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US Gold Ltd
1990
Puzzle
£10.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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78
Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

Chip McCallahan was a bit of a nerd. One of those people who sits on their own at the lunch table because they've bored everyone else to death. He got the shock of his life when Melinda the Mental marvel sat down next to him. Chip had admired her for some time. 'Chip, if you finish the challenge you can join our computer club! The Bit Busters,' she whispered into his ear. Chip gulped, swallowing his mouthful of pretzels. 'I'll do it!' American storylines! Dontcha just love 'em?!

Playing a nerd in a computer game may not be your ultimate dream but when the action is as addictive as Chip's Challenge you won't say no! The objective is simple: just collect all the chips on each level to progress to the next. It's the complicated arrangement of moving platforms, deadly blocks and keys that bumps up the difficulty. Each maze is viewed from over head and the scenery scrolls around as Chip moves.

The graphics used don't really differ much from the original game for Atari's handheld games console: the Lynx. Mind you, there's only so much you can do when the graphics are made uip of small squares. But, of course, the simpler they are, the easier it is to see what's happening and using blocks as graphics means you can use as much colour as you like without colour clash! Whoopee!

The 144 levels range from the ridiculously simple to the stonkingly impossible! Each level poses a unique challenge and has its own password, allowing you resume at whatever level you last played the next day.

The addictiveness of Chip's Challenge takes me back to the days of Boulderdash and Rockman. Each level is set out so that the slightest mistake could ruin your chances of completing it. Fortunately, if this happens you can simply press the restart button and have another bash. It'll take a few games for you to get to know the levels, but don't worry about getting fed up after completing them all. 144 should keep you busy until the next decade! Chip's Challenge may not break the barriers of technology but it is great fun and after completing a level you'll be begging for more! Luckily for me I've got all 144 codes so I'm off for another go!

NICK ... 79%

CRITICISM

'Chip's Challenge makes a welcome break from violent shoot-'em-ups (I don't believe I just said that). The mind mangling puzzles range from simple to hair-tearingly frustrating but they're soooo addictive. Graphic style is simplistic, but with the playability so high I'll forgive Chip for walking about with a permanent white block around him. 144 levels is a lot of space. I first thought it was a misprint but the handy reviewers code sheet proved it to be true! I managed to get through the first twenty after a few days play - but, as the levels get tougher and tougher, cracking the whole game should take ages! One thing's sure: you're in for a lot of entertainment before reaching that elusive 144th screen.' MARK ... 85%

Not graphically stunning, but an amazingly addictve challenge.

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