Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Chip's Challenge

Go To

  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The vast majority of players tend to play the MS version over the Lynx version, mainly because its various glitches and design flaws make it the better version to Speed Run.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The original game has the 149th, final level (called Special). The previous levels that are part of the final lineup of challenges are great (Cake Walk is a deliberately-misnamed difficult level that requires careful use of blocks and the items present; Force Field is a gigantic labyrinth made of conveyor belts; Mind Block is a compact, yet tricky chamber filled with Cartoon Bombs), but Special is anything but. The only two things you have to do to complete it (and the game) are: open the four colored doors with the corresponding keys (which is too easy), then find the exit in a hide-and-seek game involving blocks necessary to cross the water moats, but some of which are booby-trapped with fire that kills Chip instantly (which is too hard). And as with many other levels in the game, here you can see the worst side of the gameplay differences between the Microsoft and Atari Lynx versions: In the latter, you can slap the blocks to move them without touching the fire; but in the former you can't and thus you have to rely on trial and error. Have you just got burnt with one fire tile? Time to restart and open those doors yet again. Fortunately, the Level Pack Fan Sequels as well as the official sequel (Chip's Challenge 2) all end with a much better final level each.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ear Worm: Turn the music on. Go ahead. Fun fact: one of the songs the Windows version can play is none other than CANYON.MID.note 
  • Even Better Sequel: Chip's Challenge 2, which basically takes the first game and adds Melinda as a playable character with her own set of rules and a metric ton of new puzzle elements.
  • Faux Symbolism: Levels 54 (Grail) and 142 (Pentagram). They're shaped after a cross and a pentagram, respectively, but they're otherwise normal levels.
  • First Installment Wins: Between Chip's Challenge and Chuck's Challenge. Knowledge of Chip's Challenge and its mechanics (both in the original Lynx version and the MS port) has risen dramatically over the years, and fans are still creating custom level packs to this day, most of which tend to be very well-designed. In contrast, Chuck's Challenge is mostly unknown, suffers from sketchy controls (at least in the iOS version), the built-in levels are fewer in number and are generally of lower quality than the ones in Chip's, and the user-generated levels are mostly terrible.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The "eProm", at first glance, sounds like a typical attempt to make something sound digital by adding the letter "e" to the front. However, it gains a new level of hilarity once you know that there's a certain type of memory chip called "EEPROM".
    • The message for completing Level 144 in the Steam version of CC1 is "That was totally gross, Chip! Now, just five more!" This may sound like an emulation of the Totally Radical slang in the original decade messages, but it also references the noun "gross", meaning twelve dozen (or 144).
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • Teeth monsters, due to their habit of permanently going after Chip.
    • Walkers and Blobs, due to their erratic movements which makes them unpredictable.
  • I Am Not Shazam: While Chip's Challenge does star Chip, Chuck's Challenge doesn't star Chuck; you play as Woop, playing through puzzles created by Chuck.
  • Advertisement:
  • Memetic Mutation: "Danny Field is the only designer to have had all of his levels rejected." explanation 
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The "Bummer!" sound heard when Chip dies. Get used to it.
    • If you're in a level where an enemy is controlling the buttons, expect the constant BOP-BOP-BOP to drive you mad until you turn the sound off. It's even worse in the Lynx version (and, by extension, the Steam release, which takes its sound effects from the Lynx version), where the sound for pressing a button is a louder, more high pitched beep.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Teeth are damn creepy when you're playing this as a kid. It doesn't help that they're the only enemy that actively pursues you.
  • Porting Disaster: The original Windows version lacks the smooth, fluid movement and animation of the original game and its numerous other ports; most noticeably, Chip and monsters "jump" from tile to tile instead of moving between them. In addition, it has several bugs that totally break the way that some levels were intended to be played (in some cases for the better, in other cases not so much). Yet, in an interesting case of Tropes Are Not Bad, this version is by far the most well-known due to its wide distribution and has still long been adored by thousands of players; in fact, most people introduced to the game on Windows didn't even know about the original game's mechanics until they were resurrected in Tile World and later the remake/sequel. The latter even has an option that emulates the "tile jumping" for those who are more comfortable with it. It's also the version of choice for speedrunners, since several glitches allow levels to be completed much more quickly than normal.
  • That One Level: For most players, any level that takes longer than 5 minutes. For others, a level with a time limit of under a minute is even worse. Notable examples include:
    • Level 23, Blobnet. For the first appearance of blobs in the entire game, having to deal with 80 of them while trying to collect 88 chips, where any misstep means you have to start from the beginning, makes this a huge Difficulty Spike, and the most difficult level in the first half of the game.
    • Level 33, On The Rocks. It's your first real Marathon Level, having you use a block generator to build bridges to get to tiny islands with the chips on them. It's exceedingly time-consuming because there's only a handful of generators throughout the level, and if you make one slip, you'll have to restart the level.
    • Level 61, Rink. Did you want a Slippy-Slidey Ice World where you can't tell whether a direction is open or will bounce you back until after you've slid? No? Too bad, because this level is exactly that for the entire map. "Thrash-a-thon", indeed.
    • Level 73, Morton. You're not going to beat it if you can't trap the teeth within a spot from which it can't bother you any more.
    • Level 87, Cityblock. You thought you hated block puzzles before? Get ready to despise them as you have to contend with four of them in one level (one of which doubles as a Kaizo Trap, since it's located after the chip socket and can block you from reaching the exit if you do it wrong). With a long completion time, even for a perfect run, and the game's trademark airtight window for error when it comes to block puzzles, you'll likely have had more than your fill of block puzzles by the time you finally finish this beast.
