Anyone who was a kid pretty much in any part of the 90s, and who doesn’t admit to playing the hell out of at least one Lemmings game is probably lying. The original released in 1991 and was a raging success, spawning at several sequels and countless imitators.
This version is pretty much a browser-based replica of the original game; I don’t even want to know how they managed it. The goal is to save all the lemmings, poor dumb creatures that will just keep walking in the direction they’re pointing until they (a) hit an obstacle, forcing them to make a 180 degree turn, (b) reach the exit, (c) die in any of a number of horrifying ways or (d) are given a job to do. That’s where you come in.
Those icons on the bottom of the screen represent different jobs you can give your lemmings, as well as how many lemmings you can give them to. In the screen shot above, I can turn 9 more lemmings into diggers. I have already given this job to one of them – he’s the one digging down through the floor of the upper platform.
Each section has 10 levels, but initially, you can only play the first level of each section. The game even faithfully replicates the code-based “save” system – when you complete a level, the game will give you a code that will enable you to start on the next level if you leave the game. I used to have a little 3″ X 5″ notebook next to my computer with all kinds of level codes in it. Those were the days, my friends.
The “fun” section is really less “fun” and more “tutorial” – it introduces you to the different jobs, and how they work together. The other three categories are increasingly difficult puzzles, and if you think you’re going to save every lemming on the first try, well, you’re going to be disappointed. Probably.
The size of the window the game runs in adds a little challenge, as it’s really small at my monitor’s native resolution, but otherwise, it’s a fantastic, true-to-the-original experience. Since it’s free, and doesn’t even require a download, there’s no reason not to give it a try, whether you remember Lemmings fondly or not.