Lemmings Reader Review
For all the cynicism there is in the world, one would think that any classic game remake is nothing than a cash-in. Well... the fact is, it is, just as much as new games. But should we bother about this? Let's take a look at one of Team17's latest works: Lemmings.
Mob control in your pocket
For those who don't know about the Lemmings game mechanics, it merely consists on assigning tasks to the most incredibly stupid creatures ever to grace a video game, in order to make sure they get from a starting point to an exit, unmollested. Simple enough, and easy on the first part, at least. Don't let appearances deceive you though... there will be tough levels on the long run.
I played this game on the PC ages ago, and could hardly remember most of the ressurected levels the PSP version brings. Apart from the graphical nuances one would expect on current video games production, those levels I could remember are exactly the same. Even most of the music was brought back, all for my nostalgic pleasure. Besides the 120 levels featured in the very first game, Team17 added a "special" section with 36 extra levels, and there will be more available to download from the official lemmings website soon (31st of March, it says).
There are usually concessions made in transitions of large screen games to handheld. However, for a simple game such as this, it is not the case. Just like one would think, the controls are finely tuned for the PSP, and make control pretty simple. There is even a lock-on control added that makes it that much easier to pick a specific lemming within a crowd. Also expected are the short load times. All these things together sum up to a game perfectly made for handheld gaming.
The level editor was a good move on Team17's part, as it will give the game a fairly decent replay value when those 156 built-in levels have all been solved (although the last 20 or so will likely put up a good fight to newcomers, I think). It's also fairly easy to use, and even includes guide tiles for visualizing bomber explosion distances, how far can builders make stairs, and so on. Personally, I have as much fun designing new levels as playing them.
One would hope for full-fledged multiplayer, but unfortunately, this did not happen. Instead, we can however either use the game-sharing feature and upload demo levels to show the game to a mate, or go online and share our user levels with the community.
Not for all kinds, but not 1337 either
This is one game that will not please absolutely everyone. The thing here is, I can also see people who never played Lemmings before enjoying it as much as I did the first time I played it. Except that now it's portable and with slightly more up-to-date graphics. Maybe, just maybe, that was exactly what Team17 intended. Hardly groundbreaking, and not a brilliant concept at this time, but a good honest effort for a very nice game that has aged gracefully.
Some wine improves with age. Buy it if you like this kind of wine too.
7 / 10