Amiga Power


Author: Matt Bielby
Publisher: Loriciel
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #8


Sooner or later it had to happen - someone would dare to come up with a Lemmings copycat for the Amiga. More so than Brat or anything else that's been likened to the Psygnosis classic - now the best-selling Amiga game of all time, fact fans! - Builderland is an indisputable clone, but that's not to say it isn't any good! The basic idea - that you play fairy godmother to little characters (or, in this case, one little character) walking along a hazardous landscape by modifying things to nullify the traps ahead - is such a strong one that it could hardly fail to work, and it certainly does the business here.

Thus the little chap you see trotting along the bottom of these screens is totally stupid and uncontrollable - ignore him. Instead, concentrate on the red cursor square, which you can use to pick up and move around the various objects ahead. Grey blocks can plug holes, yellow blocks can float in the air, stairways act as, well, stairways, bombs explode a bit of ground creating a new route and so on - all used together they'll hopefully create a safe path for your dumb little charge to navigate. Generally the problems are rather more straightforward than you'll find in Lemmings - you'll find the bits and pieces you need to fix and particular trap floating around nearby, and it's just a case of juggling around with the various bits provided.

It's unfortunate, then, that while the basic idea works, programming is of a very lacklustre standard - budget game stuff, really. Flat primary colours, limited animation, every free object of exactly the same size - it all smacks of someone doing the job using AMOS, a fact revealed shyly in the corner of the title screen). Real 8-bit stuff then, reminiscent of Kid Gloves in look and feel more than anything else (especially in the hopeless sub game) while not as pretty, and ultimately a disappointment.

It'll find its fans no doubt - the game is without doubt quite fun to kick around with for a while - but you couldn't say it was actually good.

The Bottom Line

Fairly interesting Lemmings clone, but so cheaply put together as to be almost embarrassing. Fun though.

Matt Bielby

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