Long before Angry Birds put a virtual trademark on cute and cuddly characters with a penchant for violence, Team17's Worms was sowing the seeds it grew from.

Worms, despite being fiercely harsh at times, has never taken itself too seriously, managing to deliver gameplay that is almost always challenging, but still raises a smile even in defeat.

The good news is that nothing much has changed in Worms Armageddon – it's just as perfectly balanced as it ever was.

The bad news is that nothing much has changed.

War with worms

Just like its predecessor – EA's first crack at the whip on mobile, Worms 2010 – this latest edition of Worms comes with two main play areas: a Campaign mode that sees you taking on one rival tribe of worms at a time, and a custom setup that lets you play with the rules to make things either a touch easier or harder, depending on your skills.

For those new to the franchise, Worms Armageddon offers a playable and protracted take on turn-based warfare.

Blowing your opponents to pieces entails managing the worms at your disposal, and using the array of devastating – and often amusing – weapons at in your stash to clear the map of all foes before they have a chance to wipe you out.

You have just 45 seconds to take charge of each worm, so play involves a steady hand as well as strategic nous.

Panicking and getting your aim wrong, for instance, can land you in a whole heap of trouble, with scores of fatalities in Worms down to friendly fire.

Some of the custom modes are arguably even more competitive – Instant Kill, for instance, does just that. In contrast, God mode offers a war of attrition of sorts, with drowning your opponent the only way to remove them from play.

Better the battle you know

But, while Worms Armageddon might appear like a more polished package as a whole, there's both a lack of progression and a feeling that the engine behind it all isn't quite suited to mobile.

There's no getting away from the fact that, though it doesn't strictly speaking slow down, Worms Armageddon stumbles at times.

Nonetheless, there's not much to quibble with when what's served up delivers the kind of dog-eat-dog gameplay that's kept the franchise alive over the last 15 years. On that particular front, Worms Armageddon is just as competitive as ever.