Um, there are worms… with little nub hands… and weapons. They fight each other and the last worm standing is victorious. With a wide arsenal ranging from bazookas, air strikes, dragon punches, and exploding sheep matches are a tactical chess-like battle of wits against the AI or a frenemy. These little pink bastards can dish out some serious carnage and mayhem at your behest.
Worms was the brainchild of Andy Davidson. Originally Worms was an entry in the Blitz BASIC programming competition it was picked up by Team 17. The original title was on the Commodore Amiga but was ported to other platforms. Before Worms 2 was released for computers everywhere Davidson created a Director’s Cut for the Amiga which he considers the pinnacle of the series. Worms: Director’s Cut was the final release for the life of the Amiga.
Why am I talking so much about Worms 1? Because there’s not much development information for Worms 2.
Worms 2 was released on February 11th, 1998. It’s competition was Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (PS1), Blasto (PS1), and Xenogears (PS1)
Oh man, I used to play this game all the time when I was a kid! I used to make my own maps and make my own weapon layouts. Eventually though, every weapon pack was just everything pumped up as strong as it could be. Biggest explosions, biggest blasts, most absurd stats. Looking back on it, it might be pure carnage but it’s also really boring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun in its own way. But it’s just not really tactically satisfying. It’s basically a chess game where each side of the board is just filled with rooks.
Worms 2 is a strategy game where each player takes control of a team of worms who must use their weapons and tools in order to reduce their opponents HP to zero, knock them into the water below, or blast them off the map entirely. You do this by using weapons like mortars, homing missiles, sticks of dynamite, exploding sheep, shotguns, whatever’s handy. And you can change positions with ninja ropes, parachutes, and teleporters. If those fail then the game will enter sudden death mode and the water level will rise, spelling certain doom for unfloating earthworms.
You can face your friends in multiplayer or the computer in skirmish matches or an incredibly difficult campaign. The PC release originally had internet multiplayer but it was such a byzantine mess I could never get it set up when I was younger. I doubt it’s gotten easier now.
It’s easy to get lost in the cartoonish mayhem and carnage and just have some great fun. I still laugh when I hurl a super sheep and it takes to the air with its ‘totally not Superman’ cape.
Some of the intro cinematics are actually pretty entertaining. I would recommend that the slapstick inclined look them up on Youtube.
This game has got a pretty good map editor. It allows the player to set whether it’s a cavern, island, or totally boxed in area without water. The player can disable sudden death mode if they’re not a fan of it. They can even create custom weapons packages and alter the settings for each weapon. You can even make custom teams with custom names and custom voice clips. What I’m getting at is that this game is incredibly customizable and that’s awesome. Mods not required, this game has got everything ya’ll need.
Holy hell, the AI cheats. They have a way of using the wind hurl projectile weapons right into your worms with unerring accuracy. I routinely have to set them to lower settings because they’re just that tough. Unfortunately that’s not a possibility in the campaign and I just don’t care to git gud.
The gameplay gets a little dry after awhile. There are only so many ways something can get blown up. If you’re not playing with friends then this title might not last.
This game is like drinking a glass of warm milk on a humid and hot afternoon. A glass of warm milk before bed is great! A hot afternoon can be comfortable under the right conditions. Humidity always sucks. All of this stuff is put together into an experience I no longer enjoy. If you’re able to focus on any of it more than the rest then it can be quite enjoyable but it pales in comparison to modern titles in the series and GOG.com no longer supports its internet multiplayer but it still supports local multiplayer. For the low price of $5.99 it will definitely entertain a ten year old for a few months on the cheap.
Next Week: Papers, Please