Review: Leedmees

Remember Lemmings? Those helpless little guys would walk straight off a cliff if you’d let them. And I let them, more often than not, because I found it hilarious. When faced with Konami’s Leedmees, an Xbox Live Arcade Kinect title seemingly inspired by those impressionable little creatures, I was intrigued. First of all, what in the world were those bizarre stick-men featured on the game’s artwork, and what kind of Kinect motion control could possibly be used here? The answers were actually quite impressive.

I wasn’t exactly expecting there to be a shred of a storyline here, but apparently Leedmees takes place in a strange dream where your complex human body has been transformed into that of a primitive cave drawing, or something like it. You’re now a colorful stick figure, and whimsical little beings known as Leedmees are depending on you for help getting from point A to point B. I’m not quite sure what all that means, either, but hey, it’s something.

As one of these strange stick figures, it’s up to you to form a bridge or mode of transportation to get the Leedmees from a blue portal that shows up in each level to the exit portal, or the red one. Much like you would do in real life if you were a giant attempting to transport normal-sized people in a crisis or to an exit, you must position yourself in such a way that the Leedmees can crawl along your arms and shoulders in order for you to bridge gaps and aid them in reaching their final destination. If you want to try your hand at mastering each level, you can also direct your Leedmees to collect the stars scattered throughout each single-screen level. Each Leedmee can carry one star at a time, and I found even that was a challenge in itself having it return one star to the exit portal, let alone having each of the diminutive creatures carrying something of their own.

The Kinect sensor is used masterfully here, as your stick-man moves quite fluidly along with your own gestures in real life. Clowning around, I busted out some silly dance moves and my stick figure responded exactly as I had intended. It was quite the astonishing thing, as it was clear and precise Kinect responses that made the game a total joy to play, the likes of which I hadn’t seen since my first rendezvous with Dance Central, and for that I think Leedmees should be praised.

Leedmees is a short but sweet delicacy that anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of experiencing Lemmings should try at least once, if not only for the trippy stick men and their uncanny resemblance to wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men. You’ll certainly spend most of your time twisting and turning, trying to get those inquisitive little guys to their destination, and this is a fantastic way to get up off the couch and get into the game if your lonely Kinect has been getting a bit dusty lately, like mine.

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