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  • copypaper

    I have very fond memories of playing the original 1991 Lemmings game in DOS as a kid. I’d love to submit it as a candidate for Dos Game Club, and I’d be curious to see how well it holds up all these years later.

    Lemmings was a puzzle game where you had to guide a large number of lemmings from the beginning of a 2D course to the end. Your only control over the units was a limited number of skills, such as climbing lemmings, lemmings to instruct others to turn around, lemmings to build stairs out of nothing, bombers to blow up paths, etc. I remember it could be quite open-ended, with many different creative solutions to the same level.

    Lemmings was made by DMC Design Limited, now known as Rockstar North, known for the Grand Theft Auto games.


    This game gets referenced a lot by a certain group of parachutists in the UK, we have lemmings embroidered into pilot chutes and harnesses etc.

    Probably one of the first games I played as it happens, although on an Archemedes. I later had it for the SNES, and only played it on DOS for the first time a year or two ago when I started exploring the stuff I used to play.

    Thinking about it though I don’t think I’ve ever really played it much past the first handful of levels, but I’d be keen to visit it again, I think there’s some interesting history with DMA


    Resized image-


    Haha, that is so cool Dave! I love it!

    Lemmings is one of the truly great games of that era. I find it interesting how it and Prince of Persia are such defining and iconic games for DOS, yet they are actually ports from other systems.

    They also both have annoying/complex copyright status and, as far as I’m aware, there is currently no legit way to get a digital copy of the DOS version. Such a pity, in a slightly ironic way.


    That’s a shame! I imagine it holds up well.


    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.


    Enjoyed reading both your accounts dave and sorceress! Dave, love the logo.

    I haven’t played it since I was a kid, when I had large amounts of time to pour into it. I will have to seek it out and play it again to see how I feel about it now.

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