Review by Al Giovetti, 10/04/96
Genre: isometric view arcade
Developer: Visual Sciences
Producer: Richard Biltcliffe
Requirements: 486DX2, 66 MHz, 8MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive, SoundBlaster-compatible sound card, Windows 95
History: Lemmings by Psygnosis is one of the greatest phenomenon in computer gaming. These little mindless beings walked right into the computer monitor and our hearts, built ramps, dug holes, blocked, and performed many other tasks until they walked right out of our computer monitor into the sea. Now they are back.
Just like the endless stream of mindless lemmings running across your computer monitor. There is now a relentless stream of lemmings’ sequels that are unerringly being created by the lemmings game company, Psygnosis. The good thing about lemmings is that they have always succeeded in garnering market share and coming up with an entertaining concept. Lemmings Paintball fits the definition of a acceptable sequel - it’s fun.
Game play: You get one to four purple lemmings pitted against a red lemmings who want to kill your lemmings in a capture the flag battle. These lemmings think their way through the maze and will not go off and fall into the abyss as in previous games, except where fire or water is involved, which they will walk right through to end your game. The paint balls that take your lemmings down are little yellow blobs that appear on their shirts.
Loosing lemmings is catastrophic forcing you to start over each time it happens, this makes much of the game play artificial.
Interface: The screen is presented in isometric (overhead oblique or skewed top-down) three dimensional (3D) view. Left click moves a lemming to the location, while right click launches a paintball there. Pick a lemming from the control panel at the bottom of the screen.
Levels: There are over 100 levels with puzzles, booby-traps to trap the lemming boobies, catapults, and obstacles. The levels start out simply but gradually increase in difficulty by adding lever puzzles and other complex gadgets, similar to the original lemmings concept of going from simple to more difficult puzzles and situations.
Puzzles: The one lemming will go in the door while the other lemming opens the door for him. You need to learn how to use balloons, catapults, lever operated doors, elevators, and other devices to get to the flag or flags with your troupe of characters unscathed. In Lemmings you keep repeating the level over and over until you get it right and you like it. In Lemmings repetition is fun. Go figure.
Difficulty: The game is very difficult since there are not levels of difficulty and your lemmings are pretty stupid. This is basically a twitch game where you control four stupid guys and try to make them survive. The artificial intelligence is not adjustable making the game too difficult for basic movement from one location to another, but other aspects of difficulty are adjustable, including the multiplayer option for those who want to challenge the most devious of artificial intelligences - the human being.
There are four difficulty levels, fun, tricky, taxing and mayhem. The difficulty levels cover the gamut from the most easy to very hard. Another aspect which makes the game a little easier to play, is the ability to examine the level prior to playing it.
Graphics: 256 color
Animation: A short cut scene shows lemming paint guns being reloaded between battles.
Voice actors: Digitized speech is good which is partly due to Direct Sound. Lemmings scream in pain when hit, even though this is only a paintball game
Music score: There are many MIDI tracks which play while you do and change as the action does, but after 100 games even this music becomes tiresome.
Sound effects: The designers have the splat of paintballs down - very realistic.
Multiplayer: Network play, phone modem, and null modem has head-to-head play
Utilities: Save games are via ten digit pass code rather than traditional save games, requiring you to write down, save, and find the passcode each time you want to play the game. The lack of a standard, infinite position (limited only by hard drive space) save game feature is really hard to understand in a PC game with today’s technology. There is no cooperative multiplayer mode, and two-player mode is as high as it gets, why not four humans versus four humans on the network or internet.
Bonus: Contains Windows 95 versions Lemmings Oh No! and More Lemmings with over 200 levels on the same disk. The game runs entirely from the CD without any need to optionally install on the hard drive.
Reviewing the reviewer: Kevin Perry says, "Lemmings Paintball is simply
no fun at all to play, given two overwhelming problems. The first is
that a single shot takes out any Lemming. . . There is no pathing AI
requiring multiple mouse clicks to traverse the entire course."
Hint: Like the original game resources dwindle with the ever more
increasing incrementing levels. Some battles require every drop of
paint to win. So be careful and shoot only at the right moment.
Recommended for parents and kids to play together as a non violent fun
game with terminally cute characters.
Shane Mooney, http://www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/Lemmings/
John Voorhees, http://www.cdmag.com/action_vault/lemmings_paintball_review/page1.html, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 88.
Oliver Menne, http://w3pcg.pcgames.de/pcg0596/review/lemm/, 79% German review
Steven Greenlee, htttp://www.nuke.com/cgr/reviews/9607/lemmings/lemmings.htm, (90%).
Kevin Perry, http://happypuppy.com/pulse/reviews/pc/08_96/lemmings.html
Yarlen, http://www.avault.com/yarlen/lemp.html, 3.5/5, (70%-85%)
Glenn Broderick, Computer Player, volume 3, number 5, pg. 68, 8/10, (80%).
Company history: http://www.psygnosis.com/company/companyx.html
Unofficial lemmings site:
Hint: Like the original game resources dwindle with the ever more increasing incrementing levels. Some battles require every drop of paint to win. So be careful and shoot only at the right moment.
Recommended for parents and kids to play together as a non violent fun game with terminally cute characters.