Worms logo

Reviewed by Tina Hackett

After all the hype, it's finally here - the end product, the final boxed version for which we saved ourselves. Yes, it's Worms, and after what seems like an eternity we have the game everyone's been waiting for. And we do mean literally everyone because the game is available on PC, PC CD-ROM, Mac, Mega Drive, SNES, Playstation, Saturn, Jaguar, CD32, Gameboy and Amiga - the machine the game was made on.

Programmed originally by Andy Davidson on the Amiga, he sent the game to Team 17 who wanted to publish the game multi-format and the rest is history. It's certainly heart-warming to see that these new generation of high tech machines with their glossy games are interested in anything our humble machine has to offer and if first impressions are anything to go by it certainly looks it won't disappoint.

The idea behind it, if you don't already know, is that you are placed in control of a team of Worms and quite simply you have to obliterate the opposition in all manner of cunning ways. It does require a fair amount of skill, though, because the other team are ll trying to do exactly the same thing.


Hours of entertainment from one game - who'd have thought that a garden invertebrate could be so much fun?

You have a number of different weapons at your disposal and there are also different ways you can defend yourself. Each worm is dotted around the landscape and according to the environment, you can find yourself on unforgiving territory such as the desert with no trees to hide behind, or a ciff face which leaves you exposed to your rivals.

You simply choose a weapon, take aim and fire. If you hit a worm or he hits you, you are treated to all kinds of bizarre squeaks and sounds like 'Stupid' (if you make a mistake) or 'Fatality'(when a worm meets his doom). IT sounds quite bloodthirsty but as you've probably gathered, it's all done in a light-hearted way, and before any moralists harp on about blood and violence in games, the whole thing is in a cartoon style with animations, comical sounds and some great (if rather small) worm characters. And what brilliant fun it is too.

However, there are a couple of niggling little thing which could be improved. The teams of Worms all look identical and it would have been good if you could tell them apart immediately with the use of colour coding. It's all very well giving them names that show which team they belong to, but sometimes they overlap on the screen and make it very hard to read. But apart from this, it's near to perfection and pretty much everything you would want from a game.


Gentlemen - Choose your weapons

Each weapon works in a different way and it's best to select them to suit your chosen strategy. Here are a selection of some of the best.

The Sheep - this is in rare supply and is only available from a weapons crate which is dropped onto the ground. The sheep is actually a deadly weapon that will charge into your enemy and explode.
Airstrike - an eight-bomb airstrike can be directed to a certain area and can wipe out a number of worms.
Kamikaze - if desperate, your worm can carry out a move that ends in self-sacrifice. He charges himself into a crowd of worms which will send them flying, even though he has to die for the cause.
Homing Misile - ahh, the traditional are sometimes best. Launch the missile and watch it hurl into the sky and towards the enemy. You need practice though to estimate the most likely path it will take.

FINAL WORD

Worms doesn't have any intriguing plot, it doesn't have high-tech graphics and neither does it have sophisticated gameplay. So why is it perhaps one of the most appealing and addictive games of all time, and why is it appearing on so many platforms? What is its elusive quality that makes me and countless others in the office want to sneak back for just one more go? It's hard to fathom out - I mean the gameplay relies on the age old Scorched Tanks style and the graphics aren't the most advanced, but somehow it works, and works very well indeed.

The worms have a character all of their own and there's nothing more satisfying than watching your opposing worm being blasted into oblivion. It's brilliant as a multi-player game too and perfect party entertainment should you tire of playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey as 16 friends can all play at once. You are also guaranteed variety because each time you play the land is randomly generated, and there are just so many tactics and weapons to learn to use that every game will be different.

And it doesn't end there. If you have Internet access you can keep an eye out for hints and upgrades on the Worm dedicated site which can be found at http://www.team17.com/t17/t17worm.html.

Another bonus is that if you get bored with the backgrounds on offer, you can create your own landscapes using a package such as Dpaint. Hours of entertainment from one game - who'd have thought that a garden invertebrate could be so much fun?


