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Chip's Challenge is a game originally for the Atari Lynx but later bundled with the Best of Windows Entertainment Package. It involves the titular hero, Chip McCallahan, who has met Melinda The Mental Marvel in the school science laboratory and must navigate through Melinda's "Clubhouse" (a series of 144 148 149 increasingly difficult puzzles) in order to prove himself and gain membership to the very exclusive Bit Buster Club.

The gameplay involves Chip moving about a number of tile-based 2D levels involving things like cloning machines, ice and force floor puzzles, and various monsters, attempting to finish a level before the time limit runs out. A sequel has been produced, adding numerous gameplay elements, but due to legal issues has never been released.

Fans have created several Level Editors for the game, with which thousands of additional levels have been created. Some of the most well received of these of these were assembled into the Fan Sequels CCLP2 and CCLP3 (CCLP short for "Chip's Challenge Level Pack").


Tropes used:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you fail a level enough times, Melinda offers to let you just skip to the next one.
  • Art Shift: At the end of the game, post victory dance, a red-haired, glasses-wearing Chip appears on the shoulders of a crowd. He's no longer the simplified sprite he was throughout the game. The Chip in the game's icon is the same as the one in the game, except with different colouring. This applies to the Windows version.
  • Blatant Lies: Level 146, Cake Walk. The level is everything except that.
  • Block Puzzle: You will never want to see another block for the rest of your life.
    • Training From Hell: If you can beat this, all but the worst block puzzles will never slow you down again.
  • Bonus Boss: Levels 146 through 149, accessible only when you crack a code in level 34.
  • Book Ends: In the first level, you learn to use keys of different colors to open doors. In the second, you learn to use blocks to remove water. These are the only two things you do in the final level.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Red ones rather than the usual black.
  • Collision Damage
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • Level 18, Castle Moat. Also, an oversight in level 20 means that you don't have to collect any chips, making the level much easier.
    • Thanks to a possible bug, it's possible to force your way across force floors if you are sliding on ice. This makes several puzzles trivial.
  • Determinator: Chip, according to the manual.
  • Developer's Room: level 145, Thanks To.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Level 144, Fireflies.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Although only one monster (the teeth) actively chases Chip, all of them are extremely lethal, as are multiple types of floor.
  • Excuse Plot: Read the first paragraph.
  • Fan Sequel: CCLP2 and CCLP3.
  • Frictionless Ice: Even more than the Block Puzzles; level 136, Doublemaze, uses this to create two overlapping mazes...
  • Hailfire Peaks: Every level where the four major elements (water, fire, ice and magnetism/suction) are equitably present. These levels include level 3 (Lesson 3), level 15 (Elementary), level 40 (Floorgasborg), and level 48 (Mugger Square). A closer relative to the actual Hailfire Peaks is level 124, Fire Trap, whose puzzles and obstacles are entirely based on fire and ice. Level 75, Steam, is a maze made of fire and water.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Locks vanish when opened, and so does the key - unless it's green.
  • The Maze: If it's not a Block Puzzle, it's probably this.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Level 138, Partial Post. The exit is right at the start, except a telepot tile will prevent you from reaching it. You need to lock all routes so that the teleporter has no option but let you walk to the exit.
    • In levels 46 and 66, the chip socket (which only open when all chips are collected), forks its route into three, only in one of which the exit is; in the other two, you'll fall into a trap that forces you to repeat the current level.
  • Marathon Level: On The Rocks, Cityblock, Pain, Writer's Block, Chipmine...and they're all nightmarish to play.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Level 34 is called Cypher, and in general, most level names are meaningful.
    • The Southpole level lampshades this in its hint.
  • Mercy Mode: Blow a level enough times and Melinda will reward your perseverance and let you skip it. You have to actually waste enough time on the level first, however.
  • Mind Screw: Level 111, Time Lapse. For one, the level has unlimited time; secondly, the level's mechanics doesn't seem to work coherently in the PC version. Are the bugs in the northwestern portion supposed to press a green switch that locks the entire inner area of the level (because they don't)? The reason for these weirdnesses is due to the gameplay differences from the Lynx version. In it, the green doors leading to the exit are toggled permanently after a while because the bugs do manage to reach the button that activates the switcheroo. One of the many porting errors gives you much more leeway.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment
  • Nintendo Hard
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Level 18, Castle Moat. Either spend the 10 minutes you get pushing blocks all the way around the island until you've got enough to walk to it safely... or go to the top right corner of the maze and find the hidden flippers.
    • The Microsoft version has a bug that lets you complete Level 60, Scoundrel, by forcing your way across the force floors surrounding the exit square.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Levels 54 (Grail) and 142 (Pentagram).
  • Shout-Out: Level 73, Morton. It is named after singer and talk show host Morton Downey Jr., and your primary enemy is the teeth (an allusion to the talk show's logo).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: This game has quite a few ice levels, but the most infamous is Double Maze.
  • Spiritual Successor: Chuck's Challenge, in which an alien named Woop recruits original game designer Chuck Somerville to build Chip's Challenge-style puzzles aboard his spaceship.
  • Super Drowning Skills: that is, unless you have flippers.
  • Tank Goodness: The blue tanks, which can be operated through blue buttons. Their most prominent levels are level 72 (Reverse Alley) and level 103 (Memory).
  • The Eponymous Show
  • Timed Mission: Only 29 levels aren't timed in the entire game.
  • Time Keeps on Ticking: when reading the hints located on the question mark circle tiles. Although it doesn't really matter, since you can pause the game while you're reading them. (When the game is paused, the action window is covered, but the info window, where the hints show up, is not).
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: Multiple levels, including Cellblocked and Icedeath. Take the wrong path and either you're stuck or dead. Cellblocked even tells you at the beginning how to restart the level.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The only explanation for how Chip comes back after all those deaths is one sentence to this effect in the help file.
  • Unwinnable:
    • Some versions of level 88, Spirals, have a bug that renders it even more impossible than usual. According to comments here, it's more of a Porting Disaster. The problem isn't a bug in the layout, but the monsters being more aggressive in the Windows version.
    • Many levels become unwinnable if you make even the slightest misstep. Alright, just a little bit more, and - wait. I can't get it out? But-but...NooOOOOOOO!
  • Vaporware: The sequel (not to be confused with CCLP2 or CCLP3). It's actually complete, but the copyright holder wouldn't let it be published.
  • Victory Pose: At the end of the game Chip becomes gigantic and waves his arms up and down in a kind of victory dance.
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