Many nights as a child I remember sitting up well after midnight sat in front of my Amiga playing Lemmings. Usually the morning after I'd regret it, often rising exhausted and barely able to stay awake for the entire day. But it was worth it.
Hardly surprising, considering the developer that first invented Lemmings was also responsible for one of the biggest-selling franchises in gaming history – DMA Design, better known these days as Rockstar North, the talent behind Grand Theft Auto.
The point is, these Lemmings have pedigree. Lemmings Return is the second title in the series to make it to mobile, following on from the hugely fun Lemmings.
For those who are unlucky enough not to have had the pleasure of playing either the original early '90s versions or one of the many later remakes, Lemmings is a game where the sole objective is to save as many of the white skinned, green haired, blue dress draped suicidal creatures known as lemmings.
Each lemming is like a blank canvas, with the ability to be given a particular skill such as climbing up walls, building stairs, or knocking through walls, as infinitely adaptable as a Labour politician's dream 16-year old 'New Deal' apprentice. By carefully choosing what skills to deploy where in the game's puzzle-like levels, you can get the lemmings to work together to negotiate increasingly difficult and complex levels until you reach the satisfying (or relieving) end.
As for us old hands, from the second you start up Lemmings Return, you can't help but feel a familiar tingle run down your spine as the famous theme tune begins to blare out of your mobile phone's speaker.
Of course, the danger of updating a classic game is it'll be disappointing. Thankfully though, much like the first mobile version, Lemmings Return doesn't disappoint. Adapted to work in the same elegant way for mobile phones as the first title, the controls have been tightened to make sure that any 'accidents' aren't the result of dodgy controls but from hugely entertaining 'whoops' moments, which are almost always followed by suicide en-masse.
The strategy part of the game is also unchanged, remaining akin to putting a blind man in a round room and telling him his dinner is in the corner; cruel but shamefully funny to watch.
Thankfully the easiest difficulty setting gives more than enough time for Lemmings virgins to get up to speed before the real brainteasers begin. For the more sadistic among our readers: yes, the ninja-hard Armageddon option is still there should your masterplan go anything less than smooth, or, as is more likely the case, splat.
The graphics haven't changed much either, with only a few tweaks here and there. But one thing that has changed substantially from the last version of Lemmings for your mobile is the way information such as the time left and percentage of Lemmings rescued is displayed. Unlike in the last game, where the time was displayed in the top left hand corner, it is now displayed in the bottom left along with the rest of the information that's vital to knowing how well you're doing.
It's not a perfect sequel, sure. We do wonder why there seems to be the strict limit of 30 levels in these Lemmings mobile games, when the original Amiga version had a full 100 levels. The audio is a disappointment too, with the much-missed "Let's go!" and "Oh no!" yelps from your furry troops as you send them to their doom still notably absent.
All told though, Lemmings Returns builds on what its predecessor achieved and brings an even more refined and fiendish experience to your mobile, one that simply begs to be played. So go on, act like lemmings and race off to buy it.