Originally released in 1991 by Psygnosis, Lemmings is a game that has been ported to 40 different computers and consoles… The most I can think of than any other game out there.
Why has this game been ported so many damn times? To put it simply this game is AWESOME!
I originally had this for the ZX Spectrum but playing it with the keyboard was a complete nightmare. I later got it for the Amiga which was much easier with a mouse interface and over the years got many of the other ports including the most recent version for the PSP. This version took all the best elements from the other versions, in particular, music and original levels.
Playing on the Amiga
Now for this particular review, I am going to be using the Amiga to have a quick run through it again. The one thing I love about this game straight off the bat is the puzzle solving; you have to actually use your brain whilst playing this game in order to get your little green haired, blue bodied friends from the start of the level to the end, killing as few as possible.
To successfully get the lemmings from one end of the level to the other you are given an arsenal of different lemmings that all have different functionalities. In the original version of this game you relied quite heavily on basher lemmings (who dig through walls), digger lemmings (who of course dig through floors) climber lemmings (who can scale walls like a little green haired Spiderman) and blocker lemmings (who stop your little lemmings from jumping to a watery grave or off a nice cliff edge).
Whilst all this problem solving is going on, the game is accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack composed originally by Tim Wright & Brian Johnston. Now you might know Tim Wright as his other name CoLD SToRAGE who did the amazing fast paced music for Wipeout. If you attempt to play either of these games without the music it is a completely different game… It is rather strange how music can completely transform a game. I think the success of each ported version of this game also relied heavily on the music as well as graphics and gameplay. Check out this video on YouTube that compares the different music used in many of the different Lemmings games:
I have been listening to this whilst writing the review and this alone has brought back many memories of the later levels.
Variations and Sequels of the Game
There were many variations of these games released after the success of the original one, most notably Lemmings 2 but I just came across some other disks for my Amiga… Damn right they had a Christmas Lemmings!!! With their little Santa hats bobbing up and down as they walk, whilst christmas music plays in the background. I think I might save this for a Christmas review instead.