Review: Lemmings Touch

There are some video game series that exist which defy imitation – games you can recognise from a mile away by some ubiquitous detail. In this case, the Lemmings series has been around since 1991 and the key to its success has been its unique gameplay. Originally released on Amiga, and published by Psygnosis (I am a bit of a fan, as you might be able to tell) the mechanics have remained largely intact in more recent iterations.

Now, with the release of Lemmings Touch on the PlayStation Vita, touchscreen controls are the new focus – but does it retain the charm that has maintained this series for over twenty years?

Developer: d3t
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Reviewed on: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 27th May (US) / 28th May (Europe)


The answer is yes – more or less.

For the uninitiated, Lemmings involves trying to get as many of the eponymous creatures from the starting area to the goal. This is made all the trickier by the fact that the lemmings in question seem to have no sense of self-preservation and will just as quickly march off of a cliff as head in the right direction.


Lemmings Touch takes a similar structure to many recent mobile games. Each level pack is gated by a star total. In order to proceed, you have to match that total by completing each level and earning stars. In this case, the number of lemmings you save within a certain time period determines your score. A basic progression model, yes, but you always know where you stand at least.

The good news is the game mechanics are largely unchanged. The most basic controls still exist, such as turning a lemming into a blocker to stop the progress of others (handy with cliff edges approaching) and tasking a lemming with building a stairway (solving the age-old gap problem). This time, Lemmings Touch adds a few more elements to the party – including cannons, trampolines and sliding platforms. While these additions improve the experience, activating switches and lifting objects to help clear the way to the exit feels like more of the same.


Spread across 100 levels, the environments you must navigate lemmings through are diverse. The level of detail and sheer appeal of the level design is high. Similar to the additional mechanics though, it again feels familiar. There are levels based on candy, Egypt and even hell.

However, the more obvious issue Lemmings Touch suffers from is its implementation of touch controls. What mechanics have been moved over to the touchscreen have been done well, but it makes it all the more confusing why a full switch over was not implemented. The L button is used to stop time when an on-screen prompt would have done the job, for example. To be honest I would not have minded if there were no touch inputs and it was entirely button-controlled, but the half-and-half implementation here meant you are constantly shifting the position of your Vita around in your hands as you play.


The classic game mechanics return
The diversity of the levels is refreshing
The formula is fine but could do with a stir
The touchscreen controls only go halfway

Lemmings Touch is a competent and well-crafted addition to the equally well-worn series. It is just a shame more hasn’t been done to freshen up the series and, perhaps, move it beyond the level it currently exists at. Despite these reservations, if you are looking for a fun puzzler on your Vita, Lemmings Touch fits the bill quite nicely.

Review copy provided by Sony Computer Entertainment
Official Game Site

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  1. Stuart

    Nice to have a review by a fan of the original like myself. I was worried about this, it looked a little clunky but now I’m thinking I might pick it up

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