Sink or Swim (video game)

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Sink or Swim
Developer(s) Zeppelin Games
Publisher(s) Zeppelin Premier
Designer(s) Andrew Drake, Anthony Gallop, Steven Wannell, Robert Tucker
Platform(s) Amiga, Atari ST, IBM PC, SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Gear
Release 1993
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single player

Sink or Swim is a video game that was released in 1993 for the PC under the DOS environment. Developed by Zeppelin Games Limited, it was an action/puzzle game very similar in style to Lemmings. Versions also made their way onto the Amiga and the SNES. The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Game Gear versions are known as S.S. Lucifer: Man Overboard!. The game was the first demo disk attached to PC Gamer magazine.


Players control Kevin Codner, the aquatic hero. After hearing that the SS Lucifer has suffered some sort of mishap (the exact nature of the incident is not made clear in the game. Somehow the captain is shown pulling the plug from his bath, and a fountain of water shoots up and starts flooding the ship.), Kevin gets into a yellow submarine and begins saving the passengers.


Each level has a certain number of passengers on it, and a certain quota to save to pass. Kevin must guide the passengers to their level exit, and then make his way to his own exit. There may be obstacles in the way, and there may also be water pouring into the ship's compartment, forcing the player to play quickly.

Kevin surrounded by the passengers he has to save.

Kevin has explosives at his disposal, allowing him to blast open doors or blast apart cargo crates that are blocking the way. There may be gaps that the passengers need to cross to reach their exit. These may be covered by pulling a simple lever and activating the bridge, but other times Kevin will have to build a bridge from cargo crates.

There are conveyor belts and magnetic hoists to help in this task, but the conveyor belts may prevent the passengers from reaching their destination also. Kevin will have to find the correct levers to switch the direction of the belts.

The passengers do not avoid dangers, and will walk into fires or off platforms and get themselves killed if not guided correctly. Kevin can use his life-boat to give them a little time in the water, but if they have not reached a ladder by the time it deflates, they are back where they started, in the freezing water. If they stay there too long, they will die. There are a few jetpacks that passengers can use for instant escape, but never enough to transport all the passengers.

The player must patch up burst pipes spraying scalding steam, prevent passengers from falling into pools of acid, and cover up fires with cargo crates.

Technical details[edit]

The Amiga and Atari ST versions of the game ran on two floppy disks, and utilized any extra memory the system may have.


Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the SNES version a 6.4 out of 10. They commented that the graphics could be better but that the gameplay is both strategic and addictive.[1] GamePro took the reverse position, praising the graphics but criticizing the lack of multiplayer and concluding that the gameplay is not entertaining enough to captivate puzzle veterans.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Review Crew: Sink or Swim". Electronic Gaming Monthly (65). EGM Media, LLC. December 1994. p. 40. 
  2. ^ "Sink or Swim". GamePro (67). IDG. February 1995. p. 68. 

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