#93 Lemmings 2: The Tribes


  • Original release year: 1993
  • Consoles: Commodore Amiga, DOS, Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, Acorn Archimedes, Atari ST, FM Towns, Master System, Game Gear

For some reason, the original Lemmings game has become a classic, revered and loved by many gamers, but the sequel seems to be mostly forgotten? I owned both on the PC as a child and it’s Lemmings 2 The Tribes I remember most fondly. I don’t know if there’s a reason for that, but it’s just the way it is. Being young, I probably thought the “2” automatically meant it was superior and therefore gave it more time, I don’t know, but here we are.

Lemmings 2 plays exactly like the original did. I’m not sure if there were (m)any differences, other than having new puzzles/levels. I played the original Lemmings last year at a retro gaming exhibition for a short while, but otherwise, I haven’t played it a whole much. Lemmings 2, on the other hand, I decided to buy the Mega Drive game last year to revisit it (yeah, I know it’s better on a computer, but it still plays well with a controller).

There's lots of different tribes and different worlds to play in Lemmings 2.
There’s lots of different tribes and different worlds to play in Lemmings 2.

Lemmings 2 is a deep and inventive puzzle game. Gameplay consists of of a group of ‘lemmings’ that fall from the sky onto the ground. From there on, it is your mission to guide these simple creatures to the end goal. The catch is, lemmings are really quite stupid (and really quite suicidal). They continuously move forward regardless of what is ahead. If they reach a dead end or a barrier of some sort, they’ll just turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Whatever lies ahead, whether it is the sea, lava, or a bottomless pit, the lemmings will walk right into it… Therefore, it is your job to use your very limited tools and resources at your disposal to guide them. Maybe you could use a drill to guide them to a below passage. Maybe you could use a bridge building tool, to have one lemming build a bridge across water. There are a lot of options, but as I said, resources are usually very limited. One wrong move and you could mess it all up.

It’s hard to describe or put into words just how outstanding the level design is in Lemmings. You feel like an absolute genius when everything clicks into place and you work out how to solve a level. It’s a great game for people who love problem solving and brainbusters. Visually, Lemmings 2 shows its age, but it’s still as fun as ever to play. I had a blast playing it just before Christmas on the Mega Drive.

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