It’s odd that a game like Chip’s Challenge would garner so much interest. The game was initially developed in 1989, by Chuck Sommerville for the Atari Lynx handheld console. The game itself wasn’t ground breaking consisting of rather simple art, but it’s progressively difficult puzzle levels were addictive to those that enjoyed the game.
I didn’t even encounter the game until the early 90’s when it came on a free Windows Entertainment Pack disc for my brand new Intel 486 PC. Between Doom and Tie Fighter, Chip’s Challenge really didn’t get any attention or play time from me. The game was dated, even for it’s time, and it was already doing it’s value bundle funeral lap through the bargain bin $5 rack at the computer store.
I guess this was a major reason why the planned NES port was killed. Despite the game falling through and time passing by, this test build of the NES version of Chip’s Challenge somehow survived. And now it’s at the heart of an e-bay bidding war as NES collectors vie for anything rare, regardless of it being an unnecessary port.
The ebay auction itself finishes up tomorrow (12/13/14) with the current highest bid resting at $1,091.77. The auction is for the functioning eeprom development cartridge which contains the tested and functional test build of Chip’s Challenge. Once the auction is complete you can probably expect the build to be dumped to your favorite NES ROM site. Or, you know, you can just play it now in one of it’s complete and already functional game iterations.