Lemmings. Aren't they stupid?

Famed the world over for throwing themselves off high places for apparently no reason whatsoever, they're the losers of the animal world.

Unfortunately, in the game of the same name, you've got the task of rescuing them. You do this by endowing certain Iemms with special powers. Lf for example, there's a hole in their way, you have to get one of them to build a bridge over it, or other- wise the rest of them blindly stumble over the edge because they're so brain-Iess. The aim on each level is to get the specified number of Iemms home safely by any means possible. Hazards are many: fire spews from the walls, chasms yawn on every side, poison goop threatens to engulf the unwary lemming that falls into it (Iemms, as any fule kno, can't swim) and time is running out. But soldier on - the lemms are depending on you.

If you ever get stuck in an unwinnable situation, use the Nuke icon. Bang go all the Lemmings in a pretty spectacular display on animal pyrotechnics. If you're really bloodthirsty you can even do this just to watch their little heads explode

Do you think you’ve got the poise to control up to 100 suicidally stupid lemmings all hell bent of throwing themselves off the nearest cliff? Here’s the chance to prove it in Lemmings


Considering the size of the lemmings sprites it’s quite amazing that they’re so well animated - literally only a few pixels high, they display more character than most silicon heroes ever do, even down to the way their hair flies about when their heads turn. Keeping them small means being able to animate more on screen at once at a reasonable speed, though there is some doubt whether it's possible to see them clearly enough if you're playing the game on your grandad's 1952 televisiongram - only a good monitor really does them justice. Some of the backgrounds are quite spectacular too. It’s the same old story, though: sound has sadly been forgotten.

When you play the game, you get the option of choosing between moronic repetitive tunes or simple beeps and clicks - the latter is preferable if you want to retain a modicum of sanity.

Lemmings is arranged into four stages – Fun, Tricky, Taxing and Mayhem – each composed of 30 levels. Though you could go straight to the Mayhem stage, it’s best to start with Fun, ‘cos the earlier levels are very easy and guide you through the complexities of the control method. Complete a level successfully and you’re given its password – invaluable when you want to play level 30. On this level from the Tricky stage (over two screens wide), you have a full crew of 100 Lemmings on the loose and you must get 93 of them home – not many to waste!

1. Lemmings drop from here
2. Put a Blocker here to stop them falling off the drop to the right
3. Make one lemm build a bridge across this chasm
4. Several bridges have to be built here, until there’s just a tiny gap for the lemms to fall through. They don’t die because of the protruding wall
5. Lemmings get trapped here. The arrows on the rock mean you can only dig one way – fortunately it’s the right way. Use a Basher lemming to burrow through it
6. Then there are just a few more bridges over here and they’re home and dry
7. Home. No, you couldn’t just dig straight down here – the problem’s solid steel
Along the bottom of the screen you use to control all the individual lemmings. The number above the icon shows how many times you can use it for this level – sometimes you can’t use it at all.

Here there are two solid walls in your way. How do you get through them without and bashers? Simple - place a Blocker right next to a wall and blow him up. He takes the wall with him

Even after you've sussed out a level you may still find it hard to complete. It's easy to run out of time 'cos it takes a while to set everything up - and damn frustrating to do it all again


Lemmings is damn near perfect. It has all the ingredients of a classic game: simple rules, massive playability, enjoyable graphics and that indefinable something that draws you back again and again. The only major drawbacks are the lack of sound and the potential legibility of graphics, but neither of these makes the game unplayable. Get into the world of Lemmings and you'll never want to come out again.




ST Format Shrine
Page last updated: 10 July 2011
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