With Overcooked releasing this week and reigniting my love for couch co-op/verses games (you can read our review here) I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at one of the best in the genre. Way back in 1995 British developer Team 17 released Worms an artillery strategy game. Its a turn based game where players control a team of worms and battle it out with AI or human players until the last team is left standing. the game was funny, frustrating, tense and exceptionally great fun.
The game was originally created by Andy Davidson who had entered it in to a programming competition run by Amiga format magazine. Worms did not win and Davidson showed off his work to a number of publishers until it was suggested to him that Team 17/Ocean might be worth approaching. Team 17 made an offer on the spot to develop and publish the game when Davidson approached them at the European Computer trade show.
Graphically the game features a cartoony art style, although perhaps less so than modern iterations of the game . The level designs are randomly generated by the use “seeds” much like what we see in Minecraft today. The object and landscape were arranged into ‘themes’ including forests, Martian landscapes, beaches and ‘hell’. Landscapes were fully destructible and falling off would mean certain death.
There were over 50 weapons and tools available to players each with their own uses and/or destructive capabilities whilst wind speed and direction would alter the ballistic characteristics of things like bazookas and grenades. there was nothing better than getting that perfect shot on your friend or sibling who was sat right next to you.
When you mention Worms to any gamer perhaps one of the first things that will pop into their head is the distinctive audio. Although the first few Worms games used darker, more authentic battlefield sounds for its ambient music, all of the games included a large number of high-pitched catchphrases shouted by the worms during the course of battle, such as “I’ll get you!”, “Revenge!”, “Stupid!” and “Bombs away!”.
Worms was well received by gamers and has gone on to produce a whole host of follow up games which have at times faced criticisms for being too similar or for failing to capture the feel of the original game. Personally Worms is a series close to my heart and one that I still enjoy and still willingly hand over my cash in order to play. The next Worms title to join the growing Worms family of games will be Worms W.M.D releasing on August 23rd. Its great to see the series going strong and its fun to compare the original game with the latest version that will be firing their way onto our consoles soon….Incooooming!!