Review by Larry Anderson
remember the PC game Scorched Earth?
Back in the days before wild multi-player LAN games, this simple two-on-two game
would have PC game geeks occupied for hours, even days at a time.
The premise was simple:
Take one pair of tanks, a little geometry and physics, a kick-ass gun, and shoot at
each other until someone screams Mommy!!
folks at Team17 have taken that philosophy (especially the crying Mommy part) and applied
it to the venerable Worms franchise.
For those of you who havent played the original, this installment had its
roots on the Commodore Amiga, later migrating to the Atari Jaguar, before being thrust
into the mainstream with this title.
The objective of the game is very straightforward; find creative ways to send your
opponents wormy team to the grave before they do the same to yours.
The title has a respectable arsenal of play modes; you can square off against the
computer on a random battlefield, play multiplayer against 3 of your friends (or foes), or
run the gamut of Basic Training to prepare yourself for the 30 single player missions.
The game takes place on a 2-D cartoonish battlefield (locales ranging from junkyards to large pieces of cheese), with equally toonish, armless worms representing your on-screen armada of doom. This is a turn-based game; you are given 45 seconds each turn to move one of your teammates around the battlefield, aim and shoot your weapon, plant a land mine, throw a grenade, or toss a flying sheep at your opponents. This goes back and forth until one team is eliminated.
sheer variety of weapons at your disposal is dizzying; your destructive tools range from
banana bombs to battle axes, holy hand grenades to mad cows.
The explosions are typically large and satisfying; the distance your opponents (or
even your own teammates) fly on impact from a rocket, and the satisfying gurgles they make
as they drown are even more titillating.
Dont like where your worm has landed?
You can ninja-rope or bungie-jump your way to a new spot.
For the base jumpers among you, take a flight off a cliff, rip open a parachute and
rain smoking death with mole bombs before landing ever so softly on the ground.
game is THICK with twisted humor; your worms dont merely die, they check themselves
out with a detonator.
They dont just take shots, they cry about it like babies.
Hit your own teams players, get called the worm equivalent of Benedict
And these guys dont forget about the important stuff; tombstones stand where
your brave worms once roamed, as a reminder of your effective command of the battlefield.
game does have its drawbacks: the computer AI.
It takes the majority of its 45 second turn to decide what its going to do;
this can lead to some rather slow gameplay.
Its no wonder that the multiplayer option (especially on the PC version,
which can be played over the Internet) is the most popular choice for serious
Also, the sound is rather sparse; some good bass-thumping rock and roll
wouldve increased the intensity during particularly nasty engagements.
However, good marks for the explosions, and the whiny voices your worm counterparts
If you enjoy
this title, Team 17 has followed this game up with Worms: World Party (which includes online play
with the Dreamcast version), and soon to deploy, Worms:
Blast (a game very similar to Bust-A-Move,
twisted into a Worms-themed world).
Next time you see something slithering across the ground after a good rain,
consider the mayhem our video worms buddies can cause before smashing it to bits.
You may find yourself on the receiving end of a suicide bomber worm, holding an
exploding mad cow
would you really want to mess with that?
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