I’ve always had a thing for lemmings. It’s my go to Amiga game and always one of the first ever things I fire up when I plug the Amiga in or Amiga forever. There’s something oddly satisfying about getting those little guys from the entrance of their hazard filled world to the exit.
I got to thinking the other day, I played a lot of lemmings during my early computer stages. The game came out when I was 10. I loved the puzzles. And I still love them now.
It teaches you to think quickly, it teaches you to manage resources. It teaches you logic and sometimes it teaches you to defy logic. You’ve got a limited amount of climbers and builders so you may well have to change your strategy part way through a level or start again.
Found this really interesting article on it today.
Anyway. The reason that lemmings has come back to the forefront is that Sony have recently released their mobile version. It’s laden with in app purchases but it is possible to play without spending a penny as long as you’re willing to limit your time playing to 20 mins here and there (actions cost energy and energy is limited).
The levels aren’t as clever or intricate as DMAs were. I’m pretty sure that they’re randomly generated to be fair. But they work. And they’re fun. Rather than assign roles to lemmings you assign them to squares on the screen. Tell it where you want stairs and the next lemming to hit that square will build them for you. Floaters with umbrellas? Just stick a floater space in. Every lemming that falls through it will glide softly to the bottom. Be careful though, effects wear off as soon as they touch the ground again so you might find yourself needing tiered floaters to get down safely.
At first I didn’t like the new control system. After a little while I realised there was no other way this could be done on a small touch screen.
Lemmings is available here on the App Store and I heavily recommend it.
For me, it’s the quintessential puzzle game that helps to teach you how to think, how to manage things under pressure and how to know when the only option is to hit the nuke button.