It’s party time! And this time, the entire world is invited.
The Worms series of games is one of those interesting franchises that isn’t exactly huge, but has just enough support to enable getting a whole ton of games made for it. Some entries are better than others, but for the most part you can pick up most any Worms game and you will know what to expect: a fun turn-based strategy game that’s especially great for its multiplayer. Worms World Party is a version released in 2001, packed to the brim with different weapons to use and finely-polished when it comes to everything that makes up its physics and interface.
A randomly-generated (or user-edited) map is made for each match, and you can go as in-depth as you wish when it comes to customizing all the variables that go into the game (number of worms on each team, time until sudden death, what weapons are available, etc). The game is turn-based, so when it’s your team’s turn you will be in control of one worm and have a set amount of time to move around and fire a weapon at an enemy worm. Items such as the parachute, pneumatic drill, jet pack, and the grappling hook-like ninja rope are available to help get your worm to the places it can’t worm its way over to.
Learning how to effectively use the many different weapons is half the fun of the game. Long-range weaponry includes the likes of bazookas, shotguns, and grenades, while short-range attacks can incorporate setting mines, landing karate strikes, and swinging a baseball bat. More ridiculous items can include the sheep (which runs and hops about in one direction until you set off its detonator), the banana bomb (a bouncy grenade that sets off multiple explosions), and the concrete donkey (a gigantic hee-hawing garden ornament that drops from the sky, smashing through everything beneath it). If you’re thinking “This sounds like the best game ever,” you’re on the right track.
The humor of the game extends beyond its novelty weapons, in that the many variables that go into a match can lead to all sorts of amusing situations. One “weapon” that’s great fun to use is the simple prod, which allows you to poke an enemy worm in the back, knocking it off the edge of a cliff and into the water below. Always add insult to injury whenever possible! You can also, say, uzi several enemy worms on a bridge, flinging them into a mine sitting behind them. Or maybe you see an explosive gas barrel and the wind is blowing in just the direction you want? Bazooka that sucker, and send its flames pouring down onto the enemy worms standing in the near vicinity. A well-timed grenade lobbed a far distance can also bring about great results, and it especially feels great when said grenade is none other than the holy hand grenade. Hallelujah! KA-BOOOOOOOOOM
Anyways, loads of fun to be had here. It all plays really smoothly, all the weapons and items handling and feeling just right. Bright and colorful graphics; funny voices and sound effects. If you have it on computer, it’s a great game to play for LAN parties with friends–but it also works just as nicely for online matches. I played this on PC as well as on the Dreamcast, which worked nicely for on-the-couch multiplayer gameplay. (The Dreamcast also supported online gameplay, of course… Kind of a moot point now though.) The Dreamcast version is also slightly gimped, limiting the number of worms on each team to four and not including the flames from the explosive gas barrels–but otherwise it plays perfectly fine. (In my opinion, four teams of four is just the right amount for a Worms match anyways, so no big deal there.) The game has recently gotten a remastered edition released on Steam, so there’s that for those of you in need of achievements or what have you. Back in the day, there were also editions made for the PS1, Game Boy Advance, and… N-Gage. Hallelujah! KA-BOOOOOOOOOM