23 Years After It Was Made, Chip's Challenge 2 Is Finally Out

23 Years After It Was Made, Chip's Challenge 2 Is Finally Out

Chip's Challenge 2 was finished more than 20 years ago. And yet, it didn't come out until today. What the hell happened?

The original Chip's Challenge was a puzzle game released in 1989 for Atari Lynx. It was then ported to the Amiga, C64, and the PC. Creator Chuck Sommerville spent two years plumbing the puzzle chambers of his mind for a sequel, but when he emerged he found that something terrible had happened: the Chip's Challenge trademark had been sold, and the new trademark holder wanted him to fund the publishing. He couldn't afford it, and the trademark holder wouldn't budge. Sommerville had no choice but to drop the game and move on with his life.

"I generally thought the only way Chip's Challenge 2 was ever going to see the light of day was by having my wife leak it on the internet on my death," Sommerville said in a statement.

Sommerville eventually reemerged with the crowdfunded (and well-received) Chuck's Challenge 3D, but Chip's Challenge 2 remained a lonely relic, a complete game with no players.

Recently, however, Sommerville decided to have another go at releasing Chip's Challenge 2, and that only took... five years. The negotiation process was apparently long and difficult, but finally — 25 years after the original came out — Chip's Challenge 2 is on Steam. I can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with the relative ease of publishing on Steam, but that's just knee-jerk speculation. I'm sure this story is a little more complicated than what we're being presented with here, and I intend to do some digging on that front.

For now, though, it's out. It exists. It is a piece of history that many had given up on ever playing, but here it is. By modern graphical standards, it looks positively ancient, but that — and some classic puzzle design — is kinda the appeal here. Oh, but if you want a blast from the dystopian present, there's also DLC that costs more than half as much as the game itself. Granted, a) the game only costs $US4.99 and b) the DLC is a cool level editor, but still: the more things stay the same... the more they change? Or something.


    Ooh, i remember this moreso from the old Windows Entertainment Packs.

    Now, we just need sequels to Rodent's Revenge and SkiFree.

      I'd like some more of that pipe game (Pipedream?)

      I guess its kind of been done in the hacking Minigame for Bioshock

    Y' know, it's uncanny... on the 27th (Wednesday) something triggered a memory of Chip's Challenge for me, but I couldn't remember the name of it. Through a bit of searching, I ended up on the game's Wikipedia page, which obviously mentioned the sequel launching on the 28th.

      Interestingly, I thought of it yesterday too. Mine was triggered by a person in my office being on a support chat with Telstra, and every time they sent a message it played a "ping" noise that for some reason reminded me of Windows 3.11 and playing Chip's Challenge. Then I saw this headline today... Weird.

        Happens to me all the time, it's an uncanny feeling. It's called synchronicity.

      I only found a web-based version of Chip's Challenge yesterday for my wife. I'd been on the internet archive (archive.org), checking out some old games earlier that day, and I remembered that she loved that game from when she was a kid.
      Now I'm off to score some brownie points. Thanks Chip's Challenge 2.

    Now if we can just get Lord of the Clans released...

    Actually used to play the original at a friends place over a decade ago, absolutely loved it. I've been thinking of it in the last few weeks but for the life of me couldn't remember the name of the game.
    Thanks Kotaku (and the developer) I'll be playing the original and then this sequel very soon.

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