Have a look through some recent back issues of your Amiga magazines. Not just this one - check them all. Scan throughout the games sections, paying particular attention to the puzzley efforts of the last couple of months. Just for a giggle, count up how many times a reviewer has said something along these lines...
"All in all it's a good game, and should keep you satisfied, at least until Lemmings 2 arrives."
Have you done that? What? Twenty-six. No - just a minute - what about that one there, and the one just past the - ohm and don't forget that one, and...
Everyone, it seems, has been waiting with bated breath for the second coming (if you don't count Oh No!) of the green-haired stage divers since about... well, since before I arrived, anyway. The dozy little beasts delighted the entire gaming nation first time around, setting a new standard in the puzzle genre that has never quite been matched.
Such was the impact, the playability and the plain, simple, bare-
Rumours have circulated of course. First there was speculation that the sequel would contain a massive 8,000 levels. Then it was said that Lemmings 2 would never come about, and that Psygnosis, in keeping with the theme, had plans to release a game about Oxford University students.
There were even those who ventured that L2 would be the first virtual reality game for the home computer whereby players wandered around spooky rendered landscapes, suffering actual death by electrocution should they fail to complete a level.
These proved unfounded - Lemmings 2 has indeed arrived in all its glory, sporting new Lems, new skills, new levels. But let's start at the beginning...
When we left them, the Lems - having clambered, clomped, jumped and fallen their way through level after frustrating level - were comfortably and deservedly settled on their new island home.
Of course, like any civilisation, they had varying ideas as to the way they wanted to lead their lives, and being friendly - if not particularly intelligent - bunch, decided to split into tribes and inhabit separate parts of the island.
The cute animated intro features a grand-
Now for some reason - Judith Chalmers is on her way with a film crew probably - the Lems must move again; they can't go anywhere without their talisman though, and not surprisingly perhaps, the pieces have become lost throughout the fair Lemming Isle.
That's the story, and it's up to you as usual to guide the creatures through the levels to safety. It's a bigger game this time, and more thought has gone into the way in which it's structured.
There are 12 tribes of Lemmings, each inhabiting their own little piece of the island. Every tribe needs to complete ten levels, upon which they are rewarded with a vital bit of the talisman to fit onto the others.
If you were delighted by the animation of the original Lemmings, then wear an old pair of trousers or shabby shirt, because the chances are you'll make a mess when you feast your eyes on the new extravaganza.
Animators Gary Timmons and David Osborne have really gone to town on the loves of their lives, creating dozens of new comical situations. As we hinted in our preview in February, the sprites are the same size as ever, but the whole shebang is just full to busting with brand new abilities.
Whereas previously there were a total of eight attributes to aid the cause, the Lems now come complete with a stonking great 52 abilities! Not all of these can be used at any one time, for practical reasons as well as programming ones, - instead it depends on the type of Lemming as to which abilities are available.
Forgive me if this sounds convoluted - you'll soon see what I mean if and when you buy the game, and you should, oh you should...
All the abilities are still in use, but as well as the new ones, there are certain situations where a combination of skills is needed, or is just as good fun to watch.
For instance, use the running and diving abilities together and you should see something worthy of an Olympic gold medal.
Passwords are out this time - instead the game can be preserved at any point by saving it to disk. Although the idea is to liberate the tribes of Lemmings one at a time, it isn't necessary by any means to make your way through the 120 levels methodically. If one aspect is proving too difficult, simply save your game and switch your attention to a different tribe.
As if all this wasn't enough, the levels are generally larger than before, and the scrolling now moves vertically as well as horizontally, making some very strange looking and tricky levels.
It's more important than ever to save as many Lems as possible, because the total is carried forward to the next level, and as anyone who's played before knows, the more you have, the better your chances of making it through.
When a level is complete, the amount of Lemmings saved dictates whether you are awarded a bronze, silver or gold medal, and when a whole tribe is safely through, your skills as a saviour result in a similarly coloured piece of talisman.
The ultimate challenge, then, is to put together a completely gold talisman, but unless you're some kind of Lemtastic genius, this is about as likely as the Queen and Ken Dodd getting together to fill out their tax returns.
Ooo-kay - what now? Oh, I don't know. You know the story: you've heard about the new Lemmings, and you already knew the basic idea before you even turned to this page. There is just so much more to this game that I could take up the entire mag if I went into the minutiae.
Suffice to say that the compo shop owners will be beating people back with a very grubby stick indeed just to reach their premises when this hits the shelves (which it should have done by the time you read this).
In fact, all in all it's a good game, and should keep you satisfied, at least until, erm, Lemmings 3 arrives.