All New World Of Lemmings logo AGA Amiga Computing Gold Award

The green-haired rodents have returned and they're still looking to top themselves at every possible opportunity. Jonathan Maddock puzzles his way through yet another suicide marathon.


Lemmings. Bloody Lemmings! Can't people just let go. Isn't it time we put them to sleep forever, time they jumped off that big cliff in the sky, time for Psygnosis to stop producing games featuring those pesky rodents who are extremely proficient at committing suicide?

The answer to all the above questions is a resounding "No! Why this reply? Well, due to public demand and the fact that Lemmings series of games have sold like proverbial hot cakes, Psygnosis have decided to release yet another puzzle extravaganza."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not whinging about it, in fact I'm quite happy that another Lemmings game has appeared, but my mind unfortunately wanders back to Lemmings 2: The Tribes. This follow-up was a huge disappointment to me. I felt the creators had tried too hard and unknowingly changed the original winning formula beyond repair - and perhaps their ideas were just a tad too ambitious.

Despite this criticism for myself, the game did damn well in the software charts and punters everywhere were rushing to see their doctors due to a serious second dose of Lemmings fever.

Courtesy of those nice people at Psygnosis, a third instalment is now here. Will this new set of suicidal adventures reclaim some of the lemmings glory from years gone by, or will it suffer like the sequel and end up jumping the nearest cliff?


The All New World of Lemmings contains a set of new characters who aren't actually Lemmings. This gang of four inhabit the various islands and thus make the levels harder to complete.

The Potato Beast attacks the suicidal heroes of the game and should be avoided at all costs. The Psycho Buzzard plucks the heads off its helpless green-haired victims whenever they walk past. Lemme Fatale is a mimic who appears as a vision of great beauty to all the little Lemmings - she attracts them one at a time and watches as they commit suicide by blowing their brains out. These sequences are fairly graphical, but you'll find yourself laughing as they tend to appear quite unexpectedly.

Last, but by no means least is the Mole. Although this bespectacled fellow isn't pure evil, he does tend to cause you a lot of problems. He doesn't harm the Lemmings, but instead digs all over the place ruining some of your best laid plans.
The mole can be useful to you though. Build bricks in front of him and you can make him dig where you want him to. The inclusion of these new stars is a nice touch and it shows that the creators haven't become too over ambitious this time around.



Although it's by no means spectacular, the sounds contained within Lemmings 3 are considerably improved upon what your ears heard in the previous titles.
The menu music is suitably 'menu-like' and comes across some kind of tribal theme - appropriate as you control three Lemming tribes in the game.

Each tribe has their own set of themed musical compositions. The Shadow match their sneaky behaviour. As a nod and a wink to the past, the Classic Lemmings wander around to the jingles from the original game, although this time around they've been improved and have become much more up-beat.
The Egyptian music is, ahem, not very Egyptian like, but sounds very similar to the men theme. This is not a huge problem and I could be accused of being petty, but it would have been nice if the music had been kept to the same standard.

Sound effects within the puzzle-filled adventure are few and far between. Whenever a Lemming makes it to the level exit, he/she joyfully shouts "Yippee", and before you decide to nuke them all they shout the now infamous "Oh No!". There is the odd smattering of speech here and there, but apart from that there isn't too much to brag about in the noises department. The music is quite good, although it's far too cheesy from my liking.




The first thing you'll notice as soon as you start to play are the sprites and backdrops contained within the game. It looks very much like the graphics from the first foray into Lemmingsville, but somehow it's altogether different.

With ruler in hand a quick measurement later, my theory was confirmed. The various pixels in this new piece of software are larger than seen in previous instalments. Coo!

A second look at the screen and not only are the Lemmings themselves bigger, but they've been animated far better. It's probably due to the new size of the graphics which enables the artists to include a lot more small, but important details.

There are three types to play with: Classic, Egyptian and Shadow. Each tribe is stylised and although all the Lemmings tend to do the same things (i.e. build bridges, dig, etc.) there is a distinct difference between the three tribes.
The classics have still got that infamous 'bouncy' walk, but the Egyptian perform a traditional 'sand dance while Shadow (ninja's to you and me) tribe sneak around on tip-toe as if they're about to appear in an episode of Mission Impossible.

