Chuck’s Challenge 3D – Review
Follow Developer: Niffler Ltd
Publisher: Nikidu
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: February 28 2014

Chuck’s Challenge 3D – Review

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Get ready for a new puzzle game coming your way! Chuck’s challenge is here to turn your brain into mush (and other assorted substances).

Chuck's challenge Feature ImageStory

Chuck’s Challenge is the spiritual successor to 1989’s Chip’s Challenge, originally released for the Atari Lynx. If you don’t know what that is, you might need to feel a slight pang of shame as you ‘re opening wikipedia; gaming sure has changed!

25 years later Chip’s designer, Chuck Somerville has come up with what is basically a re-imaging of that very game.Originally released for the Apple Ipad and Ipod as well as Android devices Chuck’s Challenge has now found its way to the PC & Mac.

Before we get any further, no, you don’t play as Chuck. I know, I know, I was a bit flabbergasted as well initially but there is method in madness, bare with it.
Anyways, enter Chuck, a delightful, balding aging male sipping a cocktail in some tropical beach. Chuck suddenly finds himself transported into an alternate dimension by Woop, a whimsical creature who just loves to have fun (Is it still an alien if its a being from an alternate dimension? The question begs further study) and together they go on solving puzzles to their mutual amusement.

ChucksChallenge1Graphics

Being pretty much a straight tablet port, you can’t be expecting all too much in the graphical department; after all, when its all said and done, its a puzzle game. That is not to say that the game is not done well. The engine is good enough to portray whats going on on-screen and the animations are adequate. Braid or Teslagrad this is most definitely not and it is certainly not pushing any artistic boundaries in any sense whatsoever but it compliments the game nicely.

A nice little touch is the little conversations that take place between Woop and Chuck, usually in-between stages. The game does slightly spring up to life in these moments and you do feel a tiny bit more invested in playing as Woop. Its bare-bones animation work with what is basically cardboard cut-outs with text bubbles above their heads but it adds to the game.

Finally, this being a tablet port means that if your computer can run solitaire in 1080p, you ‘re pretty much good to go; no hefty graphical requirements here.

unnamedSound

The sound is nothing too deep or evocative. You have your usual, non-descript background music whose goal is apparently to exist, but not to exist too much; something to fill the void while your brain is trying to come up with the correct sequence of moves to get you to the next level. The sound effects in the game, work in pretty much the same manner.

To a certain extent it seems like the sound and animation in this game are simply acting as the backdrop; perhaps this is justified in the sense that this is a puzzle game but it does seem a bit bland on occasion.

262590_screenshots_2014-02-21_00002Gameplay

As discussed earlier in the review, you control Woop, the lovable rascal from another dimension. You control Woop using your standard WASD movement keys adding the occasional backspace when the situation calls for it (Backspace allows you to take back your most recent move, allowing for a quick fix if you screw up mid-level).
Considering this is basically a remake of the 1989 original, there’s nothing too ground-breaking in this installment. You move Woop around, trying to get to the end of the level, avoiding environmental hazards, picking up keys, unlocking doors, flipping switches and picking up power-ups.

The environmental hazards consist of your usual assortment of ice, lava and the ever-popular bottomless pit as well as the occasional mechanical construct and/or alien dog. To help you traverse said hazards you have power-ups that basically, just make you immune to said dangers after you pick them up.
Adding to that, you have the ability to reverse time, which helps you fix mistakes you might have done without having to restart the level, however this does not actually reverse the in-game timer itself which is still ticking and in that sense, removing points from your overall score.

There is a large number of stages to go through guaranteeing you won’t get bored any-time soon. However, if you do find yourself running out of things to do, there is always the level editor giving you access to player-made levels which guarantees an added layer of challenge and replayability. The editor itself is simple to use and there is a ranking system in place here, allowing you to get fame,recognition and glory everlasting, provided you can come up with a satisfyingly challenging stage.

chucks-challenge-3d-07Conclusion

If there is any critique to be handed out for this game, it is perhaps that it doesn’t break any new ground. Being a re-imagening of a game that is over two decades old, perhaps carries that inherent risk. Its not a game for everyone, but if you are a fan of the genre and enjoy puzzles, you ‘re bound to enjoy it.

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ModernDayCourtJester
ModernDayCourtJester


A late-twenties old soul stuck in limbo playing videogames; could be worse.

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