Let me start by saying that I embarked on this review with fond memories of the original Lemmings games (yes, I even tried Lemmings 3D), and I had high hopes for Clones as a self-proclaimed “evolution to the classic Lemmings puzzle genre”. I’m glad to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this redux of sorts, and would gladly recommend it to any fan of the original or of puzzle games in general.
All of the elements of the classic form are present. The player is presented with a level environment consisting of an entrance point where clones will periodically drop in and start marching in whatever direction they pop out. The challenge is to guide enough clones to the exit warp safely, overcoming all manner of obstacles and challenges along the way. Potential problems include simple pits, water/lava/goo hazards, rival clones, walls, worm holes, and countless others. In order to deal with the various challenges, the player is able to pick from an assortment of “morphs” that fundamentally alter their clones. The abilities granted range from simple digging abilities to flight, disintegration, sacrificial explosion, and more. These abilities are granted piecemeal over a series of integrated tutorial levels, which is a welcome approach, as being presented with all of the forms at once can be very overwhelming to a new player.
The game world consists of a series of branching sections, each of which is ruled over by a trainer who eventually challenges the player to a head-to-head boss fight. The level environments are themed by each section, which helps to keep the puzzling fresh over time. On top of the widely varying single-player experience, Clones sports internet and LAN multi-play (with matchmaking), as well as a full level editor. Add in plenty of challenges and achievement rewards with in-game bonuses such as “spray” decals that can be applied to levels and cosmetic “enhancements” for your clones (I got mustaches!), and what you have is a tremendous value for a measly 10 bucks.
Anyone that enjoys a frenetic, plate-spinning sort of puzzle challenge cannot go wrong with Clones. I would even go so far as to say it’s a shame that the Lemmings name is likely lost in some IP purgatory, as this offering by Tomkorp is a more than worthy entry in the classic series.