Lemmings (Master System Review)

You said it wasn’t gonna rain!!!
You said it wasn’t gonna rain!!!


Puzzle games on the 8-bit usually amount to stacking a few blocks on top of more blocks to make all the blocks disappear. And we have some blocks here! Some lovely little white, green and blue blocks that make up your favourite, barely heard of, suicidal animal. Apparently lemmings like hurling themselves off ledges and how!

Your task is to assign tasks to the lemmings so that a certain percentage of them reach the exit at the end of the level.  There are eight tasks in total varying from floaters (more Mary Poppins than WC misdemeanour) to diggers.  You click on a task, then click onto a lemming of your choice.


This game was an instant hit on the Amiga due to the ease of its mouse point and click interface and the Master System pad copes with it reasonably well.


The blue slugs scared the bejesus out of everyone
The blue slugs scared the bejesus out of everyone


The cursor flies about the screen with a tap of the d-pad and the “2” button is responsive enough. The graphics are good for the 8-bit, although backdrops are sacrificed for the bold and colourful menus and also to animate the little blighters. The music is varied and doesn’t drone like a lot of 8-bit titles.  The levels are ported almost entirely from the Amiga and PC versions.  There are four difficulty settings (Mayhem will have you tearing your hair out) each with 30 levels.


Ok, you just stand there whilst I smash through this steel AGAIN


The ratio setter on the far left of the menu is a life saver, on the latter levels you’ll really need to slow down the action, it’s also useful for speeding up the action when you’ve aced a level. You can also preview each level, to er, plan a strategy? With 120 levels there is awful lot of game here and it’s impossible to fault Lemmings other than that the Mayhem levels are impossible.  


This is a conversion that was never meant to be possible.  It’s a mini miracle that it’s here, a mini blue green and white miracle hurling itself off a cliff.



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