Chip wants to impress Melinda and join her Bit Busters club. She offers him a puzzle challenge to prove he's worthy.
I had this game way back in the day as part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 4 from 1992. I could never beat it, but it was one of my favorites that I remember back in the day. To this day, there are still people who love this game and even an entire community that has custom levels and other helpful information about the game.
This game was for the Atari Lynx in 1989, and three years later is when it came to Windows. The Steam version came out on May 28, 2015.
There is no story in the game, but there is in the manual. Chip wants to impress Melinda the Mental Marvel because he wants to join her computer club, the Bit Busters. She says he can join, under one condition, that he play through 144 levels of puzzles that become increasingly difficult. Can he do it?
This is a puzzle game where you have to move your character around the board, usually within a time limit, and collect computer chips and leave the stage. There are various enemies, obstacles, such as force floors that move you to the end of it (but you can somewhat move out of it), fire, water, and ice (that you’ll be unable to control yourself on). Water and fire will kill you instantly. When you die, you have to start that level again, which is a major problem the further you progress since the levels become convoluted and tedious.
You can collect keys to unlock doors (green keys can be used more than once, unlike other colored keys), as well as magno shoes (force floors), fire shoes (fire), flippers (water), and cleats (ice) to walk on the various traps without restriction. There are also spy agents that will take your equipment away. Additionally, there are blocks you can move into water to create a bridge across, but you must step on the block after pushing it to create the bridge. There are toggle buttons that move platforms and other things around. And teleporters that move you in the direction you’re facing across a gap.
The difficult varies on each level, as well as the time and skill needed to complete them. Some levels are very short, yet tricky. Others are focused around monsters, others are pure time wasters and only exist to make you frustrated.
The game is very stiff in the graphics department. It’s basically a static image on screen and your character moves without animation. The enemies also move one block at a time. This makes it jarring and you’re unable to predict the enemy movement. However, the appearance is sharp and crisp, with a nice appearance to it. With the new updated theme, the character will move with animation, which resembles more of the original Lynx version of the game.
The Steam version is also a bit different with the border of the game. The original had a green border with the game on the left and the time, chips remaining, and items collected on the right. The Steam version has the game up top and the info at the bottom, with a black border.
Sound / Music
The music is catchy, but gets old really fast. The original Lynx version, and the new music added to the Steam release, has more variety and isn’t as ear splitting, but the music in the original Windows 3.1 PC version is basically just two tracks.