure' or something??

  17. I'm about to download steam just for this, and they got the other one in a $5 bundle? This is great. I used to play this game all day when I was little (back in the early 2000s)

  18. Can't wait to pick up a copy of the bundle. I saw the original Chips Challenge on friends computers back in the 90s but I never had a copy myself. As it stood, even SkiFree I had to nab on floppy disc.

  19. So, all else being equal, would you prefer playing Chuck's Challenge or Chip's Challenge 2?

  20. I read the description as "Considered vaporwave since 1992"

    chip's  challenge  aesthetics

  21. Yes well he has reviewed all the previous versions 😀 Making a scaled version of the player window is on our personal To Do List to, as well as one of the most wished features, so it's something we should be working on soon. Got to nab some bugs first:

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/348300/discussions/0/615085406659298234/

  22. Ownership lost to the wind reminds me of what happened to Legend of the Red Dragon, and all of Seth Able's famous BBS door games.  He sold them to Gameport to focus on making new things, they updated them just enough to put their name on them, and then they were left to rot for decades.  The company barely exists today and apparently doesn't respond to support or sales.  He even tried to buy them back from them in recent years (hell, even I contacted them in regards to that at one point before that), but they didn't respond.  It's a real shame.

  23. Good god! I lived for Chips Challenge on the Atari Lynx as a kid. Had no idea there ever was a sequel. Thanks for the heads up!

  24. It's a shame he didnt/couldnt release it for win3.1/95 so it could be installed side by side with the original… oh well 🙁

  25. what is twenty five cm long, is a thick as a banana, and is attached to someone named S.N.N?

  26. OH I remember Chips challenge. Used to play it all the time. Great fun.

    Also I (still) have crap lap top that can't do 1080p60 or 720p60. Would it be possible to have a hd version of the video 30fps. Maybe its just me.

  27. This is really funny but happy news, not that I care much about the game myself. But OMG, how long did that animation of most of the levels take you Clint?!

  28. Hey LGR! Running with scissors just released a DLC for postal 2 a week ago! You should check it out!

  29. I put so many hours into the Atari Lynx Version. It is a top 50 of all time for me! By the way, it looked like garbage on Windows. I will wait and hope it arrives on GOG.

  30. Have to say, I grew up playing this Chip's Challenge and wouldn't buy this now, maybe 15 years ago i would have, but not now. As for this "christian" company, bridgestone multimedia group, I have to say that it seems they are just using "christian"  as a label, or have no idea what it really means to be a christian. (many American Christians don't.)

  31. Hey LGR, have you ever played DROD (Deadly Rooms of Death)? It's kind of like this game but more modern and has some of its own twists. It also has a story. I think you might like it. It's on GOG.

  32. When he mentioned it's on Steam I got interested and looked it up. By the time the video finished I purchased and downloaded it.This doesn't sound too special, but imagine telling that to your younger self in the 90's. We've come a long way.

  33. ahhh, I didn't know Chip's challenge was one steam, great video. Now I'm gonna sink hours into replaying chip's challenge

  34. Usually I'd be laughing hard at any application that uses the default Microsoft MFC icon as its application icon but I think this is a special case. See for yourself at 2:10

  35. I really hope irony doesn't wash over the owners of Bridgestone Multimedia group as they burn in hell for their utterly selfish un-Christian business tactics.

  36. Imagine being such a stickler for modern video game trappings that you can't enjoy 200 levels worth of puzzles without wincing at the "outdated" presentation. If Chip's Challenge 2 isn't worth your $5, then what the hell is? Kids these days…

  37. Pc Games si cool 🎮🎮🎮🎮🕹️🕹️🕹️🦊🦊🐺🐺🏆🏆🏆☯️☯️☯️🎊🎊🎉🎉😻😻🐱🐱

  38. Jeez, I thought by the way you were talking about the price being to high it would be $20+. Hell $5 for both plus editor is pretty decent. Not my cup of tea but still.

  39. Might be worth noting that in the years since, the game's been patched to let you mix and match the looks, logic and now even the MUSIC from whichever version of Chip's Challenge you prefer, for the Steam releases of both 1 and 2.

  40. A planned PS2 release of California Games was also in the works but was scrapped because Epyx, the creator, went bankrupt and sold its assets to Bridgestone Multimedia Group

    I still have the Nintendo NES version of California Games (Milton Bradley)

  41. I'm 15, played the original when I was six, loved it, got a new computer, saw this 9 years later, and got a nerdgasm from it.
    Both this game and my love for it endure through the ages.

  42. You should try out Wonderland, which is a game created by a company called Midnight Synergy, and you can find it on their website. It's quite similar to chips challenge, but with more simplified mechanics and clean cartoony graphics. It even has multiple sequels, and a series of adventure/puzzle games. It is VERY difficult, but then again, I've never played much of chips challenge.

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