Not only have the sprites been given a new lick of paint, so too have the various backgrounds. You only have to take a quick glance at the screenshots to see how well they've been improved over the previous Lemmings incarnations.

Overall you'd have to say that this new version beats the others hands down when it comes to the graphic side of things. The whole look of the game hasn't changed that drastically from the original concept. Instead it's been given a good spring clean and everything you see is bigger and better than anything that's gone before.




It's been quite a few years since I last played Lemmings and after playing the All New World of Lemmings for the last couple of weeks I didn't realise until now just how much I had missed those pesky rodents and their infuriating puzzles.

There are still some annoyances though. When you 'nuke' your tribe, there are (not very good) explosions all over the place, but then disaster strikes as the screen fades to black far too quickly. What happened to the mass pixelated destruction which appeared in the original game?

The control system is still very similar to the original one, but there is a big difference. Instead of having dig, swim, build and float icons, the game substitutes all those activities for just one action icon. If a Lemming picks up an item, he keeps it until he dies or finds the exit. This might've caused a problem because all the Lemmings look identical, but luckily this fear of mine was suppressed.
With a quick stab of the right-button of the mouse, the garb that the Lemming is wearing changes colour, making it much easier to see him among his identical chums. This new control system takes a bit of getting used to, but thanks to its simplicity you'll soon be back on a Lemmings rescue mission.

If, by the way, you detest Lemmings in every possible form and dislike the idea of having to actually make your brain solve a puzzle, then this particular piece of software is not for you, in fact put this magazine down and go away.
Anyone who played the original game and liked it will love to get their hands on a copy of Psygnosis' latest offering. It's what you might call a conglomeration of old and new. The old being the original and incredibly addictive gaming concept, the new being the advances in graphics and sound. These two elements combined make for a rip-roaring action-packed 90-level puzzler that just gets better and better the more you play.

The All New World of Lemmings will make you cry when you lose a Lemming, it'll make you smile when you complete a level and it will even make you shout in anger when you mess up a level due to your lack of dexterity with the mouse. Quite simply, Psgynosis have come up with an emotion-filled puzzler that will delight any Amiga gamer with a fondness for those suicidal, green-haired Lemmings who just don't seem to go away.

On that subject, you'll notice that this game only contains three tribes. Well don't, or maybe don't fret because they'll be coming your way soon in the shape of three cash-sapping Lemmings adventures featuring all the other tribes. It does seem that with these releases the Lemmings phenomena will carry on going from strength to strength.

All New World Of Lemmings logo AGA

It's a whole new world, and it's full of lemmings. Steve McGill gets to grips with the little fellas but comes second in the battle of wits, skill and timing...

No one Amiga game has made quite such an immeasurable impact on the gameplaying public's imagination as Lemmings. The concept of altruistically guiding hundreds of silly little creatures to safety while simple, was completely revolutionary up on a home computer such as the Amiga.

Despite thousands and thousands of converts, myself included, some of the criticisms aimed at the game were pretty relevant and made sense in the way that a fluffed note in an orchestra makes sense - you tend to ignore them because you are too busy listening to and enjoying the harmony of the rest of the symphony.

But now seasoned gamer and novice alike are more versed in the art of game design. Especially Amiga gamers, because over the past six years or so, we've almost had a monopoly share of the very best games on the market.
So that's why, if you're a diehard fanatic of Lemmings, you might as well ignore everything that's about to follow. It is heresy, and for that crime the writer freely admits that he should be burned at the stake and his ashes cast to the four winds.

For, despite the overall improvement in game mechanisms and the inclusion of genuinely nice, though not novel, ideas, The All New World Of Lemmings is incredibly, incredibly irritating. It can be installed to hard drive, but even the installation routine is frustrating. So much so that I didn't bother with it and played the game from floppy instead.

Why the game should be irritating isn't immediately obvious. This time round though, unlike Lemmings 2 - Tribes which had 12 different types of lemmings, here there are only three varieties. So that's slightly irritating. More are promised at a later date, but in a calculated move that's going to cost you more money. Irritating.