Worms logo Amiga Format Gold

Join Steve McGill as he gets all wriggly, squiggly and giggly, playing one of the funniest but deadly serious war-mongering games this year.

With the world of video games being sucked into a maelstrom of technical overkill and blown out the other end in a whirlwind of power programming, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Worms, the latest offering from Team 17, is a backward, verging on mad, retrograde step.

Your major mistake, of course, is that in the insane gaming world, the fools have taken over the asylum, Team 17 have retained a vestige of sanity throughout the coup. For Worms pays homage to what should be the ultimate goal of any game: entertainment, sociability, gameplay and addiction.

A triumphal, if covert, tribute to Worms was the behaviour of the Amiga Format staff during the last week before this issue went to press. What initially started out as friendly games ten minutes before 'going home' time, turned into epic battles where the very character of the participants was on the line.

Anna Grenstam, our Viking-descended Production Editor, exhibited a cold, vicious streak of aggressive efficiency, with a firm tendency to come out blasting on all fronts; favouring homing missiles and dynamite as her starters and the Uzi as her main course assassination of choice.

Graeme Sandiford, our Streetfighting Technical Editor, opted for a more elegant and 'honourable' strategy of cluster bombing and fire punching his way to victory. Although just what he was thinking when on several occasions he chose to sacrifice a Worm during a kill when he could have saved it, is beyond us.

Nick Veitch, Celtic Bosso Supremo, exhibited a typically well thought out and balanced blend of strategy and tactics that was the undoing of many an ill-prepared opponent. His patient and intelligent use of both weaponry and terrain made his killings all the more obscene due to their calculated methodology.

Me, well, I exhibited my inimitable, inspirationally creative (and modest) style that could never be copied due to the outlandish flair and capacity for self-destruction harboured within my breast. Incidentally, I got picked on the most because I was the man to beat; and, 'miraculously', I managed to lose more games than anyone else. Well, we can't all be winners.
Now, before you slope off thinking that the above is an attack of Amiga Format over-indulgence never before seen this side of the open plain office, bear with me.

Suffice to say, Worms thoroughly deserves to be a real smash. Buy it today!

The key to the gameplay and psychology behind Worms is the variety it presents to participants - give people choice and a multitude of options and their character, peccadilloes and behaviourism is going to shine through. That's what happened to us when playing Worms.

Remember, the keyword here is variety. Worms presents players with fifteen different types of weapons with various effects, causing varying amounts of damage. To complement the weaponry, there are six different utilities, ranging from teleports to underground digging. Exploitation of these can result in deeply strategic games.
As if this wasn't enough, the game is played over eight different types of terrain (check out "Land Ahoy") each of which exhibit different kinds of gravity, traction and cover. To add to that, the terrain generator which can quite literally conjure up over four billion unique landscapes and using the word 'variety' starts to feel a bit feeble.

But even this wasn't enough for Team 17. If you've already played our top Coverdisk, you'll have seen that the third level is a custom Amiga Format level.
That's right, if desired, you can created your own levels using Deluxe Paint, or your own paint package of choice. You just have to make sure the super bitmap is the right size (960 x 350).

So, hopefully, by this time you should have realised that the scope and depth the game offers in terms of strategy, tactics and style is virtually limitless. Yet, this limitlessness can be further tailored and shaped to the preferences of all parties (or not in some cases) through the vehicle of the options screen.
Every weapon and every utility can be switched off, have its number of accesses increased or decreased, or even made infinitely accessible.

This also extends to the length of time a round is played in and the length of time each players has to take a shot. In effect, the game is fully customisable and lets players inject it with their own personality and character.
In fact, it's with sadness that I have to leave the review due to the restrictions of space. There's so much more that could be delved into and said about it, that I'm almost ashamed to leave.

Suffice to say, Worms thoroughly deserves to be a real smash. You find things out about the depths of people's deviousness, creativity, prejudices and intelligence when you play this game.
It's wonderful to take part in and even better to win. Buy it today - you certainly won't regret it.


