Mobile Game Review: Lemmings
After yesterday’s article where I discussed some of my favourite Amiga games growing up, I mentioned Lemmings. That got me thinking – I should go back to old games and review the classic puzzler. However, when I got looking into it, the first thing I found was an Android version of the hugely adaptive franchise. Over the years, the image has changed a bit, but how about the gameplay? And how would Lemmings work on mobile?
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Typically the story of Lemmings is simply that you’re saving the little critters, so we won’t go too far into anything about a story. If you must know, it’s about saving Lemmings and rebuilding their worlds and that’s… Kind of it. I also didn’t expect much of a story out of Lemmings; we never do.
In Lemmings, your goal is to get a specific number of Lemmings through to the exit – and if you can get more of them out, then even better. There’s an entrance and an exit, with different ways for the Lemmings to get there. Normally, in the classic games, you would be given a finite number of uses of each of your different powers. In this version of Lemmings however, you get a finite number of uses, based upon how much energy you have.
Energy, much like many other mobile titles, is earned over a period of time. You don’t need to be in the game to restore energy, which means you’re limited to do only a certain amount of levels, before you need to turn the game off. The time between getting an energy is pretty slow, so you’ll find yourself playing a few levels, then turning the game off for awhile whilst it rebuilds the energy meter.
Back to the game itself; you go between worlds, playing levels to get a surplus of Lemmings to complete tasks to restore the world to its former glory. This is done via tasks that Lemmings have to fulfil, where you have to have a specific amount of Lemmings. You get these little critters by beating a level with the amount it wants, or greater. Each Lemming you successfully save from a level is added to your total, to help you fill tasks.
To make Lemmings more compatible with mobile gaming, each section of the game is cut up into squares. These squares are used to determine what actions you want the Lemmings to take and where. For instance, if you press on a blank space, you can opt to give the Lemmings an umbrella to help them float down. If you press on an occupied, breakable space, you can make the Lemmings bash down the chunks.
At its core, the game is still Lemmings, which is great. Just there have been a few liberties taken, to allow it to translate to a mobile platform.
The graphics are an updated version of Lemmings, but it doesn’t come at too big of an update. Instead, the game opts to make the game seem pretty similar to how it used to. The major difference is the visible squares you can poke to choose an effect to go onto. Anyway, as ever, we think that seeing is believing, so here’s a bunch of screenshots I took for you to check out:
The audio is sort of what you’d expect from a mobile version of Lemmings; as jingle-filled as you’d hope. However, one thing I’d like to draw particular attention to is the button to speed up the game, where it starts to sound like an old cassette tape being chewed up. Pretty amusing, but the music is alright. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s relaxing enough and sort of surreal sounding.
It’s Lemmings alright, and it’s different enough to make it stand on its own. However, the differences between the classic title and this one are stark enough to make me, a fan of the original, a little bit sad. Sure, the game plays well and it looks great; indeed, there’s nothing inherently wrong about this, unless we get into a big debate about having ‘energy’ systems in games like this… But that’s a debate for another day.
All in all though, yeah – Not bad! I could certainly see myself playing more of this. If nothing else, sometimes, nostalgia can win our hearts and it’s lovely to see the Lemmings in a new environment. But what do you think? Do you think these classic critters should have been left out, or do you think a new era of Lemmings is good? As ever, share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.