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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Puzzle

 

Publisher

SCEE

 

Developer

Team17

 

ESRB

(E) Everyone

 

Released

Q2 2006

 

 

- True to the original game

- Sharp, crisp graphics

- Fun and challenging levels

- Unlimited expansion through level editor

 

 

- The controls can be a little fiddly

- No mini-games or other pick-up-and-play additions

 

 

- Daxter (PSP)

- Brain Age (DS)

- Tetris DS (DS)

 

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Lemmings

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

The concept behind Lemmings is that the player is watching over a group of cute but mindless little creatures who will do nothing but walk forward until they reach a obstacle and bounce off, or walk off a precipice, or kill themselves violently in various insidious ways.  The player's job is to guide these hapless fellows through a series of obstacles and lead them to the level exit.

 

Lemmings for the PSP is basically a re-release with new levels of a game that has been around for well over a decade now.  Still, much like Tetris, it is one of those games that I can't seem to get enough of.  I'm a fan of the series, and I had my hopes high that the PSP version of the game would live up to its predecessors.  The Good news is that it certainly does.  More than that, Lemmings for the PSP is the best rendition of the game yet on any platform.

 

lemmings          lemmings

 

One of the strengths of the PSP as a handheld platform is its raw power.  It would have been understandable, though lamentable, if Team17 went with a 3D version of the Lemmings just because it could.  Luckily, this isn't the case.  Lemmings for the PSP is classic Lemmings in all of its 2D glory.  In fact, the game contains all of the levels of the original Lemmings with identical gameplay.  On top of those classic

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- Puzzle Game Reviews

- Games Published by Ubisoft

levels, Lemmings offers nearly as many levels that are new for this edition.  The classic levels, faithful as they are, remain a blast to play.  Those older levels don't seem as challenging as they used to (with a few exceptions), but I imagine that is simply because I have played through them so many times in the past.  The new levels build off the premises of the original levels, and they are as fun and certainly far more challenging.

 

The PSP control system isn't as precise as a mouse, so some 

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concessions have been made for the control system.  Instead of pointing and clicking on the lemmings to select them, the player uses the analog nub to move a cursor over the lemming at which point a reticule appears around the lemming.  At that point, the player can push a button to assign a function to that lemming.  It still isn't as precise as a mouse click and sometimes in great crowds of lemmings it is nearly impossible to choose a specific one.  Still, it is rare that you need to pick a specific lemming out of a crowd and assign it a task (really, this is only the case when you have a lemming that already has one ability that you need to assign a different ability).  As long as there is a minimal distance between the lemmings, selection and assigning of tasks is no problem.

 

Team17 has really taken advantage of the PSP's power to deliver the best looking Lemmings yet.  Every object in the levels is well-drawn and cartoon-like.  Before each level begins, we get a 3D tour of the level that starts with some cool-looking background object and then pans out until the level is visible.  Everything is sharp and clear, and the wide screen  of the PSP really fits with the level design.  Overall it is a great looking game.

 

lemmings          lemmings

 

Since Lemmings is a re-make of a game that has bee around for a while, it is fair to ask whether the game is a good value.  Lemmings features 150 levels at three difficulty levels.  The developers also are offering free level downloads from their website.  Even more variety can be picked up from the level editor function which allows players to make their own levels and share them with friends.  I was hoping for some mini-game or other handheld-oriented content, but what is here is enough to keep most players busy for a long time.

 

Lemmings is a re-hash of an old classic, but it gets nearly everything right.  Team17 once again confirms that they are masters of simple, fun, funny games.

 

- Danny Webb

(July 6, 2006)

 

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