World domination
Each type of lemming - Egyptian, Classic and Shadow - has 30 levels respectively. As is to be expected, they start easy, in a nice introductory kind of way and get progressively more difficult with frightening rapidity.
By the time the increasing difficulty starts to bite, some of the old conceptions of the original should hopefully have died off. No more waiting for lemmings to reach an obstacle before they turn back. You just command them to do so.

Now, there are five basic commands to be issued to each lemming rather than different types of lemming (check the boxout to find out more). Two of these commands, the pick up and drop, make up for the loss of the different types of lemmings. Presumably, this feature has been implemented so that the player has more to aim at on screen so that the game can still be played accurately with a mouse with a resolution lower than 180dpi and dirty rollers.
In theory, it's welcome. In practice, it isn't such a good idea. At times, you have to use the right mouse button to switch between different lemmings that have picked up different tools. If timing is crucial, this leads to uncalled for confusion, and ultimately, irritation.

Fortunately, it doesn't make the game unplayable - just bloody, bloody annoying. Just as annoying in fact as one of the old bugbears of the other two Lemmings games - selection of one particular lemming from a whole bunch of other little fellas.

Admittedly, Psygnosis have met the problem half way by making the user-selectable lemmings highlighted in red. But that still doesn't manage to stop the occasional lemming or two from craftily hiding behind a selected lemming. And, yep, you guessed it, you usually only find out that the stalking horses are there when you need them to be there least. Aaaaargghh!

So , you might have concluded that I, Stephen Nomiddlename McGill didn't like this game very much. And you'd be right. I hated it. But in terms of objectivity and professional reviewership, it has be admitted that it isn't a terrible game.
In fact, many Lemmings converts are going to love the various changes such as the inclusion of animals, the extra tools, and the large command boxes. Good luck to them.

All New World Of Lemmings: Bridge bricks-icon as an example of a selected tool All New World Of Lemmings: Force change of direction-icon All New World Of Lemmings: Traditional blocker icon All New World Of Lemmings: 'Jump'-icon All New World Of Lemmings: Tools inventory-icon All New World Of Lemmings: Drop tools-icon All New World Of Lemmings: Collection of a Timer icon, Fast-forward icon, Paws-icon and Lembomb-icon
The different tool types are accessible after your lemming has picked them up. Good idea. The good thing about this command is the ability to force a change of direction. Very handy. The traditional blocker can now be freed up by using the walker command (see left). Bit of a strange one this. After it's issued, the lemming jumps over the nearest obstacle. This is where all the tools you pick up are stored. Can become confusing when there are too many. This command is invaluable. It lets you drop tools of the side of crevices and follow then later on. These four icons are standard issue from the first Lemmings. The time on the left looks different but fulfils the same function as before.

Neue Wühler, neue Welten

All New World Of Lemmings logo AGA

Mit den ersten Plattform-Selbstmördern trat Psygnosis anno 1991 eine Lawine los, die Stratego-Aktionisten bereits mit diversen Zusatzdisks und einem vollwertigen Nachfolger überschüttete - und jetzt im überarbeiteten Teil drei der Saga gipfelt.

Vor den zwölf Sippen des direkten Vorgängers "The Tribes" haben drei Stämme inzwischen ein ganz neues Reich entdeckt: es besteht aus jeweils 30 Levels für die klassischen Lemminge, die Schattenagenten und die alten Ägypter. Am PC war die Ankunft der kleinen Suizidkandidaten in einem tollen Intro zu bestaunen, das für den Amiga stark abgespeckt wurde - macht aber nur die Hälfte, denn im übrigen sind keine Unterschiede zu finden:

Auch hier darf man in einem Hauptmenü speichern, laden, am Sound (Musik und FX sind getrennt an- bzw. abstellbar) schrauben, einen Trainings-Abschnitt besuchen und eine Karte des neuen Siedlungsgebiets begutachten, ehe man sich in eines der drei unterschiedlichen Landschaftsdesigns beamt. Wie gewohnt können die einzelnen Levels supersoft über mehrere Bildschirme gescrollt werden, doch schon bald stechen die ersten Neuerungen ins Auge.

