Where You Leedmees, They Will Follow
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
What would you do if you came across cute little helpless creatures wandering aimlessly? Are you a Good Samaritan that would help guide them safely home? Or will you laugh at their misfortune and squash them like little bugs? Our writers were put in that exact situation last weekend, at Konami’s Gamer’s Night event at the Real Sports Bar in downtown Toronto, as we got some hands-on time with the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade Kinect game, Leedmees.
In this colourful and quirky game, players will use their entire body to create a platform for hapless lemming-esque beings, called Leedmees, to travel from one planet to another. Race against the clock as you try to successfully guide a specific number of Leedmees from the starting portal to the end point. You’ll have to be careful though, as these diminutive beings have little more than their cuteness going for them! If you walk too fast and make the Leedmees fall, or you are too callous in your movements and accidentally swat or step on one of them, you’ll find that the tiny troopers are so fragile that they’ll poof into confetti.
In single player mode, the initial levels are easy, allowing you to get acclimated with the game. Here, you’ll basically stretch out your arms so that the Lemmings…err, Leedmees, can walk right onto the makeshift runway as they step out of the starting portal. You then have the option to either walk towards the second portal, or let the little white characters wander across your arms and shoulders to their goal. Afterwards, the levels become increasingly difficult, adding obstacles and staggering the Leedmees’ entrances, so that you really need to juggle and strategize how to guide one to safety while getting another as it steps out of the first opening. An additional challenge to each level is the five gold stars shimmering innocently in the background. If a Leedmee walks through a star and makes it safely to the exit, the player gets a bonus. It makes for some interesting poses, much to an audience’s amusement, as you sometimes need to contort your body to get the little guys from point A to point B – especially if you’re angling for the bonus stars as well!
Similarly, the co-op mode has two players side by side, with one person at the starting portal and the other at the end. Together, their figures must form a bridging platform for the Leedmees to walk upon. As the difficulty escalates, players have to strategize and coordinate their movements. In addition to being aware of the small white characters, players must also be conscious of where they are in relation to one another. In some ways, Leedmees is similar to Twister, since the players need to contort their bodies to accommodate each character in play. As you can imagine, the developers had quite the sense of humour, putting portals and stars at awkward heights and areas, which makes for an extremely fun party game.
I found the game to be pretty easy to jump into, as you know intuitively what needs to be done. The tracking takes a bit of getting used to; I found myself stepping closer and closer to the TV as I guided the Leedmees home, as if I could physically grab the characters and plop them into their safety zone. It’s easy to get drawn into the game, watching the little guys trudging across your in-game body or jumping in vain to grab hold of your hand in order to find purchase on a safe platform.
My brief experience with Leedmees has left me wanting to play the full game. Luckily, I don’t have long to wait, as Leedmees will be marching into the Xbox Live Arcade on September 7th! For a mere 800 Microsoft points, this simple yet fun game is a definite must for any Kinect player out there.
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