Remember when puzzle games were a console genre? Today, they’re mainly games you download on your phone or tablet. And some of the old puzzle classics are there. While Lemmings is, last I checked, available, it doesn’t seem to be the popular nostalgic favorite that, say, Tetris and Dr. Mario are. The reason is that while it has a lot going for it, it is ultimately let down by very flawed controls.
Plot: 5 out of 10
It’s about lemmings. But you probably figured that out already. Because lemmings aren’t very bright, they tend to walk off cliffs during migration. Your mission is to help them proceed safely on their migration. That’s pretty much it. What do you expect? It’s a puzzle game. A lot of them are as plotless as sports games not named NBA 2K. these animals not looking remotely like lemmings hurts the score, though.
Graphics: 8 out of 10
Considering how small they are and the release date, I think that the lemmings are well-done. They’re faceless, but the hair and skin (I told you they don’t look like real lemmings) look good, as do their movements. The rest of the maps you guide them through are even better.
Sound: 7 out of 10
Puzzle games require great concentration. This encourages a de-emphasis of music. Many don’t even have music. This game does. Those songs are existing songs that I assume they had to pay royalties for. That’s pushing it, but I have to admit that a good job is done in remixing them.
Gameplay: 3 out of 10
You can give individual lemmings skills. These skills include Bomber, Miner, Builder, and others. But you’re able to give a limited number of skills to lemmings that varies from level to level.
The gameplay faults don’t come into play for some time, but about halfway through the game, you discover that precision is very hard. The reason? When you want to give a skill to a specific lemming and there’s a lot of them, you’ll often mess up. Why? There’s so many that the game can’t discern who’s who. So it’s hard to get it right oftentimes. And you’ve absolutely got to get it right because they start giving you small numbers of allotted skills later on.
Challenge: 7 out of 10
Level design and puzzles are pretty good. There is a lot of creativity in how the levels are built that adds to the fun factor. This game’s puzzles can be very challenging to solve at times. The only issue is that the “use Builders to create diagonal bridges in the right spot” dilemma is overused.
Overall: 5 out of 10
It’s very fun early on, but when the sketchy controls start to kick in, it’s all over for it. For the low price you’d pay to download it today, though it’s worth it. Until halfway through, anyway.