Game Reviews

Worms

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Worms
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| Worms

Thanks goodness worms don’t have opposable thumbs. If you want to know what the world would be like if they did, just play any one of the Worms games released over the past 16 years.

Yep – our fair planet would be a pot-holed wasteland filled with explosions and death, the landscape gradually whittled away to nothing by high-level explosive ordnance.

Once you’ve said your thanks, whip out that Android handset. Worms has finally arrived on the big G-phone, and it’s as incendiary as ever.

Wriggley’s double-barrelled shotgun

Most gamers will know the score, but if this is your first encounter with Worms it’ll take a bit of explaining. You take control of a small team of cartoonishly violent wrigglers in a series of randomly generated, fully deformable 2D arenas.

Your one goal is to wipe out the opposing teams before they do the same to you. This is achieved by selecting from a large arsenal of weapons – some fairly grounded (like the shotgun) and some way out there (like the Street Fighter-inspired fireball) – and utilising them in turn-based combat.

While the tone is light-hearted and the action rambunctious, Worms requires considerable skill and forethought to play properly. Many of the weapons, such as the default rocket launcher, require you to judge the distance and location of your target as well as the wind direction in order to score a direct hit.

Half the worm it went on to be

This Android version is essentially a conversion of the 2009 iPhone game, but it’s a very slick one. Played on both a Samsung Galaxy S and a Motorola Milestone, everything moves smoothly, the graphics positively pop from the screen and load times are reasonable.

Worms for Android’s touch controls have benefited from the tweaking that’s taken place since the iPhone version’s release, although it can still be a little fiddly getting your worm to jump to higher ground at times. Still, Team 17 has made the classic Worms formula play reasonably comfortably on a touchscreen device.

Unfortunately, the game still suffers for its lack of online multiplayer. This was addressed in a sequel on iPhone, but that just makes us wish that Team 17 and EA had skipped to that all-round superior version (which isn’t exactly brand-new itself).

Still, we can only judge what’s put in front of us. While Worms on Android comes a little late in the day, and finds itself still lacking online multiplayer and still not quite at home on touchscreen, it’s a fine conversion of a timeless classic.

Worms

A fine conversion of the classic turn-based action formula, though the lateness of Worms’s arrival on Android can’t help but have us yearning for the additional bells and whistles of the superior sequel
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