Have you ever played Lemmings, the old puzzle game where you have to lead groups of little beings through an obstacle course, assigning jobs as needed in order to proceed? Remember those good old days? Well, if you have played Lemmings, then you've also played Meerkatz Challenge because they're basically the exact same thing.
Here in Meerkatz Challenge (note the hip Z at the end of "Meerkatz"), you'll be directing legions of meerkats through different arenas, giving a few jobs like re-directing the line or telling the other meerkats to run in order to reach the goal. The more meerkats you send to the goal, the higher your score will be and the more stars you'll receive. It's a meerkat mobile version of the old classic.
Is that a bad thing? Not if the imitation is still fun, and Meerkatz Challenge certainly comes through. The familiar gameplay is still challenging and fun, and these meerkats are way cuter and full of personality than the Lemmings ever were. Hearing the excited "Yippee!" when they reach the goal and seeing them dance at the score screen will make you all warm and fuzzy.
The game isn't particularly challenging either. Most stages can be finished in one try, though a few will force you to think outside of the meerkat den for the solution. One puzzle in particular made me let a meerkat walk basically to the end of the level before I assigned him a job, as he had to get into position before the rest of them could. This slows down the action considerably, which in turn could make some of the less patient players among us less interested in completing the game. Aside from testing our patience, the game never gets so difficult that a younger player or someone who remembers Lemmings from long ago will have massive amounts of trouble, it'll just make them think.
Longtime gamers have played Meerkatz Challenge before, just with a different set of creatures we had to maneuver to the goal. However, the core Lemmings formula holds up well on the iPad in 2014, and the new meerkat characters are just adorable as they prance around the stage. My only major beef is that Travian didn't try to tie the game in to that old Animal Planet show 'Meerkat Manor'. That show was great.
Meerkatz Challenge is the perfect little game for a child who's just getting into video games or an adult who played as a child and moved on, as there's enough appeal for both groups to enjoy. It doesn't add to the core formula, but it emulates it well.
This review was completed with a download of Meerkatz Challenged provided by the developer for iOS.