Lemmings
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-02-03 Game Gear Puzzle SEGA / Psygnosis

"Let's go!" said in a little Lemming voice at the start of each stage is a phrase I will never forget. Everyone who plays games has more than likely played or at least heard of Lemmings. These busy little creatures appeared many years ago offering everyone a challenging and different type of puzzle/platformer game.

If you're not familiar with Lemmings (where the heck have you been for the last, say, 20 years?), the goal is to get a certain percentage of creatures from point A to point B. The puzzle-solving gameplay takes place in a traditional 2D side-scrolling environment. Many obstacles will stand in the way of your goal though, and it's the Lemmings' assigned tasks that will create a passage for others to go through.

It's not as simple as it sounds though, since Lemmings are not very bright and enjoy walking in straight lines even if that means falling off a platform to their deaths. Your job is to guide your Lemmings to the exit, making sure you only use the least amount of workers possible, so that you can get the highest percentage of Lemmings at the exit.

Lemmings can be Stoppers to prevent others from going a certain way, Builders to build stairs and reach higher grounds, Bashers to dig through walls, and they will even self-destruct if you tell them to. You must place the working Lemmings in key spots and assign them specific tasks so that the others can be safe while "path construction" continues. Pausing the game is a heck of a handy tool, since you can have a look at the screen to see what your Lemmings are doing and where are they walking to.

The game is in fact simple to play with its point and click mechanics, but puzzle enthusiasts will find in it a complexity worthy of being glued to the screen for hours on end. That is, until frustration settles in on those more complicated stages. Gameplay eventually becomes a trial and error process that can make even the most patient person completely lose it.

The stages are varied and the obstacles range from large gaps on the ground to really steep drops, bodies of water, walls and more. The tasks available to the Lemmings also vary from level to level, so sometimes you will find yourself finding alternative ways to cross a river because you don?t have a builder available to construct a bridge.

Although the game has no save system, there is a password system that forces you to write them down so you can continue where you left off later on. I was never fond of password-based continues, and many times would end up losing the paper where I wrote it down.

Other than that, Lemmings for the Game Gear is one of those games I keep a special place in my memory for. Even though I wasn't so bright at finding some of the solutions, this was a game that required me to think quite a bit before acting, and that was something I found original and different at the time, which made me thoroughly enjoy it and remember it so dearly.