Here it is, the one that started it all! Originating in Scotland from the company DMA, Lemmings was one of the earliest puzzle games that didn't involve shifting blocks and matching colors. Instead, the player had to use eight simple commands to lead the lemmings to their safe place. Easier said than done, because the levels are filled with countless traps ranging from simple pits to bear traps and electrocution rods. And just what happens when the lemmings wander into these places? THEY DIE! JOY OF JOYS!

Truth is, the point of this game is to save as many of the furry elves as you can, hoping you saved enough to go onto the next level to combat more traps and dangers. Whether the mind burning puzzles, the graphics and sound, or such a high level of sadistictism that it puts Katamari Damacy to shame, or even all three, the game was a hit.

Later a game called "Oh No! More Lemmings!" was released. It was little more than supplemental levels of Lemmings with ugly graphics and a slightly upped difficulty level. Nothing to break your neck searching for.

Aside from sequels, it spawned various products, from lunchpails I've never seen to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. It also got some ports from the computer and onto other systems. Some ports weren't bad at all. The SNES version is one of my favorite games of all time, and the Genesis version is enjoyable (although a little buggy compared to its SNES brother). But two ports are enough to make the devil himself curl up into the fetal position and hide in a corner.

First is the original Nintendo version. What inclined Sunsoft to port a 16-bit game to an 8-bit system? The result of this was a pracitcally unplayable painfest where the lemmings bolt around like greased lightning, do their work in grids and thus have a tendency to take several steps before they start doing anything (Clockwork didn't learn this does not work when they decided to make 3D Lemmings), the inability to pause if the cursor's moving, and a pain in the butt way of selecting commands. Although I have to admit the music's not bad.

Oh, but the torture doesn't stop there. Somebody decided to port a 16-bit computer game to an 8-bit handheld. The result was even worse. The NES version just seemed to by vomit-inducing difficult, but still possible with time and patience most people don't have. The game is glitchy, and the only real way to see just how buggy the game is is to play it yourself. Tthat's not something I'd recommend. So I'll try to save you all the suffering and explain it. The lemmings move incredibly slow, and there's some stages where they're SO slow they can't make it to the exit in time no matter how good you are. Some of the traps don't work properly, and since you only get ten lemmings a stage (only a few exceptions, and in them you get five) some stages where you have to sacrific a few lemmings to a trap are impossible, or sometimes it's impossible to dodge a trap because it goes off whenever the lemmings cross its vertical axis, no matter how far above or below the actual trap the lemming is. It's possible to dig through steel by laying a couple of planks down with a Builder, then making him dig. But the bad glitches far outweight the useful ones, rendering the game unplayable without a Gameshark.

Back to Lemmings FOREVER