Reviews
Chuck’s Challenge 3D

By Mehran Malek - November 27th, 2013

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If you have been gaming for more than just a couple of decades, like me, you may occasionally get sentimental when you reflect on the sheer complexity of today’s videogames. These days, it tends to be all about big budgets, big stories, and intelligent AIs. However, before videogames became a bigger business than Hollywood and our phones surplanted yesteryear’s super computers, videogames had to fight for our attention by being simple, addictive, and challenging. That is: make it simple to pick up; make sure that it grabs one’s attention, and keep it addictive with short and varied level progression. Cue Niffler LTD’sChuck’s Challenge 3D for the PC.

Based on an iOS game from a few years ago (which itself was based on a game from the late ’80s), Chuck is a relatively simple game that requires you to solve progressively more difficult challenges in order to move on to the next level. The general level design is not very different from other games that you may have played. You’ll be required to move obstacles, step on actuators, dodge enemies, and so forth. In fact, had I only given the game 15 minutes of my time, I probably would have given up due to the simplicity and ease of playing the game. However, where Chuck really starts to shine is when you get deeper into the 100+ levels of core game-play. At that point, the challenges aren’t as straightforward and you become more engrossed in trying to solve them.

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OMG! THE SHIRT!

In addition to the main levels, Chuck includes a level creator wherein you can create your own levels and upload them to the game’s central servers. With that, you are also able to download levels created by other users. I found the level creator relatively straightforward to use, but not being the creative type myself, I ultimately don’t see myself spending much time on that aspect of the game in the future. However, downloading other players’ levels was enjoyable, even though I never felt like the challenge that they provided was much more difficult than the game’s “official” later levels.

As I played through and pieced together the various characteristics of the game, I came to the realization that Chuck is an impressively well thought-out offering. It has the criteria that I described earlier (simple to pick up, grabs attention, and does well to stay addictive), keeps itself fresh by allowing you to design new levels (Minecraft, Project Spark, Disney Infinity) and is challenging without being overly so. In fact, aside from the finicky controls (I was using my keyboard), Chuck doesn’t have much room for improvement. However, if you’re interested in giving it a go, I would make one recommendation: Chuck’s Challenge 3D is also available for Android. Consider picking it up and playing it on a device such as your phone or tablet. I have a feeling you’ll find it much better suited on those devices than your PC.

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