It is one of most innovative puzzlers you can find today. Chuck’s Challenge 3D combines brain tingling puzzles with an exploration-based adventure. You play as the character Woop, who has summoned Chuck Sommerville, a famous game designer, to build fun challenges for him. Woop is a multi-dimensional aliens with a host of amazing resources that Chuck uses to build challenging levels for Woop.
Main Objective of the Game
The main premise of these challenges that Chuck builds for Woop, hence the game itself, is to help get Woop to the exit. Woop starts at a point in a room, which involves various objects such as keys doors, water, lava, creatures, buttons, blocks, and lots of other interactive objects. The player can guide Woop to the exit by using the standard keyboard, mouse, joystick, or touch controls, and the elements in the room can either help or be an obstacle in getting Woop to the exit. As the game progresses, the levels get increasingly difficult.
The level design of the game is fantastic. It is professionally designed and I can tell a lot of time went into thinking these up. Each new levels offers some great brain teasers, and some can be quite the challenge. However, most of the levels are by no means frustrating. In fact, I haven’t found any levels frustrating. Like one of my all-time favorite games, Portal, Chuck’s Challenge 3D strikes the perfect balance of making a level challenging enough to make them fun and keep the player going but not too difficult or tedious to make the player growl or to throw the keyboard out the window. In fact, you can undo your steps for making a mistake instead of having to restart the entire level. The game wants you to solve puzzles, not punish you for making a wrong move!
Each level generally focuses on a different type of challenge. The size of the levels also fit perfectly with the puzzle type the room offers. Some levels are larger, going off screen and requiring the player to either zoom out to see a larger portion of the level or walk around to figure out the solution. Some levels smaller, fitting right into the screen. These smaller levels don’t mean easier challenge; they are enough to wake up your brain!
Look and Feel
I will say this right off the bat: the game looks gorgeous. A lot of time and attention went into designing the game elements. Some things such the reflective ice blocks, water, and sunlight effects are just stunning. I have always liked cartoony games. Maybe it is the kid inside me, but Chuck’s Challenge 3D is definitely bright, colorful, and cartoony. The look really fits with the puzzles and the mood of the game. The sound effects are also high quality. Over all, I am very happy with how the game looks. In fact, throughout my beta testing period, I have seen the game evolve, and almost all of my concerns with how certain things looked has been fixed.
Oh, how I LOVE designing levels. One of my favorite things about Chuck’s Challenge 3D is the ability to create your own levels. You can make your level big or small, and you have all of the game elements to work with! I spent as much time creating levels as playing levels. If you have a creative mind, you’ll love this too. Once you are satisfied with your levels, you can publish them on the server for others to play and enjoy. Conversely, you can play a plethora of levels that fellow players have created. If your level is great, the Chuck’s Challenge staff features a level every week, which can be played from the Main Menu by clicking “Weekly Puzzles”. These featured puzzles are high quality and are sure to extend your gameplay even after you complete the main level sets.
Comparison with Chip’s Challenge
If you are unaware, Chuck’s Challenge 3D is a spiritual successor to the famous 80’s game, “Chip’s Challenge”. Chip’s Challenge was conceived and designed by Chuck Summerville who is also a member of the Chuck’s Challenge development team. Chip’s Challenge was a hit when it came out for the Atari Lynx in the 1980s. So much so that Microsoft decided to port the game to Windows and distribute it with a couple of Microsoft Entertainment Packs. The entertainment packs came bundled with many PCs in the 90s, introducing Chip’s Challenge to millions. Children of the 90s will tell you how much time they spent playing Chip’s Challenge.
Chuck’s Challenge brings forth the innovative gameplay elements from Chip’s Challenge but it is a totally new game. Chip’s Challenge share with Chuck’s Challenge 3D in terms of many of the game elements, and the objective of guiding the character to the exit. But Chuck’s Challenge 3D is very different from Chip’s Challenge in many ways, and ways that I think is better suited for games of today.
For one, Chuck’s Challenge 3D has a much better graphics and sound that Chip’s Challenge could ever dream off. The story line is also completely independent for these games. But there are more differences. The two games are designed fundamentally for a different era.
Chip’s Challenge was designed in an era that had no internet and a player had a few games on their PC or handheld. In those times (I remember them vividly), the player would spend hours playing one or two games. That’s because that’s all we had. The games also came on devices with hardware limitations much greater than we have today. Chip’s Challenge was filled with levels that were long, repetitive, and…well, long. Chip’s Challenge levels usually included more than one challenges and involved a lot of walking around. Many levels were focused on one challenge, but they dragged on because the challenge was very repetitive on a large level, requiring the player to do the same thing over and over again. If the player made one mistake, the level would have to be reset and started all over again. When all the player had was one or few games, this was fine. There were only handful of games to dedicate the time to anyway.
Chuck’s Challenge 3D is in a different era. We are in an era of the internet and hundreds of games at our disposal. We no longer spend hours, months, and years on one game. Levels can no longer be long, frustrating, and tedious like they were in Chip’s Challenge. The player has too many other options. Don’t get me wrong, Chip’s Challenge was great, but it has its shares of too many frustrating and log levels. I know because I played through the entire game. Chuck’s Challenge 3D, on the other hand, takes the best of Chip’s Challenge and leaves the worst of it behind. Did I mention that you can undo your mistakes in Chuck’s Challenge 3D instead of having to restart. Oh the power of RAM. Unlike Chip’s Challenge, you are presented with hundreds of user created levels, so you won’t run out of things to do even when you go through all the levels in the main camping.
What I Look Forward To
While the Chuck’s Challenge is a great game to pick up today, it leaves a lot to be desired. And that’s not a bad thing. Today is an internet age, where we expect games to evolve with us. The fact that we want more in Chuck’s Challenge 3D means that we already love what’s in there and want even more of it. So, it’s won’t surprise you to know that I want even more level packs. There are currently five level packs, with 25 levels in each. They are so much fun that I look forward to more in the future.
Another thing we would love having is more innovative game elements. Chuck’s Challenge has lots of puzzler things to play with. Adding more to our toy box isn’t a bad idea.
The final thing that I am hoping to see in the future is to create our own level packs. We can now make levels and individually publish them. What I would love to see is the able to make a playlist or a level set which would bundle several levels. This would allow us to make our own series and campaigns!
I love this game, both for nostalgia and because I love innovative puzzle games. If you want a brain-tingling casual game to get you going, this one is a definite by, and at 9.99 on Steam right now, it’s a no brainer (see what I did there?)