Now lemmings are fragile creatures who’ll die if they fall too far, walk off the edge of the map of into one of the various traps lying around the level but they’ll also blindly blunder into any of these unless you do something about it… they are lemmings, after all. Early on, each level is designed to make use of one particular skill, be it blocking, building, digging, mining, or just self-destructing a particular lemming. Once you’ve got to grips with the basic skills, you’re then eased into the game proper where you’ll use a combination of these to get across the map.
Each skill has a limited number of uses, so you’ve got to figure out the best way to use your lemmings and their skills to save as many as possible. For example, you might have one blocker, three builders and two bashers and that’s it to get across a series of gaps and walls. So you use the blocker to separate one lemming from all the others and use various skills on him to clear a safe path home. Or you might find you’ve got no blockers but a few diggers and loads of climbers… you could dig a pit to hold the others up, then have them climb out of it once you’ve made a safe route…
Lemmings is great fun on the PSP though I did have my reservations as to how easy it would be to select an individual lemming using just the joypad but there’s a handy zoom in function to help with that if you need to select a particular lemming from the crowd. As per the original, you can easily pause the game and still scroll around the level to suss out what you need to do and there’s the usual option, (for Lemmings), of speeding up the rate at which your lemmings appear so you don’t have to endure ages of watching them drop through one by one once you’ve made a safe route.
So all in all, Lemmings on the PSP looks like it could be exactly what a re-make should be… It doesn’t change the original, or add any new ideas and it stays faithful to what made the first game so addictive. The graphics have had an overhaul without being made needlessly flash and no-ones decided to add any new features which could’ve possibly ruined the game. I’ll look forward to the full code to play sometime soon as this is certainly looking like a damn fine homage to one of the greatest games ever.