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Jan. 9, 2006
Lemmings - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
16/3/2006SonyTeam 171$79.95

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The PSP version looks impressive.
Who here remembers Lemmings? If you've been a gamer for more then a decade it's quite likely that you've not only heard of it, but played the game. Indeed, since the first title was released in 1990 over 5 million copies of the original and its many sequels have been sold. It is one of the classic puzzle games, right up there with Tetris and Worms, and it's heading to a PSP near you. The idea is simple. Lemmings are cute, but very stupid. They have a follow the leader mentality, even if that means falling off a cliff or walking into a trap to their death.

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Ohhh, lots of lava.
While the original games were developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North - creators of a certain series known as Grand Theft Auto) and published by Psygnosis, which is now a part of Sony Europe, this PSP version is being developed by those fine folk at Team 17, one of the UK's longest running codeships. The game includes 150 levels arranged into five different themes including sewers and deserts to name a couple. The idea is simple. You must guide the Lemmings from the Entrance to the Exit of a level, trying to ensure that as many of the green haired creatures survive as possible. You must use the unique skills of your Lemmings team to overcome the hazards ahead: The ‘Bomber’ explodes at will, the ‘Floater’ can survive high falls and the ‘Basher’ digs horizontally just when you need it. The ‘Climber’ is at hand for those tricky mountain ranges, the ‘Blocker’ creates an obstacle in the path ahead and the ‘Builder’ is there to construct walkways for his friends.

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Blocked by a column!
One of the very cool additions to this PSP version of Lemmings is an all new level editor allowing players to produce their own levels and save them to the memory card on the PSP. Using the PSP's Wi-fi technology, players can upload these levels to an exclusive Lemmings online community and share your unique levels with other users. Naturally you will also be able to download other peoples newly created levels directly to your PSP. As yet Sony has not confirmed any form of multi-player modes and we'd be a bit disappointed if they weren't in the final game.

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Another puzzle based level.
Graphics in Lemmings are faithful to the original in that the game retains the side-on viewpoint and 2D sprites although the backgrounds objects are now rendered in 3D polygon based models. At least Team 17 haven't shot themselves in the foot as has been the case with the very average Worms titles on PS2 in recent years.

I guess the real question for this PSP version will be how well the mouse based control transfers to the PSP's analogue sliding stick and buttons. We won't have too long to find out with Sony aiming Lemmings for a mid-March release.