Otaku World

3D Lemmings

Psygnosis / Clockwork Games

Platform ReviewedSony Playstation
Genre'Save-Em-Up' or Platform Rescue / Nurturing Game
Number of Players1
Multiplayer ValueNone
LengthVery Long
DifficultyVariable, from easy to mind rending
Skills RequiredLogical and Tactical Cognition, Grasp of Spatial Relationships, Patience
Interface DevicesPlaystation Joypad
Interface DesignUnique, but Fairly Good. Takes Getting Used To.
Game Design and PlayabilityBrilliant, if occasionally frustrating.
Type Of FunLogical Problem Solving
Replay ValueLow, but with more than 100 levels, perhaps not an issue.
Overall ValueVery High Indeed.
QualityVery High.
The BestAll the hair pulling joy of Lemmings, but in true, full 3D. A classic expanded. Great graphics and sound.
The WorstHospitalization after going insane solving certain puzzles. Tricky interface requires a long learning curve for some.
How much would I be willing to pay for this 65 Bucks


Lemmings play revolves around gifting members of an incredibly unaware and foolhardy species with strategically chosen talents and abilities in order to protect them from their own mindlessness. The player is cast as a guardian angel or god that helps the Lemmings from the moment they enter a world, to the exit they must reach. The Lemmings themselves, adorable, green haired creatures, are unable to appreciate danger and blithely topple from cliffs into pools of burning death at the drop of a hat. Only with the player's careful nurturing can the Lemmings survive.


The original Lemmings was a genre-creating masterwork that truly deserves the label of 'Classic'. Instantly inventing the "Save-Em-Up" genre of 'rescue' games, Lemmings will be copied and used as a foundation from now on. The three dimensional version takes the basic brilliance of the original 2D Lemmings and places it into a fully tridimensional environment.

Lemmings was originally published by the British company Psygnosis, founded by artist Roger Dean (of 'Yes' album cover fame) and was developed by DMA design. Written first for the Amiga platform, the game quickly became a mega-hit, and has been ported to just about every platform imaginable. Absolutely a work of incomparable genius, Lemmings is essentially a genre unto itself. The Gods themselves must have inspired the original idea, whilst choruses of angels sang the praises of Lemmings.

To a game designer such as your author, Lemmings is the Holy Grail, the Sacred Cauldron of game design. If I am blessed with but one game design to my credit that is the equal of Lemmings, I shall not have lived in vain. You get the drift.


This is all the incredible joy that is Lemmings, only expanded by the addition of a third full dimension. After the hair pulling starts, you will be bald inside of three days, four tops. Lemmings is probably second only to Tetris in the Puzzle category, but because of it's unique, genre breaking design cannot really even be compared with the Russian King. Lemmings is fun, Period.

The Bad Stuff:

Oh, yes, I do have a few complaints with this version of the venerable Grail Of Gaming, some of them quite pointed. The interface takes a serious learning curve, what with multiple camera viewpoints, unintuitive control layout, and the peculiarities of the Playstation Joypad. The loading times from the CD seem unnecessarily long, and there is one other issue I am STEAMIN' mad about; ADVERTISING.

In Europe, there has been a long 'tradition' of putting product placements in video games, just as product placements are routinely placed in motion pictures around the world, or shown in theaters prior to a movie, or placed on any available surface. The consumer is subjected to these advertisements after having paid admission or purchase price, and it is thus that the various companies make even more revenue than expected.

3D Lemmings features not only a full screen advertisement for Jelly Belly brand candy, but also sports product themed levels in the actual game. I cannot express adequately how troubled I am by such blatant abuse of my time, after I have already shelled out money for a product. For Shame!

Perhaps I am being old fashioned, cranky, and Overly American about this issue. Well Screw that! I remain seriously pissed off about the matter. Shame, Psygnosis, Shame again!

Now that my vitriolic rant is finished, let me assure the reader that 3D lemmings is, my complaints aside, thoroughly worth the purchase price, and is still Highly Recommended. Once mastered, the game is as addictive as Heroin, or even Alcohol. You will go blind playing this game, enthralled into bald submission to Lemmings godly design.

Reviewed by Jennifer Diane Reitz, Dec. 27 1995

Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since it's earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.