Team17 has unveiled the next mobile installment in its invertebrate war saga: Worms 4.
This one has a huge single player campaign and all the usual multiplayer options, a factions mode that pits one half of the fanbase against the other, and a loot system.
It's also a lot faster. With smaller landscapes, smaller teams, and shorter match lengths, the whole thing is more nimble and mobile-friendly. Plus, the controls are simpler and the toony visual style makes the battlefield easier to parse.
It wouldn't be a new Worms game without some new weapons. This time you'll get to wield Hayley's Comet, a flame thrower (new for mobile, at least), and the lucky die.
Those weapons, and the 33 others, can be upgraded (increasing their power and adding effects like fire and poison) through loot, which is earned by playing the game or through in-app purchases.
Loot can also contain aesthetic choices like voice packs, costumes, and gravestones.
But don't worry: the game is not free to play. "We have looked at free to play," says creative manager Kevin Carthew, "but for the version of Worms that we wanted to make, we think premium works best and allows us to focus a bit more on the specifics of the gameplay."
The singleplayer campaign has 80 missions, with modes like classic deathmatch, the wave-based 'Bodycount', and 'Vital Worm,' which turns one worm on each team into a game-ending VIP.
Multiplayer can be done pass-n-play, or online and real-time over Facebook.
But there's also a huge (and very in vogue) faction element. You'll pick either Red or Blue, and do battle for dominance over the opposing team every 24 hours by finishing tasks and playing time-limited events. The winning crew gets bonus loot.
The question is: with about 20 different Worms games in as many years, should we still care about these squeaky-voiced boneless psychopaths?
"There’s nothing to say that people should care, but they do care, and they play it in droves because it’s still a great game," says Carthew. "With each version we make improvements and we’re always bringing new features to the party".
Worms 4 will be out on iOS in August. Team17 says "other mobile platforms" will follow. The Silver Award-winning Worms 3 ended up on Android, so you should probably expect the same here.