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Chips Challenge - The Atari Times

Chips Challenge

Meeting the Bit-Buster's Challenge
by Dan Loosen

December 9, 2004
I remember a time when I was young, and shareware games for my computer were a frequent and awesome purchase. I remember the time I spent five dollars to pick up a game entitled Bolo Adventures. Not expecting much, I installed the game into my computer and was met with one of the most skillfully crafted puzzlers and a game that I still take out on its five and a half inch floppy to play today. I followed up that purchase with Bolo Adventures II and another game based on the characters and they were just incredible.

Chip's Challenge is the same type of game, but dare I say it is done even better. It skillfully blends the best qualities from a plethora of different puzzle games, and creates one of the most fun and addictive puzzlers ever. You are Chip, a computer nerd who wants only one thing, to earn his way into a club of fellow computer nerds so that he can eventually try to hook himself up with his dream date, Melinda the Mental Marvel.

With such a strange game premise it is easy to see why Chip's Challenge is rarely listed as one of the best Lynx games to date, although it should be. Chip has to challenge a ton of different puzzles. In some of these puzzles, you must collect computer chips to make it past the exit. In others you avoid enemies, figure out how to build bridges, avoid obstacles, work your way through various doors and portals, and all in all have a heck of a lot of fun.

While the graphics in Chip's Challenge are not as good as the Lynx could have done, they suit this game and this style perfectly. The more important things in a good puzzler, like control, is handled perfectly. Never in this game will you feel like you could've done the puzzle right if the computer hadn't messed you up. Instead when you fail a puzzle (and you will fail many), not just do you know it is your fault, but you realize you must try it again because you can beat it.

Then, there are those times where a puzzle just gets too difficult and frustrating. Most games after ten or so times of failing the same level, I am ready and willing to drop the game into a garbage bin and let it rot. While Chip's Challenge doesn't take after Bolo in letting you select levels, it does allow you to skip a level once you've failed it one too many times. A very nice feature, even though you end up feeling like less of a "computer nerd" for letting the computer pass you.

When you couple the control with the fact that Chip's Challenge has over 140 different levels to try out, this game easily becomes one of the Lynx's true gems. The learning curve is perfect for newcomers and old-puzzlers alike, and fun can be found for all ages in it. Chip's Challenge can be found quite cheap now, and for the price should suit any Lynx addicts card slot just perfectly.

You don't find too many nerdy characters in games today.
Level 1 is the easiest you'll ever have it.
This level is a lot like the ST game, Four-F!
You'll have to deal with ice, fire, water, and other challenges to win.
Chips Challenge
System: Lynx
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Puzzle
Graphics Score: 80%
Sound & Music Score: 75%
Gameplay Score: 100%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 90%

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