GAMING

Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Holiday Lemmings

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chris-littlechild - December 17, 2014

This could just be plain ol' Lemmings. It could. But who am I to refuse to follow suit with every freaking TV commercial/show just now? It's the holiday season, so here comes one more Christmas special for the Scroogetastic bastards among us to whine about.

Don't worry, Ebeneezer. Once those three ghosts scare you into being less of an asshole, you can get over here and enjoy Holiday Lemmings with the rest of us.

First, a quick refresher, just for those too drunk to remember gaming stalwart Lemmings in its original, non-festive form. This platform/puzzler first hit the Amiga in 1991, and is based on the whole lemmings-over-the-cliff-like-the-crazy-little-dudes-they-are thing. In each stage, a number of them will shuffle along automatically, into, over and through any hazardous obstacles that happen to be present.

Your objective is to save their asses (or at least a certain percentage of their asses) by assigning each of them a skill. This is a sort of job, and affects their behaviour. A ‘blocker' lemming will stop moving and prevent his fellows from passing, while a ‘floater' (which isn't a turd joke) can safely parachute down from great heights. Climbers, diggers and miners are also available, but your uses of each are strictly limited.

With a time limit to work against too, you'll have to bust your balls to size up the situation and lead these gormless guys to the exit. Lemmings was a huge hit for its unusual premise, nutty charm and cutesy-ass lemmings themselves. The franchise is still doing the rounds today, having been ported to just about every damn machine capable of running it.

And now that we're up to speed, it's time for the real star of the show: Holiday Lemmings.

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Nine midgets a'climbing.

This originally saw the light of day as the demo Xmas Lemmings. It had a mighty four different stages, and was... fairly wank. A few years after the release of the regular game, it arrived in full-on gametastic form. Over in Merry Olde England, in was named Christmas Lemmings, but that's a little too on the nose for us in the US of A.

Think of it as Nights: Into Dreams' 'Christmas Nights' spin-off, just with more levels and effing lemmings everywhere.

For all intents and purposes, it's the same damn game, just with alternate levels and a festive makeover. You know what that means for lazy-ass developers: throw in some snow and jangly music, and you're there. Just about every platformer does this somewhere or another, but did they have lemmings in santa suits? Damn right they didn't.

To get a little taste of the holiday spirit, check it out below. But watch out for the most piss-poor rendition of Jingle Bells you ever heard.

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