    • And what's your reward for completing that block-pushing nightmare? Spirals, the very next level, is one of the most notoriously difficult. In case a maze filled with ever-increasing numbers of random walkers wasn't bad enough, some Microsoft versions of Chip's Challenge have a corrupt level file, making the level nearly Unwinnable by Mistake.
    • Level 89, Block Buster. The blocks that are replicated by the clone buttons are very difficult to dodge in the Windows version due to a glitch that causes them to move erratically instead of remaining at a constant speed. And since Chip is a One-Hit-Point Wonder, he must never fail at dodging any of them.
    • Level 91, Jumping Swarm. Like Spirals, another level notorious for its large numbers of randomly moving walkers.
    • Level 105, Short Circuit. A nasty maze of chip sockets and recessed walls, which forces you to memorize the layout of the maze.
    • Level 131, the aptly titled Totally Unfair, which requires you to memorize the layout of a previous level, titled Totally Fair, and do the puzzle part of it while effectively blind.
    • Level 134, Pain. Takes over 13 minutes even in the best attempt where you know what you're doing and make no mistakes. Beyond that, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Level 136, Doublemaze. It's two mazes shuffled together. There's a huge amount of chips to collect, you need every single one of them, and thanks to the level design (ice and thin walls) it's hard to tell which maze a given chip is in.
    • Level 140, Icedeath. Solving this level without a map is nearly impossible, as sliding even once in the wrong direction results in death, and you can't see whether a given direction is safe until it's too late. It takes over 60 slides to reach the skates. Have fun.
    • Level 147, Force Field. Mazes alone can be difficult to tackle, but this one consists of force floors that hugely increase the difficulty level. The player has to frequently overcome their motion directions to make his/her way to the chips needed to obtain the suction boots and walk directly to the exit.
    • This is without getting into the Fan Sequels.
      • CCLP2 has levels that rely on unintuitive tile placements and a bigger focus on booby traps and random-working hazards and enemies, resulting in levels like Block Away!, Exit Chip and Blocked Trap where it's almost impossible to foresee a deadly trap on the first attempt. This reaches its zenith (nadir for the less experienced players) with the 93th level, Exit Chip, which does a deliberate attempt to troll players in every possible opportunity. Even then, there are more traditional levels that are still infamous for their difficulty, such as Mazed In (which for some reason is put as the 12th level), Warehouse II, Keep Trying, the two Oracle levels and Cloner's Maze.
      • CCLP3, despite eliminating the unintuitive and debug-like elements from its predecessor, has its second half often regarded as nothing but That One Level back to back to back to back to back to back, partly because of their notorious Moon Logic Puzzle nature. Special mention goes to You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks (CCLP3 144) for being harder than the already ridiculously difficult levels surrounding it. Solving it requires setting up no less than 5 rooms flawlessly so that one tooth monster can navigate through them in sequence to release Chip from a trap, so said tooth monster can control a toggle switch and then be trapped on ice so Chip can walk to the exit. Interestingly, in playing back the solution in Tile World, the focus switches to that of the tooth monster when Chip enters the trap. And like all fan-made level packs with more than 144 levels, CCLP3 treats this one as a Disc-One Final Dungeon only, so you'll still have to tackle five more levels, including the formidable duo Suspended Animation (146) and Avalanche (147).
      • Though not as vicious as their counterparts from previous sets, the later levels of CCLP4 can catch unprepared players off-guard, as they rely less on out-of-the-box thinking like those of CCLP3 (and never on the devious tricks seen in CCLP2) and more on multi-layered puzzles and compositions (meaning that you'll often see elements that seem useless at first, but come into play later), and occasionally on difficult instances of dodging or redirecting enemies. Good luck conquering levels like The Longest Track, Paradigm Shift, Japanese Game Show and Gimmick Isle.
    • Chuck is certainly aware of the infamous nature of some of these levels and provided achievements in the Steam release just for beating them. These include the previously mentioned Blobnet, On The Rocks, The Last Laugh, Rink, Cityblock, Jumping Swarm, Totally Unfair, Blobdance, Icedeath and Force Field.
    • The sequel has no shortage of these, due in large part to being a massive Sequel Difficulty Spike:
      • "Crazy", with lots and lots and lots and lots of sliding block puzzles in very tight quarters. The only saving graces you get are that there's no official time limit and if you just want to beat the level you only have to complete four of the puzzles to proceed (and you can pick and choose which ones you want to complete). If you're looking for a high score, though, you have to complete all 26 of them with no mistakes, while racing against a logic gate timer that locks you out of some multiplier flags after 10 minutes. Even worse, you have to do it twice, since a different version shows up as the final level.
      • "The Village", which involves navigating around a dozen Chip clones through a series of obstacles, with the ultimate goal of freeing the real Chip from a trap so he can reach the exit. The difficulty lies in the fact that there's no obvious order in which to complete each task, and the goals are often set up in such a way that they require sacrificing the Chip clone involved once it's done. Because all of the Chip clones move at the same time, even one mistake can cost you a valuable clone, and more often than not it will require you to start the entire level over again.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • There is exactly one speed boot in the official Chip's Challenge 2 campaign, and only during a demonstration of how monsters can snatch blue keys.
    • The hook, which allows you to pull blocks in addition to pushing them, appears in two levels: Flea Market and Line and Sinker. (It's never even mentioned in any of the lesson levels.) Thankfully, the levels it appears in at least make proper use of it as a gimmick.
    • Worse is the "bribe", an item that can be sacrificed when walking over thieves to prevent them from stealing any of your other items or halving your bonus score. It's given a proper introduction in Lesson 6, but goes on to be used just once for a very brief lock-and-key scenario in Flea Market (and a cheap way to limit your inventory to three items) and once to preserve the score granted from some optional bonus flags in Line and Sinker.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: