The world famous Lemmings are lost in a world of their own. They're puzzled, confused, and they're dying at an alarming rate. So what's new?
Turning corners, that's what. These 3D Lemmings are fat, they're round, and they can turn through 90 degrees. But only with your help. You and you alone can guide the suicidal rodents through dazzling 3D worlds packed with new features and puzzles to solve. 100 levels, 9 Lemmings skills and over 30 sampled Lemmingese last requests make this a huge and hilarious game for humans everywhere.
Although if you're a Lemming, steer clear. It could be distressing.
~ from the back of the box
I might be a week or so late, but in my eyes it's still Christmas time. In the early 90s, I remember cover discs found on the cover of every PC, Amiga or Atari ST magazine would come with holiday themed demos or even a full game or two. The best of the lot were the Lemmings Xmas specials - a couple of unique stages with some festive scenery sure to give you the warm and fuzzies.
The tradition would still be in full effect when Lemmings became three-dimensional with the aptly titled Lemmings 3D. At Christmas 1995. Psygnosis gave us 6 snowy stages cobbled together and called them Winterland. You could even buy a big-box copy that came bundled with the original CD too, though I challenge any collector to actually find one.
As for the game itself, well, let's just say I have a bit of a contentious relationship with it. All of what makes the original game so great is still here, complete with some ingeniously designed levels rendered with some decent graphics for the time. The issue I have is with the camera. You have four floating cameras, which are visible as physical objects in the game world like a lakitu in a Mario Kart race, and none of them are any good. You can move each one around, but not change their elevation. Nor can you tilt them up or down. This makes finding the right angle to solve the puzzle more of a puzzle than the puzzle itself.
It's a shame as the underlying structure is very good. You have all of the same actions as the original game such as blockers, bashers and builders but there is one new one; turner. Much like a blocker, this plants your rodent firmly in one spot, directing his friends and family at a right angle to either his left or right (make sure you remember to selected one or the other before he walks on by). To give the stages a predictable logic, the lemmings walk along a grid allowing you to foresee what traps may lie ahead and plan for them accordingly. And much like every game in the series, there are many ways in which each level is out to get you. If you've ever played a Lemmings game, you know what to expect.
It can get to be a bit much juggling the puzzle laid out in front of you and the camera you are forced to control. The third dimension seems to have stumped the designers in this regard. In fact, it was this that made me quit before completing even the 'fun' stages on my first playthrough, it's that bad. Despite this, the puzzles put before you are pretty darn good and it's the thought put into the level design that makes me want to come back to it and try again to reach the end.
So in a way, I'm in a bit of conundrum as to whether I can recommend it or not because I cannot think of another game where controls hinder an otherwise exceptional exceptional design to this extent. So what I suggest is that you give it a play to see which path you'll follow.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Includes Lemmings 3D and the Winterland Christmas-themed demo. Manual includes. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 167 Mb. Install Size: 278 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Lemmings 3D is © Psygnosis Ltd
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me