Archeological expedition into the Ancient Maps of ChipWits

Mike and I wrote ChipWits in 1984 in a blaze of inspiration and insanely hard work. After launching the Mac version in Fall 84 we produced the Commodore 64 version and the Apple II version in less than 6 months.

I didn’t keep the best notes. I’ve got a box of disks and printouts and sketches of IBOL ops and even the first drawing of a ChipWit (which I will scan and upload here). Nowhere can I find maps of the original 8 missions.

So I am playing the original game on an online Apple II Emulator (IE only for now, they are working on their Firefox emulator plugin):

Stymied by a impassable pastry

The majesty of Apple II Graphics: ChipWit #7, lacking ZAP or PICKUP, is blocked by PIE.

I wrote a keyboard-driven ChipWit so I could explore at will. IFKEY S->SKATE FORWARD, IFKEY X->SKATE RIGHT45, IFKEY Z->SKATE LEFT45.

Apple II Keyboard-driven ChipWit with a bug

There are 2 Bugs in this ChipWit! Spot ’em! Answer tomorrow.

The Apple II IBOL editor is pretty amazing. We did the Mac version first and were Mac zealots so not only did we port the game to the C-64 and Apple II but the cursor-driven menu interface. as well. Note that instead of a mouse, players had to use a joystick to control the cursor. Clunky but it works. Running in emulation the interface is even clunkier.

I wound up having to kill 2 editing-induced bugs before it ran.

I decided to spelunk in Octopus Garden first – the most challenging mission. The ChipWit always starts on a random square in a central room. There are 8 corridors running from that room, each terminating in a room containing a high-score DISK to PICKUP.

It feels very strange playing one of my own 22-year old games. I know that I spent endless hours working with Mike on the Apple code and all the sound-FX and silly little animations did a real deja vu number on me. It was fun when an electrocrab sidled up to me because my heart-rate did go up and I SKATED my guy out of the room ASAP.

I ran into 2 pies that blocked my path (fiendishly placed there by some devious game designer (me or Mike)). So now IndieBot (the CW’s new name (after I. Jones)) sports a ZAP chip to clear the PIE.

I’ll have all 8 missions mapped by tomorrow. If I survive the PIE.


Yesterday’s bug – The arrows from both bottom chips should point right:

IndieBot debugged

2 Responses to “Archeological expedition into the Ancient Maps of ChipWits”

  1. Jim Schenck Says:

    I’m one of those people that bought the original Mac version of ChipWits. When I saw that there was a ChipWits site I got real excited until I saw that it only had the one page. Now that I see you’re working on it I’m real excited again!!!

    Thanks for trying to bring it to newer machines. Personally I’m still with Macs so please keep working to get to something that will run on Mac OSX.

    Good luck and thanks

  2. doctordroog Says:


    It’s written in Flash so we will have a Mac version as soon as we can – sometime in March for sure.

    Thanks for the kind words.


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