Mother Nature has come up with some pretty strange ways of keeping population levels stable, but none are so strange as that of the Lemming, a small vole-like rodent which inhabits sub-arctic regions of Scandinavia and North America.
When the population level of Lemmings become too great, these cute little critters make the ultimate sacrifice for their race - they throw themselves off the nearest cliff!
Take a tip or two from nature, Psygnosis have adapted the obscure life story of the Lemming and turned it into a multi-screen epic which sees you trying to halt the mass genocide of a race of dungaree clad, green-haired creatures. Your brief is simple - using your trusty mouse, you must guide the Lemmings to safety with a minimal number of fatalities en route.
Each level starts with a trapdoor creaking open and a cry of 'Let's Go!' The Lemmings then pour forth to their eventual doom. Our heroes file along the ground until they encounter an obstacle (in which case they turn around and walk back in the opposite direction) or die horribly.
Every Lemming starts its life as a walker but - with your divine intervention - they can be assigned various skills which will allow them to collectively construct a safe passage to the exit of each level.
By selecting one of the skills from a strip of icons which run along the base of the screen and then clicking on a Lemming, you can endow it with the skills of a climber, a floater, a digger, a blocker and even a suicidal bomber.
Each level requires you to save a minimum number of Lemmings before you can proceed to the next, if you fall you'll have to try again.
If, on the other hand, you find that things aren't going too well - large number of Lemmings are trapped, for example - then you can end it all by 'nuking' every Lemming that is left alive.
The poor little fellows stop what they are doing, hold their heads in pain and then with a last desperate cry of 'Oh no!', they explode in a shower of pixels.
The majority of the time you'll be trying to save the Lemmings on your own, but Psygnosis have built in a 2 player option, which adds an exciting new twist to the game.
This time, the object is to save more Lemmings than your opponent, by guiding them away from your opponent's exit point. This usually involves a large number of Lemming deaths, but it can be great fun.
Lemmings is absolutely brilliant. Psygnosis have managed to produce a game that is not only totally original, but also features the kind of addictive gameplay that will keep you coming back for more time and time again.
If you only ever intend buying one game for your Amiga, then it's got to be Lemmings. Put simply, Lemmings is an absolute Amiga classic.