So, the long wait is finally over! We are now able to play Team17’s Worms on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Being such a popular franchise that’s made appearances on such a variety of platforms, everyone including myself were pretty excited to play this iteration of the series. Was this excitement misguided? In the end, a bit, but read on for more details.
Worms plays out as a turn-based strategy game. Generally, you’ll be playing as a team of several worms against another team. When it’s your turn, one of your worms gains focus. You then choose from a variety of weapons like rockets, grenades, dynamite, exploding sheep (!), and more. With the chance for a single shot, you aim your trajectory into the air, balance your angle of the shot and counter the winds. You need to deal as much damage as possible with each shot, so you can eliminate the other team before they take you out.
Same lovable Worms: The sound effects and commentary by the worms are the same as you’d expect: funny and cute. It felt like a Worms game, and looked like one as well. Fans of the series will feel at home with the game.
Lack of multiplayer: Well, this isn’t entirely true. There is local multiplayer, where you can pass the device around. But for a game that begs for online multiplayer, it’s sorely lacking. Team17 promises this in a future update, but that doesn’t remedy the fact that it isn’t here at launch time.
Frustrating controls: This was my biggest gripe with Worms. Panning around levels is sluggish. Zooming is limited; the closest you can get still feels too far out. With 45 seconds per turn, the last thing I want to be worrying about is fighting with the controls. I’ve also lost count on the number of times I’ve jumped forwards instead of backwards into a mine or related trap, promptly making any win difficult for the rest of the round.
My impression of Worms when firing up the game for the first time was disappointment. But, given more time with it, I began to overlook the issues with controls and enjoy the usual Worms charm. Don’t get me wrong: the controls are still a pain, but Worms offers some fun. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s worth a look. Everyone else should be fine waiting first, to see if the future updates can fix the issues listed above.