DMA Design‘s puzzle game, Lemmings, was a big hit with gamers when it was first released in 1991. The simple-but-compulsive gameplay and cute graphics won over everyone who played it.
Well, almost everyone…
Playing Lemmings now: the levels seem very familiar, as do the game mechanics, but that’s probably because I’ve played this game many times – across lots of different systems. And it’s always a lot of fun.
Lemmings is a ‘rescue’ game essentially, where you give commands to tiny walking creatures that are trying to find the exit inside a convoluted maze. Some levels require particular skills to beat, while others need a combination of skills, and you are only given a limited number of skill uses per level, so have to be careful.
Lemmings doesn’t get hard until level eleven, but after that you’ll have to get your thinking cap on to progress. Thankfully most levels only a require a percentage of Lemmings saved, so you can afford to lose a few… From time to time you’ll even have to use the ‘Armageddon’ icon to end a level, dooming all surviving Lemmings to explode… in a shower of pixels…
An even better sequel – Lemmings 2: The Tribes – was published by Psygnosis in 1993. It is more varied and flexible than the first game and is the one to choose if you only want to play one title.
More: Lemmings on Wikipedia