|Platform Reviewed||Sega Saturn|
|Genre||Comedic Arcade War Game|
|Number of Players||1-16|
|Multiplayer Value||Very High|
|Length||Millions of battlefields|
|Skills Required||Simple Tactics, Aiming|
|Interface Devices||Single Joypad|
|Interface Design||Very Good|
|Game Design and Playability||Excellent design, extremely fun|
|Type Of Fun||Party-Style gaming|
|Overall Value||High with new improved interface!|
|The Best||A wonderful version of the side view ballistic shooter|
|The Worst||Should have permitted multiple joypad use. Idiots.|
|How much I'd Pay for This||40 bucks|
Worms is an elaborate version of the 'Scorched Earth' genre of side-view ballistic shooter. Tiny Worm soldiers take turns aiming and firing projectiles at each other. Think 'Lemmings' meets 'Cannon Fodder'.
No story as such, this is a 'Party' game where the object is simply to kill a few pleasant hours, perhaps with some friends. By killing said friends.
Worms is a fairly elaborate version of a tried and true old freeware design. Originally done with tanks, Worms takes the ancient side view ballistic shooter and attempts to infuse it with character and charm. Worms accomplishes this task with aplomb, and is all but brilliant as the finest version of this old chestnut to date.
The Saturn version of Worms is vastly superior to the IBM PC version for one simple reason: the interface. Because they had no keyboard to be lazy about ( "Hey dudes! a keyboard is just LOTS OF BUTTONS, isn't it? COOL! HEY! Let's use ALL of them! Wooooo!" ), the programmers who ported Worms had to deal with the true interface of the gamer: the Joypad. Yes, they actually had to adapt the game to the peripheral designed only for playing games with. (see my IBM critique for more on this) The result is a game that is a breeze to play, and where fun is paramount.
This improved interface makes Worms truly a wonderful game to play, and I do recommend it, finally, with only one reservation: the programmers could have gone the extra step and made the game make use of additional joypads. As it is, twixt each move, the single supported joypad must be passed to the next player in turn. Support for additional pads would have made this transfer unnecessary, so that the flow of play was not interrupted.
Oh well, at least they were forced to grow up a little, and deal with the modern world of gaming, at least to some degree.
At any rate, the game itself is a masterpiece. You will play it till you drop.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since it's earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.