Worms iPhone App Review.
Definitely one of my favorite games as a kid was the first edition of Worms. I say the first edition because that's all my 32MB of RAM and 400Mhz processor could take. But I pushed that computer to the limits with Armageddon and World Party. I can't say I've taken a liking to the 3D version that much, even after upgrading to a much nicer system, but I can surely agree that I've really jumped out of my seat when I saw Worms available in the App Store. Finally, the game that I could play while waiting in line at the groceries and before going to bed as well, without getting bored. A game that provides me with something different every time I play it. Yes, these little guys have really infested my iPhone.
For those of you who don't know what Worms is (shame on you!), the game is a turn based artillery-style combat game between two or more teams of worms. During game play, players control one team and take turns in attacking the others with weapons currently in the arsenal. Each worm has a certain energy level, which you can decrease with every successful hit, or attempt to drown the worm in the water below the terrain and kill him off instantly.
In the iPhone version, at the start of your turn, you can move the worm around to get a better position, scroll through the screen to locate your enemy, choose your weapon, aim and fire. The basic controls are really simple and I must say very well done. The two sides of your iPhone's screen are used to move the worm left or right (a simple tap and hold will do), while the middle of the screen is used for jumping or doing back-flips with your character (tap to jump, double-tap to back-flip). The left-most down corner is your weapons repository, on the right you have the fire button, while the upper-side has the wind indicator on your left, and the timer on the right.
Pinching the screen gives you zooming abilities, while swiping with two fingers lets you pan the camera around the battlefield. You can aim by holding down the target above the worm and rotating to your liking. On certain weapons that have homing-abilities, first-off you'll have to place the target wherever you want by taping the desired location. As you can see the controls are really intuitive, it's just how you'd expect to maneuver your worm and move around the battlefield. One thing that hasn't transitioned quite well is the ninja rope and the jet-pack. The movement is a little awkward, and could use some retouching,
The battlefield is filled with mines and exploding barrels which you can of course use for your own advantage. You should also be careful with these, as Worms is also an awesome strategy game. With the wind coming into play and blowing your missile away if not aimed right, timing is of the essence, positioning yourself for the perfect strike, and, of course, being able to retreat to safety while looking out for those landmines. Yes, the game has it all.
Well, almost all. One of the landmark features of the Worms series was the ability to mash up your friends in online craziness. And this is something we're not seeing with the iPhone version, which is a shame since the iPhone incorporates great networking abilities. The only "multiplayer" currently available for the version is playing Worms on the same iPhone with your friends. But passing the iPhone around the room just won't do, and neither is letting your opponent see your weapons repository. We're hoping for an update to enable this.
You also have a Challenge mode, where you take a team of four worms out onto a series of battlefields going up against AI teams of increasing difficulty. The winner is the last one standing. Worms offers you over 50 challenges to beat, with numerous items to unlock in each. You can personalize your team as you would in the computer version, and with the 6 different environments and the random battlefields, no two games are alike.
So grab your exploding sheep, holy hand grenades and homing missiles, stock up your bazooka and call in the Air Strike, cuz you're in for a treat in this turn-based madness from Team17. The game is available for $4.99 in the App Store, there's no lite version, and the graphics engine would perform better on a 3GS rather than on the iPhone 3G. Either way, you're looking at one hell of a ride.
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