Publisher: Team 17
Developer: Team 17
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7, dual-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 256 MB GeForce 8600 GT/512 MB Radeon HD 3650 or better graphics card, 2 GB hard-drive space
ESRB rating: Everyone 10+
Release date: Available now
I’m probably the only reviewer who got a copy of Worms Revolution and said, “Hey, I’ve never played a Worms game. I wonder what they’re all about.” Somehow the franchise has passed me by over the years, and it turns out I’ve been missing some lighthearted strategy fun. While it doesn’t take itself too seriously, Worms Revolution aims to give players a fun 2D turn-based strategy experience with its own peculiar brand of whimsy.
Worms in Worms fight one another with a huge inventory of weapons and utility items. The game seems built around giving worms the most absurd tools with which to kill each other. Some are very practical, such as grenades and bazookas, while others are downright absurd (the water balloon airstrike). Most parts of every map are malleable, so big explosions are often just as useful for moving a piece of the landscape around as they are for annihilating the opposition. And water is a big deal. Any worm falling into the water at the bottom of the map is doomed, but you can also move water around the map or tap new sources, causing floods and other mischief. Sometimes, teleporting a worm into an area with water and some dynamite is only the first step to drowning your enemies, unless they’re calling in an airstrike on some flaming barrels to spray napalm on your team. The fact that any worms survive some battles is a victory in itself.
Worms also come in four distinct types. Soldier worms are standard jack-of-all-trades. Heavies are big, hulking creatures capable of dishing out and taking more damage, while scientists are wimpy worms with a knack for gadgets. Scouts are more nimble than the rest and can jump or run to places no one else can reach. Considering that placement, movement and strategy are more important than raw firepower in 99 percent of battles, there’s less min-maxing than you might think for worm types and weapons. And worms are customizable, with voice sets, tombstones and other gimmicks to keep your team from appearing and sounding like all the other teams out there.
Multiplayer is a big deal in Worms (Steam is even selling a 4-pack). The game has far more available options for multiplayer than I could list. As long as you can find some friends to play with, you can play just about any kind of match you want. Weapons, terrain, and just about any multiplayer variable you can apply to a Worms match is just waiting to be modified. It’s clear that developer Team 17 really put great effort into online play.
That being said, it also looks like they put about zero effort in the tutorials. They do a mediocre job of explaining game mechanics, and they’re so poorly paced that I almost uninstalled the game before finishing them. It takes way too long to accomplish anything in the tutorials, so unless you’ve never played a video game before, you’ll be just as frustrated as I was. I also found that the Heavy worm is not that useful. Positioning is vitally important in Worms, as it should be. However, because of the lethality of certain weapons combined with the environment, the slower worms tend to just become casualties without offering much value. I also found that, while the narration is passable, the voice sets for the individual worms are all kind of annoying. They speak too often with too few phrases; you’ll hear it all from one voice set within an hour of using it.
These problems don’t seriously diminish Worms: Revolution all that much. It’s not really my kind of game, but I can recognize a quality product when I play it. Priced at $14.99, Worms provides a fun strategy experience for anyone looking for a goofy, lighthearted game.