Worms was one of the first PC games that I got into as a kid. One of my fondest memories from when I was a kid in the mid 90s would be meeting up with my friend to play Worms.
This is why I added it to my list of classic games for my 24 hour gaming marathon and was pleased when it was voted for in the poll, albeit a bit nervous that I wouldn’t get the same enjoyment out of it.
I actually started with one of the sequels. Out of the four Worms games available to me I picked Worms 2: Armageddon as it was the most modern version and also being on my Xbox 360 was perfect for a bit of co-op gameplay with my fiance. We opted to team up, having a bit of fun to begin with creating some teams.
The game was really fun, particularly when mistakes are made. We had a giggle when the CPU messed up and killed themselves, but also when we inflicted the same pain on ourselves. Even when Hannah blew me up it was fun. Using the more elaborate and silly weapons was really good fun, but all too infrequent. Weapons such as the banana bomb, holy grenade and sheep were too rare for my liking. Whilst it was brilliant when I got to use them (including when I got my angles wrong and blew myself up with a rebounding banana bomb), I really would have liked to have more opportunity to use them.
Perhaps the other issue I had (at least during the mode(s) we played) was that the levels were often tight with worms very much all on top of each other when playing with 4 teams. The ability to generate large levels would have been very beneficial. Some of the randomly placed terrain objects like houses and trees were very large and this often meant that you’d have too many boxed in areas. The issue with this is that if you have 3 allied worms vs one in one area then you might spend a turn or two just getting out. Also there’s the massive risk that if you have several worms together against one opponent and the opponent goes first, you could end up staring at defeat before having a chance to make your move.
I found the levels in the original worms worked a lot better. They were slightly more open, meaning you could fling a grenade at pretty much anyone. There were also fewer obstacles that required use of the ninja rope, which is limited in supply. Obviously the graphics was simpler in the original but I felt they worked fine. The one thing that surprised me was colour and worm design – they all looked the same! They could have at least had different colour hats! Maybe I just missed that option but one key benefit of the newer game was the worms could be uniquely styled making it easier to differentiate. This is especially useful when there’s a bunch of worms getting propelled around by explosions.
I’ve actually previously revisited Worms before and not enjoyed as much as I did during the SKSP marathon. I think a large part of that was expectations. I expected the game to change my mood and turn my frown upside down. Having loved it during my marathon I now see that it wasn’t that the game wasn’t what I hoped but instead I understand why I’ve had two different reactions. Previously I hit the same issues as described above and that just hindered my enjoyment of the game as I was frustrated. If I’m not loading up the game in a positive mood then having “unfair” spawning then losing your one worm in a half decent position to an “unfortunate” rebound is going to leave me pissed off. I just won’t enjoy the game.
However during the gaming marathon I was in a jovial and positive mood. My screw ups were laughed at just as much, if not more, than the AIs. I didn’t even mind when my partner accidently killed half my team! Another day I may have spat the dummy out (partly because when you’re out the game and spectating it isn’t as much fun!) but a different attitude makes the game more fun. Perhaps back in my younger days I was more willing to let things slide, or perhaps haven’t developed the personality disorder of a bad loser then.
Anyway, my point is that if you approach this in a manner that doesn’t matter whether you win or lose and are willing to laugh at your mistakes, embrace explosive defeat and have some light hearted friends then the Worms series is some of the most fun that you could possible have*.
[*]At least as far as games go