Chippy – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade Top-down Shooter
Developer: Facepunch Studios
Publisher: Facepunch Studios
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Chippy – Review

Site Score
Good: Insanely well designed gameplay with immersive tension
Bad: The music could have been more original
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Raise your hand if you still remember a game with a spaceship where the (last) boss battle was extreme enough to give you sweaty hands for an hour as you tried to kill the boss as well as your frustrations, trying to not throw the controller through the room or table flip your desktop. Perhaps it was something like Lylatwars or any other classic. Enter Chippy, a game that thrives on that exact moment, to give you an opponent that’s beyond worthy and a sense of succession for every bit of progress you make. 


Chippy doesn’t have a story. But judging by the game itself, you are a very small creature/spaceship that set out to destroy multiple large to huge other creatures in space. Each of these larger creatures has a specific boss name, and it will sometimes shout out some things related to that name, or to the theme the creature revolves around. As an example, one of the bosses represents a religious idol or a cult, and he will say things to you about believing. Another is a creature that absorbs all other living things and will tell you to ”join him”. But there is no coherency between them by any other aspect than the game’s visuals.


Chippy is a modern retro-styled game, where the retro really stands out in the way that a lot of projectiles are flying towards you and you are in a locked container-like room, reminiscent of games such as Asteroids. It really stands out in its unique approach towards destructibility though. Every pixel you see can or cannot be destroyed separately, which is the core gameplay and the unique selling point of the game combined. This gives an overall feeling of a real new twist to the graphics as well, next to the game already being pixel perfect, yet simple at the same time. The animations and explosions are tight, and every time you destroy something the time goes slower and faster again in mere seconds, leaving you satisfied with your actions.


The sound that Chippy has is rather plain, which stands in contrast with the rest of the game. Well, the rest of the game is also rather plain, but simply designed incredibly well to its full potential. The background track is more of a simple track, or perhaps even a royalty-free download that has been used all the time. With more awesome music the game could have a (near) perfect score. The sound effects are effective in contributing to the retro feel of the game as a whole. Just like the graphics, the approach here is rather subtle. Numbing down the sound by just a tad when your lasers hit something you cannot destroy, etc.


With all the allure from a classic top-down space shooter, everything about this game is about boss fights. Large, long, intense boss fights. Every boss you try to defeat has its own unique quirks and set of skills, though mostly the game will come down to navigating through an absolute bullet-hell while still trying to tactically shoot your way at the right weak spots of your opponent. In a way, the gameplay could be compared to the legendary Star Wars scene where the Death Star needs to be blown up.

Essentially, most fights it boils down to the enemy having one main core that you needs to destroy, and multiple smaller (shooting) cores. The main core is often shielded by all smaller cores, which forces you to focus on them first. You can sometimes destroy a core by shooting it directly, but mostly you will find weak spots in the enemy’s network of pixels to cut parts off which will also delete the core attached to it. Basically, you have one gun to do this, but destroyed cores do drop two upgrades or weapons that you can choose from. Examples of these are a permanent slight increase of damage or a temporary turret that you can place to shoot for you in the desired direction. Also, the bosses have multiple phases, allowing you to get better at every single phase as well as giving the levels a sense of accomplishment in-between and the sense of a level being longer than expected.

The thing that makes Chippy great is that even though the concept sounds really simple with the ”shoot the boss” and the ”pick up upgrades” going on, the game has maximized its potential. Everything is so balanced, and you are busy with making rapid choices all the time, never slowing down on the action. Will you be growing stronger and trying to cut off parts just in time, or will you fall back in tactical spaces to avoid all the stuff that’s thrown at you first? It’s beautiful to watch, intense to play, and very gratifying to win.


Chippy is an amazing game given the old concepts it takes and the way it turns these concepts around to create something completely new and very well made. You know a game is good when it keeps beating you down and you keep rising up to fight it anyway, and perhaps even have fun by doing so. This is exactly what Chippy does and, apart from the sound perhaps, it couldn’t have done any better in many ways.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Chippy - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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