The 1991 classic from DMA Designs, Lemmings has been reincarnated and has come back to us as Flockers, from Worms developers Team17.
An unnecessarily violent and extremely graphic portrayal of how silly a flock of sheep really can be, Flockers pits you as a sadistic shepard trying to navigate your live-soon to be dead-stock through a factory of spinning buzz saws, explosive propane tanks, fifteen foot spikes and the obvious pitfalls.
It’s a little tricky to get into to begin with as the game doesn’t seem to offer a tutorial mode, just a very basic beginners level. Of my flock of 50, by the end of the first level, I had only just completed it with 1 lonely sheep surviving the onslaught! Straight away it was pretty tough.
Graphically, it’s nothing gripping. Of course, Team17 most notably known for the Worms series, have never excelled in the world of graphics. For the most part, the Worms series was played from a 2D perspective, zoomed fairly far out. Flockers seems to take a lot from both the original Worms games and of course the 90’s classic, Lemmings. The only thing that seems to set apart these three games is that in Flockers you have an obscene amount of blood. I mean, it’s like everywhere. It’s quite shocking how much of this crimson-liquid can burst out of a small, fluffy mammal when a 6 tonne hammer lands on their head from 20 feet above.
For me, I was hoping that Flockers would have had a little more of an appeal to it. After a few levels of the same thing, I was left feeling a little short-changed. The levels were mostly repetitive and the moody, dark, dank and mostly brown visuals didn’t welcome me in. Playing the next level started to feel as though it was a bit of a chore.
The game felt a little sluggish at times, and would more often than not, cost me the heads of more sheep than necessary. The slow, sluggish and clunky controls made it difficult to navigate the entire map and keep a hold of everyone of your sheep (I have no doubt that there is an achievement for completing a level without losing a single sheep). There are a number of different types or movements you can have your sheep perform, be it putting capes on to fly, wooly hats on to jump or climbing on one another to form stairs, etc. These all seem to be here to daze and confuse the player and I can assure you, it worked.
To play this game successfully, you need at least 5 pairs of eyes, and several controllers, as this is an extremely tough game to manage everything at once. There seems to be at least 10 things going on on the screen at any one time!
Other than navigating your cattle from one side of the map to the other, there is no real narrative, plot or characters in Flockers, which to tell you the truth, made the game feel a little empty, rushed and even lacking of content. I’m not overly fussed about graphics, but if you’re not gonna give us half decent graphics at least give us a decent reason to play.
To tell you the truth, I got pretty bored of Flockers fairly quickly. On paper it sounds like a great idea, and I’m sure if there is ever a Flockers 2 it’ll be better, but generally speaking Flockers was a very average game. The lack of originality, gripping content or even a basic narrative have all left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone, not for full price at least.