Oh, hello there my fellow puzzle fans! Are you looking for your brain to crunch on challenging puzzles? Or are you a parent who wants their kid to play an excellent couch game that you played back in the day, but in a better way, all to stimulate their brain and logical thinking? Then check out this hidden gem we stumbled across: Chuck’s Challenge 3D 2020, made by Niffler Ltd. But why would this be the ideal game for you to play? Let’s find that out, shall we!
What we liked!
- Different difficulties: What I love about some puzzle games, especially Chuck’s Challenge, is when they don’t force you to play the earlier levels. If you are a puzzle veteran and just want to dive right in the most challenging puzzles they have (well, not the hardest ones, you have to prove yourself for those, but “Though”), then you can! And each difficulty has 2 collections, with 25 puzzles each!
- Gameplay depth: When I first played through easy, I thought I ended up playing a child’s game meant for 6 to 12 year olds. But once I progressed further in the puzzles, I found myself feeling quite a bit of challenge to actually continue! Sure they aren’t the most challenging puzzles around, but they can be too tricky! They require that you think ahead. Planning moves carefully, checking which power-up or color you need to go and puzzle your way to first before you continue to the next part. Overall quite a pleasant experience!
- Competitiveness: Each puzzle comes with its very own score leaderboard, and a time to beat if you want to earn a specific medal! And I must admit, even though I succeeded in some levels after a bit of thinking, I found myself replaying them, just to get a gold medal. Sometimes I even got close to the top 5 times, but no matter how hard I tried, the boomer in me just can’t shave off some of those last few seconds.
- Community map builder: If we didn’t have a fantastic map building tool as we do here, the game would get stale once completed. But just like Osu!, once the developer maps are finished, you can dive into maps made by fellow players, map makers, or just generally everyone. The best thing about the map builder that I found is that it just feels right. Every menu is well spread out, and allows the creator to have full control over their end product!
- Graphics: Let’s go ahead and talk about the graphics of the characters, enemies in the game, and the game itself. There will be absolutely no one who will disagree if I say that the game looks good! Yes, it’s not full 3D graphics, as with different games that entirely focus on 3D visibility of their assets. Still, it looks damn impressive for a puzzle game!
- Weekly community spotlight: If all of the above were not enough, then have no fear. There is a dedicated tab on the menu for the weekly community spotlight maps. Each week, a set of maps are chosen and featured for everyone to play. This way, smaller map creators have the chance to shine and get their puzzle played by many!
- Speed of movement: The movement feels relatively slow at some times. You need to choose between pushing your arrow keys multiple times or hold it, but it takes half a second to move between tiles. It genuinely feels odd. Nothing too annoying, but it bothered me while playing. Probably if you are a kid that’s learning to puzzle, then this is a welcome addition, but for adults, this can feel weird.
- Music: Chuck’s Challenge is filled with some excellent theme music. It adds a pleasant and soothing feeling to the conscious mind crunching moments you experience while solving puzzles. But, this one annoying reoccurring sound bothered the heck out of me while I’m playing. It comes from the movement of your character and gets really disturbing at times.
What we disliked
- Ultrawide support: The game supports the standard ultrawide resolution, a plus, but sadly enough, you get greeted with some big old black bars on the side. I found myself zooming out quite a bit during each puzzle to get a better overview, so having that little extra zoom by default would have been nice. The issue is resolved on a 4k tv, though, but still, for PC gamers, this is a big bummer. You can’t even fix this by defaulting to a different zoom level. Also, for some not apparent reason, if you want the best performance, you need to manually select “fantastic” as a graphic setting. The game does not automatically detect what hardware you are using.
I find it hard to say anything else then the following: this game is a fantastic bang for the buck! First, you can go ahead and get your very own brain crunching on puzzles, later you can have your kids play a challenging and cute little puzzle game. It has full controller support, so it makes for the perfect couch family experience!