Lemmings (Third Review)


Title		Lemmings (Third Review)
Company		DMA Designs/Psygnosis
Game Type	Puzzle
Players		1 or 2
Compatibility	All
Submission	James Daniels (Celebrity Reviewer)

Review
For those who haven't previously heard of Lemmings, I'd first of all like
to take this opportunity to welcome you to our humble planet. Then, I'd
like to explain that the game is a puzzle game where the player is given a
certain number of wonderfully animated - but totally stupid - creatures to
control. These characters will walk blindly forward until they hit
something or are killed in any number of imaginative ways. It's up to the
player to guide them to the exit by assigning them specific tasks such as
climbing, digging or building. This simple concept gives rise to one of
the most original and involving computer games ever created. The
introduction of time limits, lava, traps, water and restrictions on the
number of skill assignments that the player can make only serves to
enhance this ingenious premise. The game also has a huge number of varied
levels and an animated introduction - no mean feat considering that the
game came on just two DD floppies.

However, since there are already two reviews of Lemmings on the AGDB I
won't bore you by ranting on about how great the single player game is.
Instead I'll focus on the what is, in my opinion, the best part of the
whole game - the multiplayer mode. In this mode two players compete
against each other to get as many Lemmings as possible to their exit.
However, this isn't as simple as you might expect because each player can
only control their own Lemmings (indicated by the colour of their
clothing) and both player's Lemmings start at the same place.

As you can imagine, this leads to both players trying to sneak 'saboteurs'
to the other player's exit so that the opposition's Lemmings can be
secretly diverted back towards the first player's side. Of course, should
this tactic fail, the Lemming in question can always go down in a blaze of
glory and try to take as many of the competition down with it as possible.
My favourite method is to dig through a narrow bridge over a chasm and
watch gleefully as the other player's creatures fall to their doom - the
squelch as they hit the ground was disturbingly satisfying (and inspired
the similar noise that people make in Payback when you run them over).
This usually causes a burst of frantic bridge building activity by the
other player but, if timed correctly, a large number of Lemms will still
tumble onto the rocks below whatever your opponent does. At this point, I
would advise you to lean as far away from your competitor as possible.
This is especially true if your opponent is bigger than you are.

There are also extra tactics that can be employed to distract the other
player whilst stealing their Lemmings, or you can even resort to getting a
solitary creature through your exit and then eliminating the rest with
your remaining army - a hundred angry Lemmings is truly a sight to behold
(and they also prove to be remarkably explosive). There were also a few
"undocumented features" in the gameplay, such as the ability to turn a
blocker back to a walker by digging away the ground underneath them, but
such quirks only added to the fun.

In summary, Lemmings is a wonderfully simple concept beautifully executed
and is probably one the most enjoyable games ever created. It was also
written by DMA Designs who would later go on to develop Grand Theft Auto -
which was of course the inspiration for Payback... and I would personally
like to thank them for that, too!




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