Reach for your parachutes peeps cos we’re off for a cliff-hanging trip with the luverly Lemmings — courtesy of Psygnosis. Cute they may be intelligent they ain’t. You sure wouldn’t find one of these critters on Mastermind. And so messy! Splattering their bodies all over the place indeed, no consideration. Haven’t they ever heard of taking an overdose? NICK ROBERTS dons his green wig and jumps off CRASH Towers (about time too — Ed).....
The Lemmings are little critters with big green mops on their heads and groovy blue jackets. They’d be a peaceful, fun loving kind if it wasn’t for one problem — they haven’t got a brain cell between them! (Do these people work at CRASH? — Ed). To make matters worse they’ve found themselves in a heap of trouble and need to be rescued.
Each level of the game has traps, high cliffs, deep holes and all sorts of other hazards for the chaps to avoid as well as an entrance and exit. When the Lemmings start coming out of the entrance, they keep going until they hit a wall (as you do!) and turn around, come to the end of a rock and fall to their doom, or you select one of the icons to give a Lemming a special job to do.
The trick is to get the required amount of Lemmings to the exit within the time limit using only the icons you have at your disposal. Icons get less and less the further you progress into the 60 levels of the game, split into four categories — Fun, Tricky, Taxing and Mayhem. You are going to need some quick thinking and lightning reactions to rescue all the little Lemmings.
IT MAKES ME SICK!
The idea behind this game is so sickeningly simple it had programmers all over the world kicking themselves for not thinking of it first. The sprites used are tiny so need little attention to detail, the programmer’s skill is used by thinking up devilishly difficult levels for the unsuspecting games player. The graphics are almost exactly the same as the Amiga or Atari ST’s. The only difference seems to be that all the colour has been taken out of them, the whole game’s in monochrome. This doesn’t spoil things too much though, except that when the Lemmings crowd together all you can see is a block of colour! The more characters on screen the slower the game gets too, but that’s nothing to moan about — it’s a miracle the game is running on a Spectrum in the first place!
You’re not going to complete Lemmings in a hurry. There are four skill levels: Fun, Tricky, Taxing and Mayhem and each of these has 15 landscapes to complete. That makes (whirr, whirr) 60 levels of Lemming mayhem in all! 128K owners don’t have to reload levels if they fail to complete them, 48K owners do.
Lemmings is an excellent conversion of a highly popular 16-bit game. It may have a couple of problems in the speed and colour departments but I can live with these. This is one game that I am going to be addicted to for a long time.
NICK — 91%