Sunday, July 01, 2007


Title: Lemmings
Author: Psygnosis
License: Commercial
Website: no known official site

In June, I went on a Lemmings kick. This was caused in part by the release of Lemmings for the PSP and Nintendo DS. Reading about all of the fun a new generation was having with this classic caused me to pull out my copies from the closet. I started with Lemmings for Windows which is a combination of the original game and the expansion Oh No More Lemmings ported to run under Windows. I actually saw it for sale in a game store about a year ago in England. You still might be able to find it, or it can be downloaded from an abandonware site, not that I support that sort of behavior.

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to mix in reviews of the various Lemmings games in my collection. I am not going to describe the game play in this version of Lemmings. If there is anyone out there who has not played Lemmings, the wikipedia entry linked to above gives a great description, and there is a DHTML version with a few levels.

Instead, I will just give some impressions. First, it is amazing how well this game stands up 16 years after it first release. Lemmings is still a lot of fun to play and challenging. Take a peak at some of the other video games in 1991. How many of these games would you like to play? Well, Brix isn't too bad.

Second, almost all of the levels have multiple solutions. This is a rare feature in puzzle games. I did not realize how much I missed this. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Lemmings is recovering from a mistake without restarting a level. I actually had to think on my feat, so to speak, several times.

Third, there is a quality to the game which is hard to describe. It is a love of the game which comes through in the details. There is the cute "On No" audio when a lemming blows up. The subtle references in the levels caused me to pay attention to the artwork. The programmers had fun and enjoyed making this game. And it shows.

There were a couple of negatives in Lemmings which I had forgotten about. You have to finished the levels in order. At least in the Windows version, there are no passwords to remember. Many of the levels require some careful placement and quick clicking. I kept wanting a time system like Impulse which allows you to stop time, make a few precise clicks, and then restart time.


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