Lemmings ReviewCain Dornan
Chances are, if youre reading this review youve already spent countless hours playing a game known as Lemmings, which sees you guiding small, unintelligent green beings from Point A to Point B, acting as the babysitter as you guide them by hand through various obstacles to arrive at the eventual end. Given the fact that so many gamers have played the game, its questioning as to why developer Team 17 has decided to bring a title to the PSP. Are they attempting to appeal to a wide, varied audience, or simply after a quick-and-easy cash-in on a popular and renowned franchise?
If you havent had the chance to play Lemmings in one form or another, allow me to fill you in on the details. The game is wholly presented in a 2D, side-on view, with some colourful and detailed background environments offering a pleasant range of variation for each level. You are tasked with directing a group of miniature, blue-dressed and green headed beings from a drop point in the sky through to the safety of a mysterious, cave-like door, which is usually located on the other side of the stage. In order to do this, however, you will first need to overcome a range of different obstacles. Youll have to instruct your creatures to climb over objects, dig underneath them, build a bridge over them, jump off them with an umbrella to break their fall and even act as suicide bombers to clear unwanted rubble out of the way. Each order is issued to a single lemming at any one time, allowing you to have complete control over what actions each member of your lemming party is currently performing. Considering that youre usually directing anywhere between 5 through to around 50 individual lemmings, it can become a hectic task in keeping watch over all of the tiny creatures.
The earlier stages simply involve your lemmings overcoming a single, straightforward obstacle. These stages are gradually built-upon by introducing each of the different orders that you can issue to your lemmings, which could be considered as the training stages in preparation for the more complex, head-scratching puzzlers that appear further into the game. At some points, youll need to perform a series of different tasks with your lemmings, which can prove to be challenging as you need to keep an eye on all of the individual lemmings to ensure that few are killed through various means, such as falling off a high ledge or drowning in water. To add to the mix of frantic puzzling, the game will occasionally task you with guiding two completely separate groups of lemmings, often appearing on opposite sides of the stage. In this case, you need to guide both teams simultaneously, darting back-and-forth from both sides of the stage to issue life-saving orders to your brainless little beings.
Switching between each of the different orders that you can issues is done easily by tapping either the left or right shoulder buttons to scroll through the list. Issuing the selected command to each lemming is as simple as highlighting the lemming with the cursor, which is controlled with either the analogue stick or the directional buttons, and then tapping the X button.
The game offers roughly 150 stages straight off the bat, with additional stages available for download online from Sonys PSP-dedicated hub, yourpsp.com. If youre feeling creative, you can also create your very own custom levels using the games in-built level editor. Whilst confusing at first, those who are willing to endure the confusing interface and execution will soon be creating their very own puzzling Lemmings level.
The games presentation has received a slight facelift from the majority of previous incarnations of this classic title. The game consists of colourful and interesting backdrops that offer a visually pleasing appearance whilst you battle the various challenges that you face. The games soundtrack consists of relaxing music that are a perfect companion to the gameplay that is at-hand.
While it isnt a completely new, never-before-seen formula, Lemmings for the PSP offers puzzle fans a great portable companion that is both addictive and enjoyable to play. If youve long tired of playing the game in its various other forms, there is little reason in picking up this familiar PSP edition. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the series and would love to play such a game on the PSP, or even have a slight interest in the puzzle genre, Lemmings is a solid title that can be played in short 2-minute bursts or for hours on end.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.