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|Number of levels||149|
|First release||1 September 1989 (Atari Lynx)|
|Well-known release||1994 (BOWEP)|
|Latest release||28 May 2015 (Steam)|
|CC1 • CCLP1 • CCLP2 • CCLP3 • CCLP4|
Chip's Challenge, often abbreviated to Chip's or simply CC, is a video game by Chuck Sommerville that was originally conceived for the Atari Lynx in 1989. It was later ported to other platforms, the most well known being the Windows port. The Windows version was first released in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack in 1992, and later in the Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack. It has remained a popular game ever since.
It was later re-released on Steam alongside the release of Chip's Challenge 2. A later update to this re-release and Chip's Challenge 2 added the option to switch the music, audio, and graphics between its new assets and the original Windows port.
The game features Chip, who wants to become a member of Melinda's select Bit Busters club, and is tested with a puzzle which he must finish in order to enter. The original Chip's Challenge level set has 148 levels (and 149 in the Windows and Steam version), but many others were created with level editors that were soon created after Chip's Challenge was released. Eventually, the community began releasing Chip's Challenge Level Packs constructed from selected levels from these custom level sets, each containing 149 levels.
From the CHIPS.HLP file distributed with the Windows Entertainment Pack version of Chip's Challenge:
Chip is willing to do anything for Melinda the Mental Marvel, more than anything, because he wants to join Melinda's exclusive computer club, the Bit Busters. Finally Melinda has offered him membership, but on one condition! Chip must find his way from one end of Melinda's magical clubhouse to the other, picking up cosmic computer chips along the way.
If that sounds easy, then you've never been to Melinda's magical clubhouse. It's awesome inside, but tricky, and a little scary too. There are teleports, invisible walls, force floors, water traps, locked doors, and plenty of monsters. There's magic, mystery, and behind the scenes there is Melinda, keeping score on your progress and providing helpful hints.
As you succeed in helping Chip move through each level of the clubhouse, Melinda gives you a secret password that allows you to return. And Melinda rewards perseverance. If she thinks Chip has tried long enough and hard enough on a level, she'll let him sneak through to the next level. But it takes a lot of perseverance to impress her. How big is the clubhouse? 144 levels is the rumor. But some claim that Melinda is still building. In any case, it defies dimensions so don't get lost.
The Atari Lynx version of Chip's Challenge has 148 increasingly difficult levels which Chip must complete, and there is a 149th level added to the Windows Entertainment Pack version. This original level set is often referred to as Chip's Challenge 1 (CC1).
As these were the first Chip's Challenge levels, they begin by introducing the functions of the tiles in the lesson levels, then tie them together in Nuts and Bolts, and add new elements only sparingly from then on out. There are very few levels of high difficulty in CC1 compared to future fan-made level packs such as Chip's Challenge Level Pack 2, as knowledge of puzzle design and game mechanics were comparatively primitive.
The levels were designed in approximately three parts: 1/3 of them by Chuck Sommerville, another third by a professional puzzle designer known as Bill Darrah, and the rest by Chuck's team of programmers and playtesters:
- James Donald
- M. Peter Engelbrite
- Victoria Hanson
- RG Goudy
- Stephen Jungels
- Scott Nelson
- Pete Wierzbicki
Among aficionados of this type of puzzle game, the Windows version (usually referred to as the MS version) of Chip's Challenge is famous for its glitches and busted levels. This was a result of changed mechanics from Lynx to MS and little playtesting in the MS version. Although there were many levels made easier, such as Scoundrel, some levels became far more difficult; the level that would become the Spirals corruption had to be changed because the walkers would spread far quicker under MS rules, and levels with extensive use of hot blocks such as Block N Roll and Special became frustrating trial and error challenges to solve due to the inability to block slap.
List of CC1 levels
|#||Level Title||Password||Time Limit||MS Bold||Lynx Bold|
|6||Lesson 6||WNLD (MS)
|9||Nuts and Bolts||KCRE||400||306||299|
|27||Go with the Flow||IGGZ||200||147||144|
|28||Ping Pong||UJDO (MS)
|33||On the Rocks||BQSN||---||684||631|
|42||Beware of Bug||LMFU||300||187||187|
|52||The Last Laugh||PPHT||400||382||381|
|68||Eeny Miny Moe||RTDI||650||489||492|
|79||Drawn and Quartered||JINU||300||220||218|
|83||Up the Block||OVPJ||400||298||297|
|94||Now You See It||EWCS||---||906||906|
|97||Metastable to Chaos||IOCS||300||290||290|
|107||Balls O Fire||ECRE||300||260||258|
|112||Fortune Favours The||NJLA||---||985||985|
|116||Block Buster II||HXMF||750||717||699|
|126||Block N Roll||QRLD||600||443||426|
Top 10 CC1 players
Current as of March 16, 2020
- Melinda score - 5,977,960; +8 is possible on Blobnet and +5 is possible on Cake Walk.
- Highest possible bold score - 5,977,830
- Melinda score - 5,898,160.
- Highest possible bold score - 5,898,080
- Highest possible bold score - 5,972,130
- The full high score list, what the records are, and who set and confirmed which records. Maintained by a team of volunteer scorekeepers. (Originally maintained by James Anderson.)
Older high score sites:
- Jimmy Vermeer's list of the high scores on all CC1 and CCLP2 levels, which has not been updated since 2006.
- Alice Voith's list of the high scores on all CC1 levels, which has not been updated since May 1998.
- Chip's Challenge 2
- Microsoft's version of Chip's Challenge 1 on 64-bit machines
- Tile World
- Chip's Challenge Level Pack 2 (despite its name, CCLP2 is the first official level pack produced for CC1)
- Chip's Challenge on Wikipedia