So startet man seine Exkursionen nun mit einem Fundus aus 20 deutlich vergrößerten Lemmingen, von denen hier jedoch nie mehr als zehn gleichzeitig über den Screen turnen - der Rest bildet die (durch Rettung der in manchen Bildern gefangenen Kollegen erweiterbare) Reserve, von der für jeden gefallenen Kameraden umgehend ein Ersatzmann ins Feld geschickt wird. Man sollte also auch die Nachhut stets im Auge behalten...

Das fällt nun aber deutlich leichter als beim Vorgänger, weil die dort doch recht verwirrende Icon-Vielfalt auf fünf große Aktionsbuttions reduziert wurde. Daraus ergeben sich auch ganz neue Problemstellungen, denn diesmal kann jeder Lemming jederzeit vom Läufer zum Stopper und wieder zurück gemutiert werden, zudem können sie alle hüpfen - im Gegenzug wurden die Spielfähigkeiten wie z.B. Fallschirmspringen, Schwimmen oder Graben auf den Knaben beschränkt, der das entsprechende Tool dafür in Händen hält.

Er darf zwecks besserer Übersicht farblich hervorgehoben werden und kann sein Gerät auch wieder ablegen, damit es etwa ein Kollege später aufnimmt. Durch diese Änderungen hat man nicht nur den Umgang mit der indirekten Steuerung vereinfacht, sondern dem betagten Spielkonzept auch ganz neue Impulse eingehaucht!

Grundsätzlich geht es natürlich immer noch darum, die Rasselbande möglichst vollzählig an mannigfaltigen Gefahren vorbei und zum jeweiligen Levelausgang zu lotsen. Das war und ist deshalb problematisch, weil die Biester zunächst aus einer Falltür am Bildschirmhimmel purzeln und dann stur geradeaus tapsen, ungeachtet dessen, ob tödliche Fallen, Abgründe, Seen oder neuerdings sogar Monster im Weg stehen.

Um sie zu dirigieren, werden einzelnen Lemmingen nun per Icon-Klick Fähigkeiten zugeordnet, wobei die zehn aktuellen Sonder- bzw. Sammelcharakteristika (darunter Waffen zum Kampf gegen die Monster und eine Uhr für ein wenig Extrazeit) eben nur begrenzt vorrätig sind - man muß also genau nachrechnen, wie viele Schaufeln ein Gräber oder wie viele Steine ein Baumeister für seine Brücke zur Verfügung hat. Die letztgenannten Werkzeuge können übrigens per Pfeil sehr bequem in allen Richtungen angewandt werden.

Ansonsten ist vieles wie gehabt: Es darf jederzeit pausiert oder ein Zeitraffer aktiviert werden, und wer meint, einen Level nicht innerhalb des (als rotes Rundinstrument am Screen eigenblendeten) Zeitlimits bzw. beim Stand der Dinge überhaupt nicht mehr zu schaffen, sprengt die Jungs einfach kollektiv in die Luft und versucht es noch mal.

Ganz neu hingegen sind der zweite Schwierigkeitsgrad für Einsteiger und das integrierte Auto-Replay, bei dem man nach Gusto wieder ins Geschehen einsteigen kann. Bei umfangreichen Levels ist das natürlich besonders praktisch, allerdings ist der Vorzug, nicht immer wieder bei Adam und Eva anfangen zu müssen, mit Abzügen in der programminternen Wertung zu bezahlen.

Grafisch sind die Landschaften noch einen Tick detailreicher und die Animationen noch einen Schuß knuddeliger geworden, was insbesondere für die vier neu hinzugekommene Widersacher gilt. Da hätten wir nämlich nicht nur einen hungrigen Bussard und bösartiges Kartoffelmonster, sondern auch eine "Lemme Fatale", die unsere Schützlinge so lange magnetisch anzieht, bis die liebenskranken Tölpel einem Herzinfarkt erliegen.

Last not least treibt ein Maulwurf sein Unwesen, der für die eigenen Zwecke eingespannt werden muß, indem man ihm Hindernisse in den Weg baut, auf daß er brauchbare Löcher gräbt. Er und die vielen anderen Ideen im brillant ausgetüftelten Leveldesign sind es denn auch, die ein eigentlich bereits weitgehend ausgelutschtes Konzept erneut zum Süchtigmacher erheben - die vorzügliche Soundkulisse und die genial gelöste Steuerung allein hätten das wohl nicht mehr geschafft.

