by Gary Timmons, Jonathan Dye, Scott G. Johnston, Adrian Powell
Psygnosis Ltd
Crash Issue 94, Dec 1991   page(s) 14,15

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.


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%]

Oh to be a Lemming! They don't have to worry about mortgage rates and house prices. Oh no, all they care about is finding themselves a cliff to spectacularly chuck themselves off. Trying to stop the little swines following their natural instincts in this game is frustrating but fun. They are such morons - IQs of three below a rocking horse! Fortunately, if they annoy you too much you can just press the nuke button and blast the bleedin' blighters to smithereens! (I wonder if you can buy a button like that for real life?) Graphically, Lemmings is superb, although the sprites and backgrounds are monochrome so the Lemmings sometimes get lost in the scenery. Also the cursor used to control the suicidal creatures is sometimes rather sluggish as you try desperately to avert disaster. Lemmings is an absolutely stonkin' game so if brain teasers are your cup of tea, go out and buy it - now!
LUCY [90%]

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Presentation: 87%
Graphics: 89%
Sound: 86%
Playability: 87%
Addictivity: 91%
Overall: 91%

Summary: Psygnosis have done the impossible by squeezing Lemmings into the Spectrum. It may be monochrome but it's an excellent conversion.

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 73, Jan 1992   page(s) 17

£12.99 cass only
Reviewer: Andy Hutchinson

You have to wonder, don't you? I mean, all lemmings do is wander around the countryside, eating grass, chatting to the neighbours and excreting every so often. Then they decide that life's not worth it and promptly chuck themselves off the nearest deadly precipice. Not exactly a cast-iron philosophy on which to build a community is it?

I mean, imagine if early cavemen had gone and topped themselves everytime a dinosaur trampled on their broccoli, or taken a nibble of a deadly mushroom because Zog next door was playing his bonging rock all night when you had an awful headache from too much woad. We wouldn't be here today if early man had been that depressed. All of which begs one teensy-weensy question: how the flip did lemmings make it this far down the evolutionary scale?

Psygnosis would have us believe that they made it this far so that they could be immortalised in a revolutionary platform game. In fact they're so sure of this hitherto unknown fact that they've given you, gentle Spec-chum, the role of chief protector of lemmings, a kind of zoo-keeper on a Hippocratic oath. You see, the whole point of lemmings is to guide wodges of the hairy cuddlesome chaps to the end of a level, by directing them in all sorts of groovy but ever so important functions.


if you don't tell the lemmings what to do, then they'll easily find some way of killing themselves. This is because, as we've already ascertained, they think that it's both smart and clever. Right, so the lemmings drop down from the sky and you've got to keep them safe.

At the bottom of the screen are 12 icons. Eight of these enable you to direct a single lemming in a task. For example, if there's a huge wall in the way you can click on one of them and he'll burrow through it. Similarly, if there's a gap that needs crossing, you can kit one out with a Masters degree in bridge building and set him off to the other side. YTS was never like this.

The other four icons at the bottom of the screen control the speed of the arrival of the lemmings from a note in the ceiling, a pause key and an Armageddon button which annihilates all the lemmings if you've really mucked up a level.


Of course, nothing's ever as easy as all that. No siree. In this game, the 60 levels vary from piddlingly easy to aggravatingly hard. All sorts of obstacles get plonked in your way, such as drops that are just too high to leap off, spinning scythes and volcanic pits. Fail to work out what you're meant to do with your lemmings and the little chaps will just stroll off to their deaths. On some levels you'll have to account for each and every lemming dropped from the sky: while on others, you'll only have to get a couple home safely.

Graphically, each level is monochrome. This isn't a problem, because you can still see the lemmings perfectly adequately, complete with hawing locks of hair and pained expressions when you decide to blow them up. The bottom icon display is in a different colour, which means you can quickly pick out a task for each rodent. The cursor which itemises our heroes is about the same size as a lemming and can be locked onto a particular lem by hitting N. This makes life a whole lot easier.

Nope, there's little doubt about it. Lemmings is a corker and no mistake. The levels have been perfectly weighted to help progression through the game and believe me, you will want to progress. Once these pixelated fur-balls are let loose on your Speccy, they won't let go until you've saved them from each and every one of the 60 levels. So be prepared, there's no sleep until lemming bedtime.

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Life Expectancy: 90%
Instant Appeal: 88%
Graphics: 86%
Addictiveness: 91%
Overall: 91%

Summary: Whizzy, super and chock full of furry animals with long hair. Groovesome.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 119, Jan 1992   page(s) 22,23

Label: Psygnosis
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £10.00 Tape
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Eeeek! They're horrible, they're vile and they're savagely suicidal! It's the Lemmings and it's you job to try and keep the furry little critters from throwing themselves off the tops of deep caverns and gibing the Samaritans a big headache.

So there you are. You have a whole regiment of rodents, running around like a dose of diarrhoea in a nursery. Only the Lemmings are outside of the cruel world and don't seem to have the sense they were born with. They're seemingly bent on destruction - the only thing between them and certain extinction is you, and the clever use of some of the Lemmings innate specialist skills (yes they are innate, I saw a guinea pig parachute in Tales of the Riverbank when I was a kid.) Luckily these skills include rodent bridge builders, tunnellers, diggers (who dig holes as opposed to tunnels), blockers - so called because they hold back their comrades whilst you build a bride over a ravine and parachutists who boldly float down into uncharted territories to prepare the land for all those who follow...

Sounds strange?

Well it is, but it is very involved. Each level has a unique terrain, across which you must safely shepherd the rodents using the icons at the bottom of the screen. You select which type of lemming you need and then move back the main screen, choose a lemming, click on it and presto! The lemming will immediately take on the role that you have assigned. Perhaps building a bridge, digging a tunnel or even burrowing down through solid rock to pop out below the obstruction or ever spontaneously combusting!

Once all the dangers have been negotiated, the remaining lemmings (yes, I'm afraid that not all of them ever seem to make it, sob), will trundle up the steps of the 'rats, I've made it portal' and as long as you've made your quota of lemmings saved, then you'll be given the password for the level and you can load in the next.

Lemmings is one of the most original games to hit not only the Spectrum, but the whole computer games industry for some time and deserves to do well. It's a very difficult thing to be able to tell someone what the game is like because there's never really been anything like it, although I feel there will be a lot of games...

Not full of furious action, more like an arcade puzzle game, but none-the-less a marvellous, game to play.

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Graphics: 76%
Sound: 85%
Playability: 89%
Lastability: 93%
Overall: 91%

Summary: Lemmings may be infuriatingly good at being crap, but this animal trait actually makes an excellent game. Lemmings is new, novel and nifty so don't be thrifty, be well nifty and slope of now and buy it.

Award: Sinclair User Gold

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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