All New World of Lemmings

Title           All New World of Lemmings
Game Type       Puzzle
Publisher       Psygnosis
Players         1
Compatibility   All?
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Alkis Polyrakis Profiled Reviewer

Ask yourself a question: How many truly original computer games did we see
after the mid-80s? One was Tetris. Another one was Sim City. Populous
maybe. Maniac Mansion definitely. Most of the time though, we get more of
the same. Well, that's certainly something no one can accuse Lemmings of;
the first game was based on a very simple idea: Help some peculiar little
creatures to reach the exit. Never before had sprites so little, been loved
so much by computer game players. Let me get something straight first: I'm
one of those people who are terrified of sequels. Especially sequels to a
classic game. More often than not, they fail to reach the level of pure
amazement the original ones did. I didn't care much for Lemmings 2,
therefore I didn't expect to see much improvement after buying this game.
Was it successful? Well, keep reading and you'll find out.

For those of you who haven't played any of the previous games, real life
lemmings are rodents who commit group suicide at a certain point of their
lives. Nobody knows why; they just pick a cliff and jump off it. In the
computer game, you take control of something like two dozens of these
creatures. If you leave a lemming alone, it will keep on walking until it
reaches an obstacle and turn back, or until it dies. The goal is to lead
as many of them as you can to the exit.

The main screen is called the Arc screen. From here you can load & save,
configure the options, quit, or start a game. There are three available
levels: Classic (the lemmings are dressed like they were in the original),
Shadow (in which they wear a saboteur uniform) and Egyptian (where they
look like ancient Egyptians). If you get stuck on a level, you can always
go back and play another one. The game is completed once you manage to
finish all sublevels of the three. The arc screen also contains the map
room, from where you can look at your progress or play an earlier level,
and a practice level. Well, enough waiting, click on a level and let the
game begin! The game is controlled by the mouse. At the bottom of the
screen you can see the command buttons used for controlling the lemmings.
You click on a button, and then on the lemming with which you wish to
perform an action. Unlike the original, in ANWOL every lemming can only
walk (or change direction),stop (preventing other lemmings from going past
it), or jump in the beginning. During the course of the game, they will
pick up objects which will enable them to perform several other tasks.
This is where the two other commands come in: One for performing the
action related to the object which the lemming is carrying, and one for
dropping the object. The rest of the buttons are for pausing, quitting
(which will force the lemmings to explode, really spectacular) and
speeding up. You can also see the time remaining. Pressing Escape will
restart the level from scratch, and clicking on the right mouse button
will turn any lemming carrying an object red. If more than one lemming is
carrying an object,repeated clicking will toggle through them. If the
level is too big for the screen, moving the mouse will scroll it in all
directions. In other words, the interface takes a minute to learn, and a
lifetime to master!

Graphics & sound
The sprites are small, yet well designed. The background is spectacular; a
different scenery for every level. You will often find yourself pausing
the game in order to admire it without having to concentrate on finishing
the level. ANWOL has a variety of music themes. Most of them are
atmospheric; you'll probably never get bored listening to them again and
again. There are also various sound effects, the best of which are the
voices of our little heroes.

It all comes down to the objects. With them a lemming can build a ladder
in any direction, climb using cuppings, dig with a shovel, fall holding an
umbrella, swim, shoot, throw grenades.. You name it! Every object has
limitations, for example there are only 8 steps in every ladder crate. A
lemming cannot carry two different objects at once, but they can carry a
lot of the same. Careful use of them will lead all the lemmings to safety.
Often one mistake will force you to restart. In most of the levels, you
use one or two lemmings at the most to traverse the area, open and build
the way for the others who are waiting patiently between two objects or
blockers. After you finish clearing the way to the exit, you release the
rest of them. You are going to face a number of obstacles, such as large
gaps, (a lemming dies if it falls very far) walls, laser beams, pools and
others. There's also a number of non-lemming characters in some levels.
Some are helpful, such as the mole who can dig for you if you scare him by
building a ladder in front of his face, but some are dangerous, such as a
beautiful girl who can give the lemmings a heart attack!

Maybe what I'm going to say is sacrilege, but in my opinion this game is
better than the original. The abilities to turn around, build ladders in 8
different directions instead of only diagonal, make a blocker start
walking again are really a plus to the gamer's pleasure. Also the
non-lemming characters are very funny! Whether you're a fan of the series
or not, do not miss it. Addiction is guaranteed!

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