While the objective of Lemmings is the same for each level, it never becomes a monotonous experience for several reasons. Those miniature tri-colour creatures that are falling from the sky are the lemmings. They look like tiny blips in your visual field. Tiny, baby, pixel darlings that just need a bit of a hand to get from A to B. Your job is to assist them to reach their burrow in safety. The next thing to point out are the multiple different tabs at the bottom of the screen, which are like command buttons. Each one has a different function. For instance, the ‘blocker’ lemming stops any other lemmings from getting past it, and the ‘digger’ lemming is able to break through surfaces. Players must use the cursor to click on the desired function, and then click on a lemming to assign it that function. In level 1, a digger lemming is all you need to win. This is nice and basic, the perfect way to get players into the swing of things.
But as the levels progress, so too does the complexity, and therefore the strategic planning you must use. The last thing to note is that each level is timed, and if you don’t save all the lemmings quickly enough, they will all explode. Gameplay becomes a careful juggling act between picking the right function to save enough lemmings before time is up, and making sure that they don’t die in the process. Before each level begins, there are a few precious seconds that you can use to assess a) what kind of lemmings you need, and b) where to use/put them. It’s a bit like chess, where you have to predict what will happen several moves in advance. This is extremely rewarding when you get it right! Lemmings is a tried and tested puzzle game that is not only one of the giants of its time, but a game which successfully stands the test of time. If you’re looking for a casual puzzle experience with good difficulty progression, dizzying amounts of challenge and cute sprites, this one’s for you.