Lemmings return to die for your puzzles in Lemmings Touch

Long before we were flinging angry birds to their deaths by the millions in the name of giving those rascally pigs a bad day, we were sacrificing innocent lemmings in the name of solving puzzles. PC gaming classic Lemmings challenged players with guiding an army of the suicidal rodents to safe haven, a process that usually involved blowing up, drowning, or in some other way terminating a smaller handful of them.

Totally a “needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many” situation. Thanks for the wisdom, Spock.

Lemmings Touch is coming to PlayStation Vita on May 27, and we got a final look at what developer d3t Ltd. cooked up for the enhanced remake at a recent Sony preview event. The studio rebuilt the game from the ground up, adding in a new Candy Land environment and bringing the level total up to 100. The graphics have also been completely reworked with hand-drawn art and, as the title suggests, touch controls are a big part of the game.

2014-03-19-164253_1400143130

Let’s step back. The whippersnappers among you might not be familiar with a game series that hasn’t been popular since the 1990s. Each level in the game amounts to a single puzzle. A finite number of Lemmings pour out of an entry location — you can change the rate that they appear, but you can never stop the flow completely — and march in a straight line until they hit an obstacle, at which point they about-face and march off in the opposite direction. 

If there’s no obstacle between them and, say, a deadly drop, the mindless rodents will march right over the edge to certain doom. You can’t control the lemmings directly, but you can assign roles to individuals, such as climber (to scale vertical surfaces), digger (digs directly downwards), or floater (uses an umbrella to survive deadly falls), to circumvent various obstacles. You’ve only got a limited number of roles to assign in each level, however, so finding a solution is often a matter of getting a few lemmings out to a location where they can help everyone else.

That’s pretty much the way things work in Lemmings Touch, albeit with a few new wrinkles. Mischievous Lemmings require a rethinking of how you approach a given level, since it’s game over if even one of them makes it to the exit location. Their red hairdo is easily spotted, and you’ve got to make sure that you kill each and every one of them off before your horde makes its final beeline for the exit.

2014-03-19-153233_1400143075

You’ve also got the aforementioned touch controls, which utilize the PlayStation Vita’s front-facing screen to provide more immediate access to in-game commands. Certain glowing objects can be physically manipulated with a touch or a swipe, such as shifting platforms, adjustable cannons, or the lever that manages how quickly new lemmings drop into the level. There are also control stations that lemmings can interact with in order to create a button you can then tap for level-specific purposes (such as opening/closing doors).

Of course, you can also use touch controls to interact with your lemming army directly. Tap one of the little rodents and a small menu pops up on the screen that allows you to assign one of your available jobs. Simply tap the desired job, and the chosen lemming instantly transforms. It’s a simple, intuitive process that immediately makes sense once you start playing with it.

Lemmings Touch also features some dangling carrots in the form of unlockable cosmetic customization options that allow you to personalize your lemming army. Throughout the game, you unlock global objectives, like creating X number of builders, that award you with coins. Complete one and another takes it place. Any coins you earn can then be spent on customization items.

As remakes go, Lemmings Touch is just about as straightforward as they come. It also appears to be a quality effort from d3t, one that captures the spirit of the original game while expanding on the core ideas in clever, platform-specific ways. We’ll see for ourselves soon enough; Lemmings Touch is set to arrive for PlayStation Vita on May 27.

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Gaming

Where we droppin’ (presents)? Perfect ‘Fortnite’ gifts for the fans in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.
Gaming

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Deals

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Gaming

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.
Gaming

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.