Chances are, if you've been playing games for any length of time you've played some form of Lemmings. The classic rodent-based puzzle game first came out in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga and immediately became a best seller, thanks to its fiendish puzzles and adorable green-haired protagonists. Now, fresh from their recent adventures on PlayStation Portable, the lemmings have finally made their way onto PlayStation 2 - with a few new additions to keep even the most die hard Lemmings fan interested.
For the most part the game has remained unchanged since its first outing all those years ago. Your aim is still to guide as many of the cheerfully suicidal lemmings as possible to their goal utilising the different lemming skills properly along the way to do so.
If you're unfamiliar with the set up we'll break it down for you: lemmings are cute, but pretty mindless creatures. Let them loose on a level and they'll walk aimlessly in one direction until they reach a brick wall, or plummet to their deaths. Luckily for you, you can assign one of a variety of skills to each lemming, to give you a fighting chance of getting them all home safely. Ranging from Blockers, who turn back any lemmings they come across, to Builders, who build diagonal bridges, to Floaters, armed with red and white umbrellas that let them float to safety, you'll need to use all eight lemming skills properly to successfully navigate the 156 levels contained within.
The joy of Lemmings comes from working out the best way of getting your lemmings home safely. Most of the time you'll have to sacrifice one or two for the greater good, but it's a fun challenge to see how many of the little critters you can save. There are numerous ways of beating the levels too. Should you tunnel through that wall straight ahead of you or build a bridge so your lemmings can go over the top? Is that drop up ahead too far to tackle without Floaters, or will your lemmings be able to fall down it safely? This approach to level design means you really think about the way you tackle each puzzle, and you get a real sense of achievement from saving all your lemmings using an especially ingenious strategy.
One particularly cool feature of the new PS2 version is the level editor, which you can use to create your own levels. These can then be shared across formats with owners of the PSP version. Owners of both can even design levels on the go with their PSP, then play them on their PS2 when they get home.
The biggest new feature is the inclusion of compatibility with the EyeToy camera that allows you to use your body to control and guide the lemmings. There are special EyeToy-enhanced levels where you don't assign skills to the lemmings, rather you can form bridge with your arms, flick lemmings across gaps using your fingertips and wave your arms to create gusts of wind to blow lemming boats across expanses of water. It's a brilliant addition to a classic game, and players equipped with an EyeToy are sure to enjoy what is one of the most innovative and fun uses of the peripheral so far.
Lemmings is as fun to play today as it was when it first came out, and the addition of the level editor and the EyeToy functionality bring it up to date with a bang. Lemmings is a must for fans of the series, and for those who've never played a Lemmings game, now's the time to get acquainted with the little green haired critters. Just don't get too attached to them. They have a tendency to wander off things.
Be sure to check out the official site at www.lemmings.tv
for even more lemming fun!