Der langen Rede kurzer Sinn: Dank viel Feinarbeit seitens der Programmierer und eines sehr schön ansteigenden Schwierigkeitsgrades sind die 90 neuen Knobelwelten ein Hochgenuß für alte Lemminge und junge Einsteiger gleichermaßen. Auf die bereits angekündigten Datadisks mit den hier nicht verbratenen Stämmen darf man sich daher ebenso freuen wie auf die kurz vor der Vollendung stehende Version für Standard-Amigos - schließlich sollte von diesem Spiel wirklich jeder etwas haben! (md/ml)

All New World Of Lemmings logo AGA

First there was an introduction. Then there were far too many of it. And now there is the last one. Of them.

There's something odd going on here. "Excuse us," said the world as a body after the dust settled on Lemmings, one of the most popular games ever in the history of all things, "but this really isn't that good at all, is it?" As soon as you start the screen, you pause the game, examine the level and work out how to solve it. The trouble is, you then have to implement your solution using the gleefully antagonistic controls and rather overly pixel-pedantic lem placement."

"Righto," said the programmers. Here's Lemmings 2, with 12 'tribes' of lemming so you have to get stuck 12 times before you're really stuck, different powers for each 'tribe' to shake up the variety, a vastly reduced number of puzzles demanding exact lem positioning, larger levels that scroll in eight directions and a definite goal to aim for in end-of-game medallions depending on the number of lems saved. "

And now, inevitably, we have Lemmings 3. (None of this trying-to-pretend-it's=something-different nonsense, thank you.) And, inexplicably, it's a step backward to the cumbersome original. There's something odd going on here.

Using the peculiar excuse that "Lemmings 2 was just a little bit too complicated for some people" DMA have greatly simplified the third game. Gone are the 12 'tribes'. You now have three - the Egyptian, Shadow and Norwegian lems - which most obviously means you've only to get stuck three times for the game to grind to a halt. Gone also are the characterful individual 'tribe' powers. In their place is a common pool of usable objects. The lems have, however, gained the ability to leap a short distance forwards, and a 'revert to normal' icon means you can save blockers instead of having to blow them up.

There's also an option to turn red an object-carrying lem with the intention of making him easier to pick out of the inevitable waddling mass, but this doesn't work as you still have to click precisely on him to turn him into a digger (or whatever). And the replay feature whereby you can mark your place in a level and then start from that point when you fail BUT WHICH ISN'T COUNTED AS COMPLETING THE SCREEN shall be dismissed with the haughty contempt it deserves.

Objects and monsters are the genuinely 'all-new' elements of Lemmings 3. The objects, while being nothing beyond collectable lem 'powers' from the previous games (instead of diggers, swimmers, builders and sacrificial bombers you get spades, lifebelts, hods of bricks and grenades), have a singular advantage over their predecessors: you have to earn the right to use them by working out a way to collect the blessed things in the first place. It's a terrific idea, and the simple refinement of having a lem only able to carry one type of objects at a time rockets the antic factor skyward. Not only do you have to master swapping objects at the correct moment, but you are also required to coordinate backup lems to carry on with the discarded prizes, and transport apparently useless items to a point where they can be dropped to a waiting conspirator below. Prestidigitation indeed.

The monsters aren't as successful. Whoever thought that the tricky trickster terrors of Lemmings weren't enough and what the format really needed was a bit of fast-paced, military-timing shootout action needs badly to be killed. (And their family. No, hang on. - Ed) Worst of the monsters are the moles. They're a damned nuisance. Ostensibly on your side (you're meant to block their path with bricks so they get angry and burrow in the earth, ricocheting off walls to form helpfully criss-crossed tunnels) it takes so much exhaustively-planned effort to get them to go where you want (as opposed to rampaging off in an entirely useless direction and getting themselves trapped so you have to restart the level) that you just wish them all dead. (And their - oh, never mind. - Ed)

Dropped to a waiting conspirator below

The substantially bigger graphics of Lemmings 3 are troublesome. Clearly you have less time in which to react before the lems blunder off a ledge, but the lems also tend to overlap exactly so you don't know if there's one hidden behind the lem you're concentrating on.

