The Humans

Author: Paul Davies
Publisher: Gabriele Amore
Machine: Spectrum 128K/+2/+3

Published in Crash #6

The Humans

Lemmings was a hugely popular game, spawning several successful sequels and was ported to almost every other format possible - including our beloved Speccy. The huge downside to the Spectrum port was the multi-load aspect, though a good job was done of the game overall.

Here comes a tribute to the mammoth game that took up a lot of people's lives, mostly on the Amiga, though with a slightly different take on the premise of the original. Gone are the green and blue meandering lemmings who continually stare death right in the face, replaced by some other begins who are intent on doing the same - humans.

They're either very brave and very stupid, like the lemming predecessors I guess, as they wander about awaiting commands from another human, that being you. Their aim, like the game this one is inspired by is to make it past all of the hazards that lay in front of them and safely enter the flame bearing hut at the end of each level.

The Humans

This is done by choosing the appropriate action and then applying it to the relevant human in the hope that they can dig, climb, parachute or build their way out of the sticky situation they may find themselves in.

Paul Davies

The Humans is very striking in terms of looks - moving away from the monochrome that we had in the Speccy version of Lemmings and replacing it with full colour around the well-detailed scenery.

The characters move about rather quickly so you really have to be on your toes to keep up with the little blighters. There is an option to slow the game down which helps a little, but it still pays to be on alert as to where they're all headed as it can be over very quickly if you're not nippy enough with your cursor.

The cursor is one of the things that I found a little hampering. It's a lot to ask for there to be a mouse option as this input method is very rare on the Speccy; but when this option is not available, the controls need to be spot on to make up for it.

Unfortunately, your cursor does move pretty slow and so getting to the relevant human in time is pretty difficult to achieve should there be urgency to select them for a certain action.

Additionally, the actions at the top of the screen aren't the most clear as to what they do, so it's a case of selecting one to see what it does and then trying to remember what does what when you need to select again.

What's different from its Lemmings counterpart is that you're not set a goal for how many humans you must save to progress; instead, the amount you save are translated into the number of actions you can select in the next level. It can therefore be a little tight in how many actions you get on each level, meaning you have to be very efficient in their use and also very accurate.

The humans have a tendency to converge into corners and can become a bit of a blur, making individual ones very difficult to pick out, thus leaving you with no actions left to complete the level when this happens which is a bit frustrating.

On the whole, it's a nice game that generally plays well but the pointer speed is a bit of an issue for me.

Gordon King

I never enjoyed the Speccy version of Lemmings as it was too monochromatic and, quite frankly, ghastly looking. With that in mind, I have always been keen to see if this could be improved upon.

The Humans certainly delivers way better aesthetics, therefore, making it much easier to see what you are doing. The level designs are also decent enough to lure you into playing them.

Where it falls short is with its clunkiness. The blocks you create or destroy are massive, which in proportion to the humans is off-scale. That's the nature of a tile-based game, but it ruins the magic a little.


Control Keys: Keyboard: Q, A, O, P, M.
Joystick: N/A
Graphics: Pretty neat graphics throughout the game and well detailed.
Sound: Minimal FX but some great AY tunes here.
General Rating: A nice attempt and take on a classic game but falls down a little on the essentials.

Paul Davies

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