Game Reviews

Worms 3

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| Worms 3
Worms 3
| Worms 3

There are lots of reasons to buy a Worms game, but it's unlikely that a desire for innovative, experimental content is ever going to be one of them. This is a series that hasn't really changed since its inception 18 years ago.

Not that Team17 has been resting on its laurels in the near two-decade lifespan of the franchise. Far from it, in fact.

Each entry has seen new layers of polish, essential tweaking under the bonnet, and the introduction of ever-more ridiculous ways to murder the other team of invertebrates.

Now we have Worms 3, the first game in the series designed from the ground up for touchscreen devices.

And, yes, it's more of the same. But in the end that's the chief reason you're buying a Worms game, and Worms 3 doesn't disappoint.

Modern worm-fare

As ever, you're in control of a squad of four different worms, taking on an opposing force of wriggling invertebrates in turn-based battles of destruction. The aim of the game is simple - wipe out your opponent before she does the same to you.

There are a couple of twists to the formula this time around. First, each of the worms on your team has a different role and skillset - there are Soldiers, Scouts, Scientists, and Heavies. Scientists regenerate health for the team, for example, while heavies are slow but incredibly powerful.

You build your own team of four, so it's up to you to select the balance. An all-heavy team might seem like a good idea, but a bad positional drop will leave you with a lot of sitting ducks. Striking a balance is key, and working out how you play helps immensely.

The other big change is the card system. This is an unlockable deck of different buffs and boosts that you can play at the start and end of your turn. You can play up to three cards a turn, using the bonuses to your advantage.

One card, for example, lets you ignore fall damage, while another turns the ground into a slippery death trap. The cards encourage experimentation, letting you think up innovative ways to score a kill.

Card worms

You control your worms with a D-pad in the bottom-left corner or, if you prefer, by tapping on the screen. A variety of buttons let you select your weapons, choose your equipment, jump around the scenery, and fire whatever piece of death-bringing ordnance you have equipped.

There's the usual mix of bazookas, mines, and more left-field tools at your disposal. Old women stumble around the ragged terrain before exploding, sheep bound around with a gleeful baa, and homing pigeons dart in on their targets.

Much of the onus of trying out different forms of warfare is on you, though. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of bazooka fire, especially when it's so effective, and the game never quite manages to wean you off the basic blaster successfully.

Some of the AI is a little on the wonky side too. Sometimes, the computer controlled player will unleash a trick shot worthy of recording, while at other times it'll blast a hole under its feet and fall to its death in some water below.

There's a Survival mode as well, which sees you facing off against waves of increasingly tough worms. It's a nice change of pace, and gives you a chance to think about the battle in a slightly different way.

Friends with invertebrates

It's with the multiplayer that Worms 3 really finds its feet. Both online and same-device modes are included, and it's here that the carnage feels meatiest, and your missed shots and perfect hits feel all the more cheer-worthy.

Playing with friends and strangers is what the Worms experience is all about, and Worms 3 is, inevitably, no exception. Its humour is that little bit funnier when you're sat with a friend, and its unruly chaos is always worth sharing.

Worms 3 is a Worms game through and through, then - a proud showcase of nearly two decades of iteration and ridiculous bombs.

If you're not a fan of the series then you'll remain unimpressed, but if you're after another portable version of the invertebrate battler you should give it a look.

Worms 3

An entertaining single-player mode and some excellent multiplayer modes make Worms 3 a decent addition to the long-running series
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.