Posts Tagged ‘Chips Challenge’

Reality Glitch Plays: Chips Challenge

May 11, 2016

Well, a bit of it anyway, its got 144 levels.

In Chips Challenge you take on the role of Chip, our nerdy hero who is trying to impress Melinda and get into the Bit Busters club and um, ‘integrate technologies’ with her (words on the advert, not mine). The game is a vast (I play the first 10 levels here) and of varying difficulty. It has a whole host of weird enemies, traps and pitfalls try to prevent you from reaching your goal at every turn.

Using your wits and cunning you must navigate Chip safely to each level exit by solving puzzles and in most cases collecting a number of chips along the way.  You’ll need to use objects such as handy keys (blue, yellow, green and red) as well as shields to protect you from fire and water, boots to help you navigate ice, and a magnet to help you move about on what I’ve always thought was a demented escalator.

Anyways, have a watch of the video below and let me know your thoughts and memories about Chips Challenge!

I’ve also taken a quick look at Chips Challenge before in my blog post ‘Puzzling, one disk wonders on the Amiga

All the best!

@RealityGlitch

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Puzzling, one disk wonders on the Amiga

July 13, 2011

Puzzling, one disk wonders on the Amiga

“You need the blue key… Hmmm, you don’t say. Is that the same blue key I just used in that blue door which didn’t allow me to pick up the other blue key for this door…”

One disk wonders is a selection of my favourite puzzle and maze games that I used to love playing on my Amiga, specifically on rainy afternoons when there was either nothing good on the TV or, for some magical reason, I needed a more thought-provoking and challenging game to play.

These games were always first to come out of the box, and have seen many hours of game play, even though I still haven’t completed at least 3 of them. All one disk games they were quick to load and difficult to play, the game play and graphics for each varied in style and quality but they all required quick wits, concentration and a minor amount of mental agility. Some of them you’ll need to play without music, after a while anyway, and some of them you’ll be wanting to launch through the window out into the road, as one silly mistake can cost you the game. Still, I always came back to them again and again, some might say it was stubbornness; I like to think it was just great game play.

In no particular order, some puzzle and maze favourites for the Amiga 500, the games I couldn’t give up on, and still hope one day, to complete.

Chips Challenge

Release year: 1990 Publisher: US Gold Music: David Whittaker Design: Chuck Sommerville

In Chips Challenge you take on the role of Chip, our nerdy hero who is trying to impress Melinda and get into the Bit Busters club and um, ‘integrate technologies’ with her (words on the advert, not mine). The game is a vast and spread over 144 levels of varying difficulty, enemies, traps and pitfalls try to prevent you from reaching your goal at every turn. Using your wits and cunning you must navigate Chip safely to each level exit, solving puzzles along the way.  Along the way you’ll use objects such as handy keys (blue, yellow, green and red) as well as shields to protect you from fire and water, boots to help you navigate ice, and a magnet to help you move about on what I’ve always thought was a demented escalator.

Chips Challenge is a great top down puzzle and maze game. Most memories of this game start with the musical score by David Whittaker (Alfred Chicken, Bubble Bobble, Kid Gloves) which, although lively and quite funky at first, does nothing to help your concentration when playing, especially on a tough level. The music however does add great pace to the game and almost causes that extra level of panic as you race against the clock to solve each level. Some of the levels in this are painful to play, the maze level called ‘Brushfire’, which is quite early on in the game, always gave me a headache.

The replay value on this game is second to none and the levels are very well designed and thought out with some really challenging levels. The game eases you into it gently and by the time you get the hang of it you feel that drive to keep playing, completing level after level until you realise its 2am. The level code feature (as opposed to saving) lets you put this down and return to it later, one of the many reasons why this game works so well, its fun to play, a challenge to complete and a classic puzzler.

Puffy’s Saga

Release year: 1989 Publisher: Ubi soft Graphics and Sound effects: Fabrice Visserot

I love the title screen, I love the characters and I love the enemy sprites in this game, the dragon is also pretty awesome. My most fond memories of Puffy’s Saga are from its aesthetically pleasing look, more than likely thanks to a certain Fabrice Visserot (Flashback). The game itself is very hit and miss, the ‘Gauntlet‘ style game play is fun and the first few levels tend to be very simple and easy to complete (as with Chips Challenge) however, what you get after this first few levels is a maze of confusion and frustrating game play, leading to small amounts of crying and chucking of the game across the room.

The game follows the usual good versus evil storyline, an evil wizard has turned two star crossed lovers into yellow balls and sent them to the depths of a dungeon maze, in order to break the spell our heroes must find their way out by completing each level, and restore themselves to their human form. Sounds simple enough, but it’s not really simple at all, by that I mean I’ve not beaten it, but I want to, this reason and only this reason brings me back to Puffy’s Saga each time. I do love the characters and design of the enemies, a little fine tweaking and not so much madness this could have been a half decent game.

