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worms (1995)
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  i'm pretty sure you and a few friends have already played one of the many, many sequels and/or spinoffs of 'worms'. there are roughly 20 or more worms games, which, as ridiculous and almost unnecessary as that sounds, is deserved. originally for amiga computers, worms is an artillery game (similar to games like 'scorched earth' and 'gorillas') made by team17, a team of british videogame developers best known for worms and nothing else.

later on, worms was released on several consoles. atari jaguar, gameboy, playstation, sega saturn, SNES, basically any console you can name that came out before 1998. plans were even made (although almost immediately abandoned) to release worms on the virtual boy, a supposedly "3-D VR console." considering the game was 2-D, it probably would have fit right in with most of the virtual boy's library. the game was immensely popular, with its simple gameplay and near-endless ways to make your friends not talk to you, and every company was trying to get their hands on some of team17's explosive wigglers. sony, atari, sega, hasbro, etc. all published ports of worms for their consoles, and they made bank off of them. "but why was it so successful, hal0?" and to that, i say:

stop talking to the text and read!! (TヮT)



  worms is a game about blowing things up, including but not limited to:

   TREES             DEMONS          SMALL VILLAGES         EACH OTHER

aftermath of a grenade meeting a tree a statue of a demon being hit by an air strike a thatch hut being exploded worms blowing up

  these maps are all randomly generated. there are tons of themes for levels: forest, desert, arctic, scrapyard, alien, mars, whatever. all of the maps have some randomly-placed obstacles that serve to block both you and your projectiles, and they're themed around the theme of the level. however, every level is fully destructible. don't want to deal with an obstacle? drill through it! don't want to squirm over mountains? level them with high explosives! (╯✧▽✧)╯ a worm using dynamite to explode a cliffside a worm blowtorching through terrain

this is the core of the game. without this mechanic, there's no way this game would have succeeded. think of newer games like red faction and how much the deformable maps affected strategy and combat. you could effectively shape how you and your opponent would have to play!

  the goal of the game is to brutalise your opponent however possible. there are 20 weapons to do this with: the bazooka, homing missile, grenades, cluster bombs, shotgun, uzi, fire punch, dragon balls, dynamite, mines, air strikes, teleporters, the blowtorch, pneumatic drill, ninja rope, bungee, girder, kamikaze, poking, and skipping your turn. you can also access the 'surrender' button from the weapons menu, but i never surrender!! ᕙ(‾̀◡‾́)ᕗ

the bazooka is your most basic weapon. choose an angle and a speed you want the rocket to fly at, then make stuff go boom. the homing missile is the same thing, but you can click to choose where it homes in on, which also lets you choose which friends you still want to hang out with you. grenades, cluster bombs, mines and dynamite are all weapons you can deploy, run away from, and pray that the blast only hits your target. grenades and cluster bombs can also be thrown, increasing the odds of your worm not being turned inside-out!

a cluster bomb gragmenting into several tiny bombs TARGET LOCKED BOOM the shotgun and uzi are both hitscan weapons. these weapons can be fired twice before your turn is over, allowing for even more infuriating ways to pick on your opponent! while they do use bullets, they're still perfectly capable of breaking rock, steel, and brimstone. similarly, the prod and fire punch are melee weapons, requiring you to be close to another worm for them to do any damage. the prod does almost no damage or knockback, but can be useful for inciting totally unbridled rage, while the fire punch launches both you and your opponent into the air, while doing pretty decent damage.

then there are the "weapons" that qualify more as tools than true weapons; the ninja rope and bungee both deploy ropes that your worm can grab onto and swing from. while the ninja rope can be shot onto terrain, the bungee waits until a worm falls off of an edge to deploy itself and save the worm from its own land-based demise. the blowtorch and pneumatic drill can make tunnels horizontally and vertically, respectively, and are very useful for finding weak, COWARDLY worms who hide in their little holes!! (# >Д<)

  there are, of course, some other weapons that are pretty self-explanatory (girders that you can place, an air strike that strikes from the air, dragon balls that drag balls, etc.), but talking about what they do is boring. i'd rather talk about how well-balanced and fun they are!! (≧ω≦)



three worms getting blown up by dynamite

  every weapon in the game (with the exception of prod) always has a use. the bazooka and hitscans have infinite ammo, the fire punch is an almost-guaranteed moderate-damage hit, the ninja rope can help you position yourself, and air strikes, which force your opponent to hide or die. none of these weapons are too powerful, but none of them (except prod...) are too weak, making which one a player will choose totally unpredictable, giving the game HUGE replay value!! (☆▽☆)

the artstyle of this game is unique and colorful, contrasting games that came before like 'DOOM' and 'BLOOD'. this serves to make the maps and their themes feel like entirely different parts of the world (and space), helping to change how each map plays even before any players start to terrorize the landscape. each theme's objects are differently-shaped and therefore make each theme its own special challenge! (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚

this game isn't exactly perfect, but it's almost a perfect artillery game. in my opinion, no other worms game has beaten the feeling of trading turns on a keyboard with your friends and being within face-punching distance of each other while shattering their dreams of world worm domination!!



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