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Lemmings

Year: 1991
Developer: Ocean Software
Publisher: Sunsoft
Players: 1

Take a unique puzzle game concept, add in some odd little guys with green hair and a few picks and parasols, mix well, and serve. This recipe had been used for a while to create a quite renowned game series that has spanned over a dozen different video game systems so far.

"Lemmings" was the name of the games that featured these "odd little guys with green hair," based on actual living rodents known as "lemmings" that periodically migrate as if in an odd hypnotic state, usually ending in death after an unexplained plunge into the sea. The game of Lemmings explores this strange phenomenon by giving you the ability to curb the lemmings' suicidal tendencies. Your job is to brave many levels of varying difficulty, assigning some of the lemmings special tasks that will help lead the others to safety.

Lemmings typically uses a point-and-click game engine. Unfortunately, while this may be easy to use on a PC with mouse capabilities, it's not quite as easy on the NES game system. While on a PC, you can quickly move from one lemming to another, assigning tasks as necessary, you instead have to deal with much slower pointer movement led by a control pad when playing on the NES. Just as well, the lack of many buttons on the NES controller complicates the method of flipping through your various available tasks. The NES version of Lemmings is still a very good game, but many would agree that it is not one of the better versions, thanks to tougher controls to master.