Chip’s Challenge 2 survives 25 years of development hell

Chips Challenge 2

Duke Nukem Forever and Team Fortress 2 are often cited when one thinks about delayed games, but they’ve got nothing on the most delayed game of all time. Chip’s Challenge 2 has spent 25 years in development — or rather, publishing — hell. The sequel to the popular puzzle game, Chip’s Challenge 2 has finally been released on Steam.

In Chip’s Challenge, you played as Chip McCallahan and solved a series of puzzles to join the Bit Busters Computer Club while trying to win the heart of Melinda the Mental Marvel. One had to navigate 148 levels (or 149, in the Windows version), and the game was noted for its exponentially increasing difficulty.

The original game was made in 1989, and creator Chuck Sommerville was ready to release its sequel two years later when the trademark was sold. The new owners of the Chip’s Challenge 2 trademark wanted him to cover packaging and publishing the game as well. Sommerville decided to shelve his project because he couldn’t afford it at the time.

“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 told PC Gamer. “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,” he said.

Thankfully for Chip’s Challenge fans everywhere, Sommerville stayed alive, and negotiated a deal with the trademark holders for five years to get Chip’s Challenge 2 released. The game is now available on Steam, and comes with many perks, such as achievements, the Steam Workshop, trading cards, and saved games. It all stands in stark contrast to the original game, where you needed to write down the codes of each level you left off at.