Worms has landed on Apple’s golden child for the first time. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what Worms is about, as the Team17 game is a true living legend and classic. For those who haven’t the foggiest what I’m on about, Worms is a turn based game where players have a team of worms, normally four, trying to blast the crap out of another team or teams of worms with ridiculous weapons in hilarious fashion. If that sounds like good fun to you and why wouldn’t it, hit the jump for our take on the hottly anticipated title.
So Worms on the iPhone, what’s it like? Am I going to be able to relive my childhood from the DOS days or is it a sad reflection of the past? Thankfully I can tell you that all your favourite parts from the previous games in the franchise are included. From the bouncing Sheep of death to the Holy Hand-Grenade, all the weapons are there. Even the much loved and used ninja rope is included and of course my weapon of choice, Dynamite. The creative team names are also still there along with the amusing tombstones each worm leaves behind. The down right hilarious captions are still all there with a load of languages and speech options such as Scouser, Angry Scots, US Sports or Cyberworms. Users can also customise their worm teams with all the options or create opposition teams so you can take on your worst enemies with your best friends.
Players accustomed to Worms have the usual options of Challenge, Quick game or just Practice on the single player front. Local multiplayer is also included with up to four teams and therefor four player able to battle it out turn by turn. If you’re in the middle of a game and your boss rings, Worms will automatically save the state of the match and allow you to resume where you left off, once you’ve fobbed him off. Worms has plenty of action to keep you entertained with 50 separate challenges set up and limitless replay value on the field. Visual/audio options include turning the HUD off, for the hardcore worms amongst us, turning the music and SFX on or off along with vibrate, and finally turning game play hints on or off. The landscapes of course are varied for your playing pleasure and can be tuned to suite your particular play style. The style and form of the automatically generated landscape can be changed along with the quantities of mines and exploding barrels. The only thing that could conceivably be considered as missing is the lack of multi-device multiplayer such as between two iPhones or on the web. It’s important to note that at the time of writing, the listing for Worms states that iPhone 3.0 features are on their way, so we might yet see bluetooth multiplayer link up. So basically everything that you might have remembered is included.
Worms is back as you remember it, but and there is a but, the accuracy that might have been afforded with a keyboard on the PC is simply not there on the iPhone. The controls are workable, tapping on one side of the screen or the other to move your worm left and right, on the worm to make him jump and dragging a cross-hair to aim your weapon. The problem is that speed and accuracy is simply not there. Lining up your shot is not too difficult as the cross-hair system is pretty easy to use. Getting the power right is also not a problem as there’s an onscreen button you simply hold down till you’ve got enough power. Navigating around the screen is also pretty simple using two fingers to drag the screen around and the normal pinch and zoom to get a better view. When it comes to moving your worm around however it’s another story. If you’re not in a hurry the controls are ok, but when you need to get a shift on the controls are clumsy and slow. Moving your worm after you’ve struck the critical blow, in the short time allotted for retreat, is pretty tricky. Those who are used to swooping over your enemies in the jetpack, dropping a stick of dynamite on your enemy and flying to safety are going to find it exceptionally hard to do so. You simply don’t have as much control over your worm. Is it something that Team17 can fix? No, I think it’s a limitation of the input facilities available on the iPhone. Does it ruin the experience? Simply put, no. If you loved worms for the fine control then you might be disappointed but for the rest of us that struggled to hit worms with the bazooka, let alone flying around with a jetpack, then Worms is back, portable and with a vengeance.
Worms is available in the App Store for the price of a pint of premium lager ($4.99/£2.99), a bargain in my opinion. If you need more convincing check out the gallery below: