Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Lemmings!

The game, not the critter.  Lemmings was originally developed for the Commodore Amiga (which we had) in 1991.  I loved this game and was totally addicted to it.  Which is one reason I try to avoid video games, I tend to get obsessive.  Here's the scoop.

Lemmings is divided into a number of levels, grouped into four difficulty levels. Each level comprises both destructible landscape elements such as rocks, indestructible sections such as steel plates, and numerous obstacles including chasms, high walls, large drops, pools of water or lava, and booby traps. Each level also includes one or more entrance points and one or more exits. The goal is to guide a certain percentage of the green-haired, blue-shirted lemmings from the entrance to the exit by clearing or creating a safe passage through the landscape for the lemmings to use. Unless assigned a special task, each lemming will walk in one direction ignoring any other lemming in its way (save for "Blockers"), falling off any edges and turning around if they hit an obstacle they cannot pass. They die if they fall from a great height, fall into water or lava or off the map, or get caught in a trap; they also die after being assigned the bomber skill.
To successfully complete the level, the player must assign certain lemmings specific skills. The quantity of skill assignments of each type is generally limited, requiring the player to carefully assign which skills will have to be used in order to successfully guide the lemmings. There are eight skills that can be assigned. Two skills stay with the lemming regardless of how they are reassigned: "Climbers" will climb any vertical surface they hit, and "Floaters" can safely fall off from heights without injury. "Bashers", "Miners", and "Diggers" cause the assigned lemming to dig across, diagonally downward, or directly downward, respectively, through destructible material until they emerge into open air, hit indestructible material, or are reassigned. "Builders" create a rising stairway of up to 12 steps, with audible cues when they are nearly done with their task to allow the player to reassign them if a longer stairway is needed. "Blockers" will reverse the direction of all lemmings that hit them, and cannot be reassigned unless first the ground under their feet is removed. (They can be exploded, though.) "Bombers" will continue whatever they were doing prior to assignment, but after 5 seconds (indicated by a countdown timer above their head) they will stop and explode, taking a small chunk out of any destructible environment around them. While the player is able to pause the game to inspect the level and status of the lemmings, skills can only be assigned in real-time.

The lemmings are initially released at a rate predetermined by the level (from 1 to 99), but the player can increase this to a faster rate. If the rate has been increased by the player, the player can decrease the rate down to, but not lower than, the initial rate. The player also has the option to "nuke" all the remaining lemmings on the screen, converting them all to Bombers, either to quickly forfeit in order to retry a level or to remove any Blockers that remain after the rest have been rescued.

The four difficulty groups—"Fun", "Tricky", "Taxing" and "Mayhem"—are used to organize the levels to reflect their overall difficulty.  This rating reflects several factors, including the number of obstacles the player has to surpass, the limitation on the number of types of skills available to assign, the minimum rate of lemming release, and the percentage of lemmings that must be saved. *** Copied from Wikipedia.

I still play occasionally when I need a break and don't want to do the solitaire thing.

Want to give Lemmings a try?  Then click on over to here and enjoy.

When you need a break, what do you do?  Go for a walk, read, play some kind of video game?  Got any links for the rest of us?


Anonymous said...

I was addicted to Lemmings too!

I usually make tea and sandwiches, grab a book and curl up in the armchair when I need a break - I try to avoid the xBox, I tend to get a little obsessive with games!

Saying hey from the A-Z

A x

M.J. Fifield said...

I've never played Lemmings but I am no stranger to video game obsession. My current obsession is Angry Birds.

Sylvia Ney said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

Anonymous said...

Now that the weather is getting nicer, when I need a break I'll go outside for a short walk or try to do some yard work.

M.J. Fifield said...

I've never played Lemmings but I am no stranger to video game obsession. My current obsession is Angry Birds.