TESTING THE TERRAIN There are eight different terrain types in all (A500/600 can't access all of them) which make a considerable difference to the way Worms plays.
Worms: Banana Bombs
Hell is frightening and oppressive.
Worms: The Bazooka
Alien world means low gravity.
Worms: The Teleporter
Explosions are best in the Arctic.
Worms: The Bungee
The Desert offers minimal air cover.
Worms: Banana Bombs
The Forest offers excellent cover.
Worms: The Bazooka
Gain high ground when in the Jungle.
Worms: The Teleporter
A Mars a day helps you kill Worms.
Worms: The Bungee
Top scrimmage in the Scrapyard.

THE CHOICE OF WEAPONS IS YOURS
The real secret to dominating your enemies in Worms is in learning when to use a particular weapon or utility. Sometimes, the terrain you're in almost dictates what should be done. Worms: The Air Strike
Spectacular carnage from Air Strikes.
Worms: The Bazooka
Bazooka. Lethal in the right hands.
Worms: The Blowtorch
Dig in with the Blow Torch.
Worms: The Bungee
Don't lose a turn. Bungee.
Worms: The Cluster Bomb
Mines are almost as good as dynamite.
Worms: The Dragon Ball
Dragon balls can be cleverly used.
Worms: The Pneumatic Drill
Use the Drill. Anna calling you "boring".
Worms: The Dynamite
Dynamite is evil and vicious. Hurrah.
Worms: The Fire Punch
Fire Punches are satisfying to use.
Worms: The Girder
Deep strategy leads to Girder use.
Worms: The Grenade
Timed Grenade launches are clever.
Worms: The Homing Missile
Beware the Swedish Homing Missile.
Worms: Kamikaze Move
Kamikazes are surprisingly effective.
Worms: Land Mines
Mines a damaging explosion thank you.
Worms: The Ninja Rope
Escape using the hooked Rope.
Worms: The Shotgun
Shotguns. Most versatile weapon.
Worms: The Teleporter
Teleport to safety or into danger.
Worms: The Uzi
The Uzi. Excellent for assassination.
Worms: Minigun
The Mini-Gun. From a Weapon Drop.

Worms logo Amiga Joker Hit

Man nehme das Geniale Spielprinzip von "Lemmings" und tausche die chronisch selbstmordgefährdeten Hauptdarsteller gegen echte Killer aus: Das Ergebnis ist ein überraschend selbständiges Actionstrategical der Wühlerklasse eins!

DER VATER ALLER WÜRMER
Die Wurzeln der Spielidee reichen hinab bis zu den "Artillery"-Games, die ja vor langer Zeit auf dem C64 recht populär waren. Der Amiga-Freak Andy Davidson grifft sie wieder auf und präsentierte Team 17 eine eigene Version, wo man das Suchtpotential erkannte und bei der Optimierung des Gamedesigns half. Und weil die englischen Dompteure gesellig sind und ein gutes Jahr mit ihrem Wurmzirkus geübt haben, bilden nun diverse Multiplayer-Modi das Highlight der Shows - bis zu 16 Tierbändiger können sich einzeln oder in maximal vier hintereinander antretenden Teams austoben!

DIE DRESSUR
Eine erschöpfende Beschreibung des rundenweise organisierten Spielablaufs ist selbst auf drei Seiten kaum möglich, da er sich über zahllose Optionen ganz auf den persönlichen Geschmack abstellen läßt. Aber die Grundzüge bleiben natürlich immer gleich: In der per Zufallsgenerator erstellten Spiellandschaft werden einzelne oder Gruppen von Würmern ausgesetzt, die jeweils dem Kommando eines menschlichen Herrn unterstehen. Dieser hat nun nicht unbegrenzt Zeit, um seinen Schützling die richtigen Icon-Befehle (Rennen, Einbuddeln, Waffen benutzen etc.) zu erteilen, denn auch der Gegner will ja mal an die Reihe kommen.

