One of the more interesting bits of development drama to come out of last year was when Mobile1Up went rogue and decided to port Lemmings to iOS. Sure, it was undoubtedly doomed from the start but it was still incredibly entertaining watching them liveblog the whole process as they ported over their entirely remade Palm OS version of the game. The liveblog mentioned is still online, and still worth reading (start from the bottom) if you're even vaguely interested in what's involved in porting an old game to iOS.

It wasn't much of a surprise that the Lemmings project was served with a cease and desist order from Sony, who is sitting on a number of forgotten retro IP's similar to Lemmings. Regardless, there are two universal constants in the world of gaming: Haters are gonna hate and lawyers are gonna... lawyer? So with the unofficial Lemmings port officially shut down, the developers decided to turn their existing completely rebuilt version of Lemmings into something that's just barely different enough to legally be in the clear.

Enter Caveman [$1.99] and its associated Caveman HD [$3.99]. It's Lemmings right down to its core, except without the actual Lemmings themselves. Given the circumstances, I would have opted for something a little more funny than cavemen, like lawyers, but I suppose it's in Mobile1Up's best interest to not push the issue much further.

It's great to see the whole Lemmings port project reaching a conclusion. If you've been looking for an authentic Lemmings experience but don't mind a bit of a reskin, make sure to give Cavemen a try.

  • Art Vandelay

    Are you sure this isn't from Gameloft?

    • Realist

      Read headline -> post comment.

      • Anonymous

        Read comment -> realise joke. :-P

      • Anonymous

        Read comment -> realise joke. :-P

  • http://twitter.com/SPeitsch Sebastian Peitsch

    Yeah they are so going to get sued...

    • TroutButter

      Nope. This game only has the genre in common with Lemmings which is perfectly legal. There are no art, sounds, names, etc from Lemmings used here.

      There's nothing wrong with making a clone as long as you don't steal any IP.

      • L3gum4n

        It's apparently changing, just you wait you shameful and obvious clone supporter :-) Isn't it Tencent who got charged for cloning a game recently? Hint hint..

      • L3gum4n

        And you, Touch Arcade. You should be ashamed reporting about clones update instead of spending this time on supporting creation and innovation! :-)
        Just saying...

      • Mobile 1UP

        every game in existance is a clone or variation of some form - there is no such thing as original content, all the concepts/logics from the top titles (angry birds, cute the rope, bejwelled, tiny wings, et al) are all taken from earlier unsuccessful incarnations of games - do we need to make a list of everything each and every app steals from other games? it is all about execution - we've changed everything; even the levels but try to keep the principles the same. SCEE had their chance to make an official version - we took a few things out and added our own cool enhancements. consider this a rebirth - we are simply fans of the original, with a few spare cycles to spare to implement it. (ie: indie dev)

      • L3gum4n

        I find it hard to imagine that you truly believe what you're writing. No matter how i read it, it's always wrong. First, there is still creation and innovation in games. If you want to blind yourself so you feel less of an uncreative person who abuse others idea, fine.
        Then, trying to discredit the originals by saying that they were unsuccessful doesn't work in your favor either. Let's take the example of the birdies as it is so popular. Crash the castle, the original, has been ranked in the itunes paid charts since it was release so you might want to carefully call it a failure as i doubt your Caveman ever perform this well.
        I would also be careful calling Lemmings an unsuccessful incarnation as i again emit doubts about anybody ever remembering Caveman in 20 years from now :-)
        And at last, i find it ironic how supposedly fans are pretty much fan of making money on the back of their "idols?" :-)
        Good luck with your game anyways and in the future, i hope you'll spend the money made out of this on finding your very own creative fiber.

      • http://www.facebook.com/PixelShock Stephen Harrell

        "every game in existance is a clone or variation of some form - there is no such thing as original content"
        Oh really?!? Same thing I hear out of older music lovers/musicians: "All the good songs have already been wrote. There is no decent 'new music'". I'm all for you making a great game built around the Lemmings concept, but please don't try to justify your "re-skin" as a necessary evil because you think it's impossible to come up with a new idea. Just because we can trace the roots of every game back to Pong doesn't mean we should stop thinking outside the box. Go play some Portal 2. There's plenty of innovation left in video games.

      • iDcirco

        Agreed Stephen. I had NO IDEA "crash the castle" was the first ever physics based toss game on any platform. I must have missed "scorched earth" and "gorillas". likewise the iphone game "Mystery Mania" is a mock up of "Maniac Mansion", "words with friends" a clone of "scrabble", and every Donut Game title a clone of every crap flash game you find at tinyclip.com. This guy with the negative comments is clearly being facetious.

  • Anonymous

    Check iLemmings in brazilian app store...

  • Mister Mumbles

    Ahem. Lemmings is not even close to a forgotten IP. They had Team17 make a PSP game, and there's still another one currently available on PS3 via PSN.

  • Mobile 1UP

    0.9.2 update currently "waiting for review"
    - loads of improvements and +30 more levels (free update)

    you can check the forums for the Caveman and Caveman HD threads - we are actively monitoring them and also listening to feedback.. now excuse me while i go off and work on the next 30 levels *g*

    • Mrsmartiepants

      Awesome. Can't wait for this update. Keep pushing out the rest and then even consider more :)

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore

    Do the iPhone and iPad versions sync their progress?

    • Mobile 1UP

      you do not score in caveman - you achieve. when we integrate game center; they'll sync. the only difference between the two versions is the quality of the graphics.. not to mention it is much easier to play on a bigger screen :)

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore

    Do the iPhone and ipad versions sync their scores?

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore

    BTW: The DOS-version of Lemmings runs perfectly in iDOS with full sound and really great working touch controls.

    • Mrsmartiepants

      I like iDOS a lot too, but anything that can run natively is instantly more appealing. I don't want to have to type a command line to play lemmings if I don't have to, and anything under $5 is worth it for that classic, to me.

      • Mrsmartiepants

        For the record I have Lemmings on iDOS and have been playing it, but I found myself being annoyed at the startup process so I did buy this game too (and it's awesomely identical).

  • iDcirco

    From another post about this issue here at TouchArcade -- "They are perfectly within their rights to withhold entertainment material that they have the rights to. It doesn't give anyone the right to steal their intellectual property."

    Correct but they 1) purchased this "intellectual property" 2) don't earn my respect by what you imply as intentionally withholding the game - if because of money, or even because of principal.

    SOMEBODY has been stealing, porting and otherwise illegally distributing this title since it's days of glory.

    I hope 'Caveman' becomes such a well developed and accepted title that the new generation mistakes 'Lemmings' as the clone... Why? Because of titles like Tetris by EA. That's why. These giant companies purchase or otherwise stumble upon licences, and rather than properly port the title over to new platforms, they try and milk the needy public with half-baked games with a familiar name attached.

    These big companies really have nothing better to do but harass people who enshrine their "intellectual property". These small developers are putting long hours into learning code that nobody at the big companies will even take serious, all the while intending to make ZERO profit. Well, I'm investing my $1.99 into a game that shows promise and is INSPIRED... and supported by somebody with a passion for the game, instead of the careless pockets of some coder from the Sony staff.

    Now that you beat them to the punch, lets make it count and show the independent world of mobile games what a bunch of jokers the big companies truly are. Terrible ports with no content updates = disgusting money grab. Inspired clones with evolving development = mobile bliss.

  • Steviebwoy78

    Sorry, but I just don't like the characters at all, and the icon is horrible too! Much of the joy of Lemmings was that you genuinely cared for your little green haired guys, the cavemen totally lack character. It's a no from me, I'm afraid.