Nothing smacks of nostalgia more than reading the history of a game that once occupied a lot of my childhood.
This description by the author probably dramatizes but seems a fitting explanation of what made those little critters so fascinating to watch:
Lemmings simply offers something different. The sprites with flouncy hair soon become friends, their dedication and helplessness an irresistible pull. The size of the lemmings, that first impulse behind their creation, has the neat effect of making minor hills huge and half-screen gaps cavernous, thus ennobling their acts. The animations shine with personality: the sheer exertion in every swing of a basher’s hands, captured in that split-second the limb is held aloft before crashing down. And Gary Timmins, the animator and one of the level designers on Lemmings, points out that the builder ‘shrugging’ when it has finished building wasn’t just a neat piece of characterisation – it also gives the player more time to react. The sprites cease to be an 8×10 grid of pixels, and become lemmings, looking to the player for direction and salvation.
I do wonder why there hasn’t been a remastered version of the game for iOS. I would grab it in a second!