Lemmings survives for its 20th birthday

15 Feb 2011

Puzzle game Lemmings celebrated its 20th birthday in style yesterday, with a plaque unveiled at the original offices where it was created in Dundee, Scotland.

The game was originally created by DMA Design, which later became Rockstar North and went on to develop Grand Theft Auto.

Lemmings had players attempt to rescue the title creatures across 120 levels. The lemmings themselves would blindly walk through the world with steep drops, gaps, barriers and rivers to stop them. Players had to assign a limited number of skills to the lemmings to help them alter the landscape or overcome it to reach their goal.

The game became highly influential to the modern real-time strategy genre, introducing “indirect control” of characters to gaming.

Published by Psygnosis, it was known as one of the UK’s first global gaming blockbusters, selling 55,000 on its first day of release in 1991. It went on to sell more than 15m copies and appeared on more than 28 systems.

Dave Jones, co-founder of DMA Design along with Gary Timmon, Mike Dailly and Russel Kay, spoke to audiences about the game and unveiled a plaque at the original office in Dundee.

Lemmings is one of those few games whose design has stood the test of time, and with versions being released on new generations of hardware, it continues to be enjoyed by players of all ages everywhere,” said Timmons, who co-designed and animated the game.