Far more serious is the finicky cursor. It must be centred on a lem to work, which means it's impossible to select a lem trapped in a small space, say, between two blockers, because he's constantly changing direction. Instead you have to 'revert' one of the blockers, let the trapped lem walk out, click on the ex-blocker to make him change direction so he lags behind the lem you're targeting, re-blocker him when he's in the clear and then turn your attention to the escaping lem. And it's no use thinking you can now let that lem drop down to the appropriate point and blocker him into position so you're sure he's building (or whatever) in exactly the right spot, because you can't.

Lemmings 3 won't let you change a blocker into anything but a 'reverted' walker. The idea is that you 'revert' him and then manoeuvre him into position by changing his direction a couple of times. But when you're zipping around the level trying to keep track of 20 lemmings at once (which, after all, is one of the points of the game) you're bound to forget in which direction any one lem was walking to start with. So you nip back to one near the end of a ledge, 'revert' him, slash the cursor down to the icon strip to select 'use', so he can plunger his way across the ceiling of that mighty pit, tear back to the ledge to discover he was actually walking the other way, try to change his direction, realise you're still in 'use' mode and watch helplessly as he falls off the other end, taking the irreplaceable plungers with him.

Or is it? After all, we are told this is the kind of thing on which Lemmings players thrive; that the fun isn't over once you've worked out the puzzle and that, in fact, unpausing and agonisingly working through the solution in competition with the mouse control, little lemmings and cacklingly bloody-minded traps is by far the best part of the game. And it must be true. Otherwise why would the programmers have simply forsaken the skill-skewed wiles of Lemmings 2 for a return to the outrageous contrivance of the original? Remember, you asked for it. Apparently.

In conclusion, then: leave well alone. If you've never played Lemmings before, buy Lemmings 2. It's friendlier, funnier and enormously more entertaining than this throwback to the mouse-battering infuriation of the original. You don't want to have to deal with building life-saving towers for diving lems without a clue as to how high they should be to pass the border of death while leaving enough bricks to reach that important ledge and have to left over to crush the laser-triggering pressure plate and fill in the hilariously imperceptibly collapsing walkaway.

You don't want to send a digger lem back and forth until he's in position to leap that uncovered gap because you can't switch directly from a 'use' lem to a 'jump' one. And you certainly don't want to pin your hopes on a single tooled-up lem only to slip up and blocker him, not safely along the ledges as you'd planned, but accidentally on its cusp where you can't possibly turn him around in time once 'reverted' which means RESTARTING THE LEVEL AGAIN.

And if you have played Lemmings before and truly believe in your heart this all sounds tremendous fun and don't mind at all the impenetrable hard drive-installation procedure that insists you use (eugh) the 'CLI' to create directories and things before it deigns to load, or the atrocious save game routine which allows you to wipe out your hard-won positions at the press of a button without so much as a by-your-leave or are-you-sure-you-want-to-do-this, then go right ahead and buy Lemmings 3. I wash my hands on you. You and your wretched ilk.

All New World Of Lemmings logo AGA

Price: £29.99   Publisher: Psygnosis   051-709 5755
Rik Skews feels anything but suicidal after encountering the latest exploits of those lovable Lemmings.

Arriving early in 1991, nobody could have predicted the success of the original Amiga version of Lemmings. It's on par with Tetris, one of those few titles that can manage to appeal to those who would normally never play a computer game. Instead it appeals to just about everyone from mums to stressed-out businessmen. Indeed, in a manner reminiscent of those clued up people who rejected The Beatles, Lemmings was dismissed by many major software houses until Psygnosis wisely published it.

Developed by the then relatively unknown DMA Design, Lemmings, like many of the best software titles ever, had an extremely simple concept. Guide a hapless band of lemmings from one side of the screen to the exit, making sure that in the process as few as possible perish in the traps that litter the play area.

To help them on their perilous journey a limited number of skills needed to be used in the best way possible. These skills included creating a builder lemming to build a bridge over dangers, and a blocker variety which stopped the flowing hordes walking to their doom.

