Chip's Challenge 2 finally released after over 20 years in limbo

Chip's Challenge 2

It's not often that you have to wait 25 years for the sequel to a popular game, but such is the situation for Chip's Challenge. The original game was released in 1989 for the Atari Lynx and then ported to the Amiga, C64, and the PC (in DOS and Windows formats!), and today, Chip's Challenge 2 has arrived on Steam.

What took so long, you ask? After making Chip's Challenge in just a couple of months, creator Chuck Sommerville took two years to create the sequel. But once it was done, he discovered that the trademark had been sold, and the new owners wanted him to cover the cost of packaging and publishing the game, too. He couldn't swing it, and so the whole thing was put on hold—for two-and-a-half decades.

“When I couldn’t release Chip’s Challenge 2, it hit me really hard. Not only had I spent two years perfecting it, I also felt I’d let down the fans,” Sommerville said. “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 net on my death.”

Fortunately for Sommerville, he didn't have to die to make it happen. It took nearly five years to negotiate a deal with the trademark holders, according to the announcement, but the deal has been done, and now both games are on Steam.

The gameplay remains unchanged—local nerd Chip McCallahan must navigate a series of top-down, two-dimensional puzzles in order to join the Bit Busters Computer Club and win the affection of Melinda the Mental Marvel—but the Steam releases also support trading cards, achievements, the Steam Workshop, and proper savegames. That last one is a bigger point than you might think: In the original, codes were provided after each level so you could pick up where you left off, and if you lost the piece of paper with the code on it, you were out of luck.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.