If you're currently fussing and fretting about securing a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X pre-order, take a minute to meditate on the reason why you play video games. You play them because they're fun, right? You play them because you like a challenge. Now that you've sorted yourself out and remember what truly matters, treat yourself to Chip's Challenge, which is currently free on Steam.
Chip's Challenge is fun and challenge in its most basic form. Originally released on the Atari Lynx in 1989, Chip's Challenge is a top-down tile-based puzzle action game. Its graphics are nothing to look at, but every level presents an interesting new challenge to overcome. Sometimes you need to help Chip solve a box puzzle. Sometimes you need to guide him across tricky terrain like one-way floors. Sometimes you need to find items that let him leap over fire and glide across ice.
The Twitter account for Chuck's Challenge, a 3D follow-up to Chip's Challenge by the game's original creator Chuck Sommerville, announced the Steam freebie on Twitter today to celebrate the game's ripe age of 31. Download Chip's Challenge and help poor little Chip through endless death traps so he can join the exclusive Bit Club. He's really, really desperate.
Chip's Challenge has made the jump to other platforms outside Steam, though many of said platforms date back to the digital Stone Age. I played the game for hours on my 486, which I resorted to whenever my father hogged the TV with the SNES hooked to it. I am compelled to finally try and earn Chip his clubhouse membership. This drive, this desire… it troubles me in an age where my game backlog is already piled high enough to poke God in the bum.