Reply To: Lemmings

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Lemmings was one of the first games my family purchased for me when I was a child, but for Amiga not MSDOS.

It was certainly unique among other games available at the time. Noticable was:

1) the number of lemmings on screen seemed ground breaking, and felt pleasantly overwhelming like trying to control an ants nest.

2) the indirect control of the characters was unusual and refreshing, compared with other platformers that were mostly built to the run-n-gun-(n-jump) formula.

3) the graphics was stunning, seeing these big levels of detailed pixel art, fancy shading, and animations. The level visuals alone were something to behold.

4) the cheerful music. various nursery rhymes and traditional childrens songs recreated as chip tunes.

Despite these positives, I found the game rather unsatisfying to play:

a) boring, because you know exactly what to do, and it’s just a matter of clicking everything at the right time, and a lot of waiting inbetween.

b) boring, because you don’t really know what to do, and it involves a lot of trial and error, replaying these fairly lengthy levels over and over.

c) boring, if/when your trial and error doesn’t lead anwhere.

d) depressing, because you misclick/misjudge something, and it all goes wrong, so you have to nuke, then spend another 60 seconds watching your failure and waiting for the level to restart. the game is sensitive to error, and is most unforgiving.

I completed all of the easy levels in the game, and in it’s expansion pack (oh no more lemmings). And I think I completed all of the second-tier levels in both games as well, but the third- and fourth- tiers were beyond my patience!

I have returned to the game maybe three times since the early 1990s, and my opinion of it did not change at all.