Sega Genesis/Master Drive version of the Aladdin game made by Virgin Games USA. Loosely based on the film Aladdin (1992), Aladdin must defeat the evil sorcerer Jafar and win the heart of Princess Jasmine.
In the world of anthropomorphic lemmings walking on twos and relying on an anthropic being sitting in front of the monitor, lemmings are eager to leave their homes and go on bumpy adventures to find a better place, but they can only do so with the help of the player, who must instruct the critters to work together to reach their destined haven. The player loads a level from one of the large sets in the order of difficulty, ranging - as the difficulty names suggest - from "Fun" and "Tame" to "Mayhem" and "Havoc", and each level defines the limited number of given uses for each of the eight abilities and the requirements of what ratio of the lemmings launching into the level need to be rescued under a specific time. The eight abilities are for training a lemming to climb 90-degree-or-more walls that otherwise would leave it forced to go another direction, training one to fall great heights without hurting itself, bombing one after a 5-second delay to rid blockers or as a special means of digging, getting one to stand and block and redirect the critters away, temporarily building near-diagonal steps to reach somewhere otherwise inaccessable, destroying walls horizontally, digging near-diagonally, and digging vertically. The challenge comes from the fact that the higher the requirements for beating a level and the fewer the given uses of abilities depending on which type of abilities, the harder the level. When a level is started, you are able to control the release rate of the lemmings at the start and use one of the available abilities to make a lemming perform an action, but you must carefully do so as you run out of uses doing so and you want to prevent your lemmings from falling into booby traps, into a pool of water or other fluid since they cannot swim, or off-screen. The levels seem to make every use of all the abilities very carefully, and some of those in the later difficulty sets are the same levels from earlier that are harder to complete using different abilities. As this is a puzzle game, the player constistently tries to figure out which given abilities to use and how to use them, and the best part is finding the right solution. The much earlier levels are a lot like training levels, and the later levels require serious thinking in solving them in ways how the player might never have expected to complete them. It seems in both the original and the needed expansion pack that DMA Design has found as many such ways as possible to complete a level, and playing it again after a while is still quite a challenge.
As a frosting to the cake, Lemmings offers a decent soundtrack composed of its own original music and music based on classic sheets and nursery songs such as Can Can, London Bridge, and Dance of the Reed Flutes, all given a twist to capture the spirit of the game's pace. The animations are practically animate, and the graphics, while carefully designed, feel slightly minimal for a 1991 game, but some versions of the game allow playing it with high-resolution textures enabled, which resolves the issue of the minimality.
This here will describe features some of which are present in some versions of Lemmings and others in others. If you have played Lemmings on anything other than the Amiga (the original), you are almost certain to have missed the absent multiplayer. It is a game mode involving two persons competing on a single computer to see which player can rescue the most Lemmings. In each of the symmetrical maps, players control their own team of lemmings and command them to work their way to the exit. What makes the challenge more competitive and strategic in nature is that their players' actions affect not only their own lemmings and the environment, but also each other's; they are able to hinder the progress of the other player or lure the opposing critters into their own exits for more points. It is a shame that the later and more-able computers did not have at least the ability to play multiplayer online. Besides multiplayer, also exclusive to some releases is the replay button, which can be used to rewind to any previous point in the level the player is struggling, and another thing is fast-forwarding, which speeds up the gameplay and is useful for eliminating wait times, especially after having done everything to successfully complete the level.
The original game was a pleasant experience, but it could be completed a few days into the game if the player is highly familiar with the rules of Lemmings. Fortunately, there is one expansion pack for most, if not all, editions of the game that fixes that and with new level graphics gives us more Lemmings. Some editions have another expansion pack, which is a set of Christmas-themed levels and extends the game even further.
I am rating the best (theoretical) version of the game, and the good news? There is nothing wrong with the game! On the note of that, there are versions of the game that will definitely be much better than the others; for example, the original Amiga version exclusively had multiplayer, but the one for Windows 95 had high-resolution graphics and a rewindable replay in case the player makes a mistake far into the level. I doubt that such an edition exists, but if it does, then that is what I am rating.
CONCLUSION: Thanks to its playful background melody, cute characters, colorful interactive environment and props, and a rich set of varying puzzles, Lemmings is the game of anyone's child- and adulthood that is as playable as it is challenging.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this