Friday, 15 May 2009

Lets go!! - Lemmings

Advantages: Hours and hours of fun and good brain exercise

Disadvantages: Forget sleep

Lemmings is the best computer game ever! 

It really is that simple. 

I had never seen anything like this in my entire life. 

I opened up the box of the Commodore Amiga - I think this was called the Family Pack, or something like that. 

What lay within was the computer and all its bits and pieces which included three games. 

Bart Simpson and the Attack of the Space Mutants 
Captain Planet 

But this is a review of Lemmings. 

At its simplest the game involves a number of animated creatures (the Lemmings) getting from A to B, via a number of obstacles. They have at their command a number of tools in the way of 'skills' which includes the ability to dig holes, tunnel through objects. build steps, climb walls, parachute, path blocking and self-explode. 

As a player you need to ensure a certain percentage of the Lemmings released onto your screen arrive 'home' It is your job to ensure the Lemmings get through, over, under or avoid the obstacles between their release point ( trapdoor in the sky) to home. 

You will assign a skill to a particular Lemming which may be permanent, transitory or self destructive, which will allow it to knock out obstacles and/or build a path through for his fellows. 

Depending on the level, the amount of skills you have available to you and the amount of trys for each skill may be limited. 

This is what gets you really thinking, how best to assign the skills and exactly when to assign them. Not only do you need to think quick, you need to be quick with the mouse - the skills are assigned by clicking on them with the mouse and then clicking in the lemming you want to assign the skill to - this in itself can get tricky, for not only do you have a limited time to do things in, you must remember you are dealing with Lemmings. And what are Lemming famous for? Yep that is right, jumping off cliffs. Whilst you are busy keeping an eye on the progress of a 'skilled' Lemming, you also need to keep an eye out on where the other lemmings are heading, and it is usually off a cliff at the edge of the screen. 

Providing you have rescued the required number of Lemmings for that level, you can proceed to the next. At the end of each level you are also given a code for the level you have just completed, in case you need to switch off your Amiga. This saves you going all the way through the levels again. 

I am sad to say that after owning this game for what is now coming up for almost 20 years!!! (where has all the time gone!!!), I have never completed it. 

I remember when I first got it, not getting to bed until really-stupid o'clock. 

It is available on PC and many other platforms, but I recommend you spend £20 at the car boot buying an Amiga 500+ (there is always someone selling one). Chances are you will get Lemmings with it. The other advantage of playing it on the Amiga is that this is the only platform I know of where you can properly play two player lemmings - now that is something else! 

If you enjoy single player lemmings, you will LOVE two player. In essence your screen is split in two, though you can scroll through the whole scenario. You will be blue lemmings and you partner will be green lemmings. there will be two homes, one with blue flags for you and one with green flag for your partner. With two players, as well as getting your players home, you need to stop your opponent getting his players home. 

The player who gets the most players home on that level is the winner. Easy peasy, but lots of fun and ocassionally, mild fisticuffs 

There are twenty levels of this, they are relatively easy, as you are not playing against the level difficulty, but against an opponent. 

Get yourself an Amiga and a copy of original Lemmings NOW!!

Summary: The best game ever written for a computer.

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