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Lemmings - PSP

by Nick Haywood on 24 November 2005, 11:28

Tags: Lemmings, Sony Computers Entertainment Europe (NYSE:SNE), Puzzle

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Lemmings – PSP

How many of us get all tense when we hear that high pitched voice squeak “Let’s go!”? If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about you’ve missed out on a major piece of gaming history, which I’ll briefly fill you in on now.

When Lemmings first appeared on the Amiga in 1991, it was a truly ground-breaking game, introducing a whole new concept to gaming with it’s ‘save-em-up’ play. The idea was to control a group of minute creatures, the Lemmings, and by giving them different orders, help them across a deadly obstacle to the finish gate. That all sounds pretty boring but what Lemmings did was bring you some fiendishly tricky puzzle elements that also needed a steady hand and quick reflexes to get the minimum number of Lemmings home to complete the level.

What made Lemmings so brilliant was not only the superb imaginative gameplay with a perfect learning curve, but the creatures themselves, which were only a few pixels high. I remember reading in an interview with the game’s producer how Lemmings came about purely from an exercise to see how small an animated character could be, in pixel terms, before you wouldn’t be able to tell the different movements apart. So they did lots of animations and from those, Lemmings was born!

So let’s skip forward to present day and have a look at Lemmings on the PSP. Anyone who’s played the original will drop straight in with the gameplay, but for those seeing it for the first time, here’s what happens: Lemmings drop out of a trapdoor floating in the sky and then start to walk across the 2D ‘side-on’ level. It’s up to you to now tell each lemming what to do so that they can safely traverse the level and make it to the exit gate. At the bottom of the screen is a list of actions you can assign to individual lemmings, so you select an action and then target a lemming and away you go!