Lemmings Review

Lemmings was a huge puzzle game hit when it was released for the PC in 1991.  The little green-haired guys made their way from their lair to their exit through some latent abilities given to them through the player.  Otherwise they would walk in one direction and never stop.  Getting as many Lemmings home as possible was the object of levels, but sometimes the good of the many outweighed the good of the few.  Since that time a couple of sequels were released on several different systems, none of those games matched the success of the original, with the possible exception of Lemmings 2: The Tribes.  Now Sony is trying to bring back the original game with a remake for the PSP.

Lemmings is similar to Tetris in that it

The original Lemmings has relatively simple graphics, but yet showed a lot of character in the movement of the Lemmings.  The PSP version keeps the character of the Lemmings intact.  You might be a bit surprised at how much personality they have.  The blocker holds out his arm.  The digger works his way diagonally down into a hole with his pick.  The basher uses his hands to dig through areas.  These little touches make the Lemmings come to life.

The game does get a subtle graphical overhaul for the PSP.  Color backgrounds that fit the level are shown behind the levels instead of the black background from the original game.  The actual level graphics have a claymation feel to them, giving them depth instead of looking flat.  Still, the graphics are nothing to write home about.

The music in Lemmings has a whimsical tone.  The music feels like something coming from a 16-bit sound board made using modern hardware.  The synthesizer-heavy soundtrack is very upbeat.  Different areas have a different theme to them, like the lava levels have a mysterious mood to them while the Egyptian level has something that sounds like it came from that era.

The added sound effects are a nice touch.  When a Lemming enters the Exit, you hear a high-pitched

You control a cursor with the D-pad.  This cursor highlights a Lemming to grant a skill to.  The analog nub moves the camera to see the different parts of the level.  The L and R buttons switch which skill you assign to a Lemming.  You pause the action using the Start button and can still assign skills to the Lemmings while paused.  Pushing Circle fast forwards the action, and Triangle zooms in and out of the level.  Finally, Select brings up menu options.  These commands all seem to work well, but the controls would have felt more natural if the D-pad and analog nub controls were switched.

Being able to pause the game really helps you to plan how to solve the level, especially those that have multiple entrance points.  Zooming in allows you to select the specific Lemming you want which is helpful when they get bunched up together.  Fast forwarding allows you to finish the level quicker when you know all you have to do is wait for them to move to the Exit.  These little extra controls help the game to transfer well to the PSP.

The game features the eight skills from the original game.  The Climber climbs up objects instead of turning around when he reaches an object.  The Floater uses an umbrella to parachute down long distances.  The Bomber blows himself up and leaves a small hole where he stood.  The Blocker stays in one spot and turns around any Lemmings that walk into him.  The Builder lays down steps in front of him to form an upwards diagonal stairway.  The Basher smashes into a wall like the Incredible Hulk to make a tunnel.  The Miner digs diagonally.

Solving the puzzles takes a bit of creativity.  Each level you are given a specific number of skills to grant to the Lemmings.  This means you can The PSP version of Lemmings features over 150 levels.  120 of the levels are from the original game.  If you smoke through all of the levels, you can create your own levels with the level editor.  Then you can share those levels with friends.  If your friends don

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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