A good puzzle game should be challenging, but not impossible, Puffy’s Saga is the Yolanda (shudder) of the puzzle gaming world, in that you get the feeling it was developed to be impossible and/or boring at points. However, I can’t help myself with this game and I must finish it!

I’d consider Chips Challenge a reasonably succesful game, in terms of popularity and critical acclaim, as well as being one of the more memorable and classic games of this genre. Puffy’s Saga I think belongs at the other end of this spectrum, however, both remain as appealing and playable to me today as they were in the early 90’s. Short of doing a top 5, there were 3 other games that for me sat between these two games in term of popularity, great gameplay and quality. I still have fond memories of the following 3 games, although I didn’t play them half as much as the two above, in fact, although I own them all for my Amiga I believe I originally played 1 of them on an old Acorn computer in Secondary School.

Pac-Mania (1989) The one game I may have played in break times at school (alongside ‘Moonquake’ a Bomberman clone), was a great looking update to the original Pac-Man, with a nifty 3D isometric look. A decent arcade conversion this game is brilliantly presented and fun to play, with some great level design and colourful graphics. The added bonus for me with Pac-Mania was that it actually held my interest, I’m pretty terrible at the original but I felt I could get into this one more and wanted to return to it to try again each time.

Magic Serpent (1991) Was a fast and frustratingly difficult maze game set within a relatively simple scenario. The general idea was you navigated the maze (starting off as a small serpent) and collected fruit, which in turn made your serpent grow in length, the longer you got the more difficult it was to complete the level without running into yourself and dying. Certain other bonuses throughout the maze allowed for more points, time or to reduce the length of your tail. The idea was to collect everything avoiding any collisions with yourself. Taking a wrong turn would, most of the time, result in game over! Magic Serpent is a pretty fun and entertaining addition to the genre, with some pretty memorable intro music and a wonderful selection of sound effects.

Supaplex (1991) I’m still not even sure how to pronounce it, was a great game as well as a variant on the brilliant Boulderdash. I was fascinated by the level design, the bad guys and the graphics, which, compared to other games aren’t great. however these are all superseded by the superior playability and gameplay, which in itself was on Chips Challenge scale of size and difficulty. Another one I have yet to complete but I always enjoy playing and exploring, it is rewarding to plough your way through the levels as well as having the handy bonus of being able to save your progress.

If any of the names Magic Serpent, Supaplex, and Pac-Mania ring any bells, specifically the first 2, I’d love to hear your opinion on these games. I loved them, but I don’t remember anyone else ever owning them let alone playing them back in the day.

Check out links and videos below if you want to find out some more about these games!

Supaplex game information and review in Amiga Action 26 (Nov 1991)

Magic Serpent game information, seems to be an absence of reviews on this one so here is a link to its page on Hall of Light 

Pac-Mania game information and review in Amiga Computing Vol 1 No 9 (Feb 1989) 

Puffy’s Saga game information and review in Amiga Format 8 (March 1990)

Chips Challenge game information and review in Amiga Action 17 (Feb 1991)

Check out the Chips Challenge intro and first level below, the first level of Supaplex, some gameplay fromMagic Serpent and Amiga Longplay for Pac-Mania.

Chips Challenge

Magic Serpent

Pac-Mania

Top 5 Platformers (Amiga)

March 1, 2010

Top 5 platform games on the

Amiga

It’s always difficult to name a top 5, especially when there are so many great games on the Amiga to choose from. I’ve based this small list on games I love to replay, whether on my Amiga or emulated. They also tap into deep rooted childhood memories and good times to match!

I will emphasise this list “is in my opinion” (ah, the wonders of a blog) as with any “top list” on any subject it will spark debate, which is a healthy thing anyway and hopefully some of you will put forward some of your top platformers for the Amiga as well! 

After playing through a few of my favourites, and ones I haven’t played before, my list grew substantially from the initial 5. However, as much as I’d love to waffle on these games will be hailed as an honourable mention and came close to making my list; Superfrog, Rodland, Rainbow Islands, Harlequin, Gods and Wolfchild. 

 Flashback 

Flashback is an immensely good game with great graphics and great cut scenes to move the game along in-between each level. It moves away from the usual “bouncy, jumpy” platformer and provides more of an RPG feel to it. The controls are smooth and really run well with the graphics. The intense music really sets the atmosphere for the whole game and the sound effects throughout set the tone nicely. Gameplay and appearance is similar in style to Another World but Flashback has a longer, and in my opinion better storyline (the puzzles are trickier but also follow a logical pattern). A great mix of action and puzzle solving Flashback is one I can play over and over again, even the courier jobs in level 2 aren’t all that bad. I love the intro sequence to this game and it sticks firmly in my memory to this day, the graphics blew me away and with the upbeat music felt like you were watching the intro to a movie. Good times.  