Simple, but highly successful, the Lemmings titles have now been converted with equal success to many other formats. On the Amiga the original Lemmings has since been sequeled by Christmas Lemmings, Lemmings 2 and most recently Holiday Lemmings, which was Christmas Lemmings with 32 new levels bolted on the end. All these titles followed the format of the original with the only major differences being the ability to choose from more skills, and in the case of Lemmings 2, a plot where the Lemmings were looking for 50 missing pieces of a lost talisman.

Unsurprisingly then I was expecting more of the same from The All New World of Lemmings but I was pleasantly surprised at what I discovered. Gameplay is divided up neatly by three different tribes of lemmings, these being the classic variety as featured in the original game as well as Egyptian and Shadow types, the latter of which are Ninja wannabes. Some levels now feature trapped lemmings within them as well. It's not necessary to rescue them but this is of a good idea as they'll be added to your total lemmings supply.

Baddies have been introduced too, though not in the end of level guardian sense. Instead they present more of a nuisance. Examples include the sexy Lemme Fatale who makes lemmings so excited they commit suicide, and the Psycho Buzzard which hovers the sky in certain levels before swooping down and picking out a target or two.

Aurally The All New World of Lemmings is much the same, with the familiar 'Let's Go!' and 'splat' death sounds all accompanied by more of that wonderfully tacky supermarket music. The graphics though, have been radically overhauled. Gone is the 8-bit look of the background and platforms, instead everything now has a much more polished and modern look.

However, the biggest change has been reserved for the lemmings themselves. No longer are they the small and weedy, Sensible Software style, now they're big, dumpy and bear more resemblance to babies than suicidal rodents. This increase in size has allowed DMA Design to inject more humour and personality into the lemmings by way of better animation and greater detail.

Radical overhaul
The user interface has been radically overhauled too. Gone is the myriad of different icons. Now there are just five major icons from which all functions can be selected, which are as follows: walk, block, jump, use and drop. The 'use' icon allows the use of tools which can be collected in various parts of each level. These tools include spades for digging through earth, bricks for allowing passages across danger or to an otherwise unreachable area, and bombs for taking a satisfyingly hefty chunk out of the landscape. Each tool is limited in its capacity, the brick icon only contains a certain number of bricks for instance, and there's usually only enough to complete the task at hand, so if the tool is used at the wrong time it generally requires the level to be restarted.

Nearby tools might not be the one which will help the lemmings reach the end of a level safely though. Instead it could simply allow passage to another tool which will be the key to getting the critters to the exit.

The use of each tool is also much simpler than was the case previously. For instance, if building a bridge, it's no longer necessary to click on the lemming each time you wish him to place a brick. Simply click on him once and he will become highlighted. An arrow appears and all that needs to be done is to point this arrow in the direction you wish him to build and away he'll go.

To change the lemming's direction, simply select him again and move the arrow towards the way you want him to continue. One other noticeable change is the way blockers can now be turned back to normal walkers, rather than having to nuke them to allow others to pass. Who said computer games encourage violence? Levels can be saved too, a Godsend as far as I'm concerned as after restarting a game in the original Lemmings I spent ages trying to work out whether that last letter in my hastily written down password was an S or 5!

Simply the best
I'd become bored with the whole Lemmings phenomenon about two years ago but The All New World of Lemmings rekindled my interest thanks to the ideas it incorporates. For a start the lemmings themselves look much cuter in their dumpy guise and when one gets splatted you can really get upset. As with three breeds of lemmings there's a lot more variety in the level designs, although it's a shame these individual tribes don't have different attributes.

I have only two real complaints. Firstly the gameplay becomes seriously tough very, very quickly. If you're a Lemmings virgin I'd advise sticking with one of the earlier titles which feature a much smoother learning curve. It also seems something of a con to only incorporate three tribes when Lemmings 2 had 12. OK, so each of the tribes now has thirty levels, and Psygnosis has stated that other tribes will feature on future magazine coverdisks, but I bet some will turn up on expensive data disks too.

Still, once people see this I wouldn't be surprised to see the whole Lemmings phenomenon pick up again and deservedly so because this game is definitely the best so far.