Amiga Computing 62 (Jul 1993) gave Flashback 94%  

The Great Giana Sisters  

Whichever way you like at the Great Giana Sisters people will always shout out something about Mario, but I remember first loading this up on my Amiga and being hooked right away (for an eight year old boy the title screen was fascinating in itself). I felt no need to sit there and think “this is just like that NES game” and so I played through without the hindrance of over analysis that seems to limit the mind once you’ve reached adulthood. I took it for what it was, the graphics were bright and colourful, the gameplay fun and easy going but still retained that challenging aspect to it (timing some jumps was essential). It’s certainly not the easiest game to complete and the 2 player option is just basically the same thing over again but you’ll want to make it to the end, just because. It’s also one of the few games on my Amiga I remember my sister playing (alongside Monster Business, Magic Serpent and Chips Challenge) and as far as I remember she was able to get much further through the game than I could… probably had more patience. An awesome game and worth revisiting, the music is pretty lively too.  

Article in AUI Vol. 2 No. 9 (Sep 1988) for The Great Giana Sisters
 
Turrican II  

As soon as I read or think of the name Turrican the same funky signature theme tune pops into my head and I instantly feel the need to load it up. Turrican is a fast paced platformer and one where it’s not wise to stop for too long, the amount of enemies on screen doesn’t slow the game down and you’ll always find you’re up against an enemy. The game has a great variety of weapons in order to help you take out bad guys in more ways than one; namely bounce, laser and multiple, (add in the extra morph-ball move) and you have everything you need to make it through the games 5 distinct worlds, each with its own great piece of music by Chris Huelsbeck. I love it for its intensity and non-stop gameplay, the graphics look clean and polished and I find its one of the more challenging platformers for the Amiga. On more than one occasion this game has grabbed my attention, and is one of the few times playing it became more important than being called down for dinner. Turrican II is certainly my favourite of the series but I do have a soft spot for Turrican III, mainly for the cool swingy gadget.  

CU Amiga (Feb 1992) review of Turrican II scored 94%  

Magic Pockets  

I played this because I saw it being played on Saturday morning TV (either Motormouth or Going Live!). Either way during the shows the contestant played the game either by shouting the controls down the phone or by using a touch tone phone. I loved the little character (Bitmap Kid) and the ‘cool’ (for the 90’s) animated intro sequence. BK had a unique way of taking out the bad guys, although it never made much sense why a snail would change into a candy cane after being engulfed by a whirlwind which came out someone’s pocket… crazy as that sounds when you write it down it makes sense in this awesome game. Another great from the Bitmap Brothers! The game is long enough to keep you amused for hours, until you turn to look at the clock and realise your late for school (you then get to school and remember it’s a Saturday) and feel like a complete ninny, but with the added bonus you can return home and carry on playing. The level designs are brilliant and the secret passages add an extra puzzle element to the gameplay. The game includes an impressive variety of bad guys and extra levels to keep you reaching into to your pockets for a long time to come… ooo er.  

Amiga Action 25 (Oct 1991) gave Magic Pockets 93%  

James Pond II: Robocod  

Who doesn’t want to save a bunch of hapless penguins at Christmas time from the evil yet brightly coloured clutches of James Ponds arch nemesis Dr. Maybe? It’s certainly one of the most memorable platformers for me as I was a huge fan of the James Bond movies (still am, natch) and the first Pond game. In order to defeat Dr. Maybe (who has taken over Santa’s workshop in the North Pole) Pond is equipped with a robotic suit which allows him to extend is body and grip onto very high platforms, and then shimmy along them past all manner of bad guys and deadly traps. Robocod is a great game and a welcome improvement on the gameplay of the first game (I found the underwater controls far too sensitive and the gameplay very repetitive). Robocod also introduces a series of vehicles for our hero to use adding another dimension to the game, these include a car, plane and um, a bathtub. The game looks and feels polished and is definitely the best in the series (the third game felt like a combination of the first and second without the cool robotic suit) and for all its colour and overly cute level designs the game is the most challenging, and in some places just a little bit sinister.  

Amiga Power 7 (Nov 1991) gave James Pond II: Robocod 87%  

Hope found this Top 5 enjoyable and informative, 2 awesome resource sites for everything Amiga can be found here at Amiga Magazine Rack and Lemon Amiga!  

I have also previosuly reviewed Superfrog! Check it out here!