Im Kampf gegen den Feind stehen dabei unzählige Waffengattungen zur Verfügung, weshalb sie im Anschluß einzeln vorgestellt werden. Nicht unterschätzen darf man aber auch den Einfluß des Leveldesigns, der so manchen Plan gleich im Ansatz scheitern Läßt - oder gar eine katastrophale Kettenreaktion auslöst!

So lauern z.B. überall tödliche Wasser- oder Säureseen auf die kleinen Kriecher, Berge und Kakteen versperren ihren (Flucht-) Weg, und ein ständig wechselnder Wind sorgt dafür, daß sich die Flugbahn der eingesetzten Geschosse nie mit absoluter Sicherheit vorhersagen läßt.

DIE ARENA
Genretypisch ist die Optik eher simpel, aber bunt und mit vielen liebevollen Details ausgestattet. Vor allem die putzige Animation der Würmchen wärmt das Herz, und das Scrolling ist auch auf nicht hochgerüsteten Amigas flüssig und schnell. Bei der farblichen Gestaltung der Hauptdarsteller wäre zwar etwas mehr Abwechslung fein gewesen, aber da man ihnen individuelle Namensschilder verpassen kann, besteht dennoch keine Verwechslungsgefahr.

Die Soundbegleitung wiederum ist auf Effekte und eine absichtlich piepsige Sprachausgabe beschränkt, doch sie hat es trotzdem in sich - man glaubt gar nicht, zu welch verrückten Geräuschen die kleinen Biester fähig sind! Wer ihnen mehr als 2 MB RAM anbietet, wird zum Dank sogar hemmungslos beschimpft: "Du Knallkopf!" oder "Laß mich in Ruhe!" ist da u.a. zu hören. In der schon bald erscheinenden Schillerversion soll es zusätzlich auch CD-Musik und massenweise FMV-Zwischensequenzen geben.

TECHNIK-VARIANTEN
Anfangs verwirrt die Steuerung ziemlich, doch sobald man herausgefunden hat, daß zum Scrollen und für die Menübedienung die Maus verwendet wird, während alles andere bei der Tastatur bestens aufgehoben ist, kommt plötzlich richtig Freude auf. Für die Statistiker wird nach jedem Match abgerechnet und z.B. der treffsicherste bzw. nutloseste Wurm der letzten Schlacht ermittelt.

Optionen gibt's ebenfalls wie Würmer beim Wettangeln: Man kann u.a. eigene Teams erstellen, speichern und löschen, die Rundenanzahl und die Spielzeit variieren oder die Replaykamera (die tollsten Treffer, Tode, etc.) auf Automatik stellen. Darüber hinaus läßt sich jede einzelne Waffe genau rationieren oder ganz abwählen.

AMIGA ONLY
Bei Team 17 steht man nicht nur auf kleine Killertiere, sondern auch auf unsere "Freundin", der man daher eine Reihe exklusiver Extras spendiert hat. So kann man hier und nur hier über persönliche Zahlencodes (Geburtstage, Maß der "Freundin", ...) individuelle Levels kreieren.

Und sollten die acht Geländearten wie Hölle, Wald, Wüste, Mars oder Schrotthalde nicht mehr gefallen, braucht man nur ein Malprogramm wie "Deluxe Paint" und eine eigene Level-Disk zu erstellen. Dazu kann man das Progi auf Icon-Format verkleinern und auf der Workbench ablegen, seine Treffsicherheit anhand von Zielscheiben einüben und Turniere abhalten - einen Liga-Modus und "Freundschaftsspiele" gibt's dagegen auch bei der zeitgleich veröffentlichten PC-Version.

Die Möglichkeit, unverbrauchte Waffen mit in die nächste Runde zu nehmen, ist aber wiederum exklusiv den Amigos vorbehalten. Und diese benötigen auch bloß einen A500, um eines der spielbarsten, innovativsten und überhaupt gelungensten Spiele der letzten Zeit zocken zu können! (mm)


Die Waffen
Worms: Banana Bombs
Bananenbombe
Das schrecklichste an dieser (Extra-) Waffe sind nicht mal die satten 75 Schadenpunkte pro Treffer: Die Gegner hassen diese Vitaminenbombe vor allem weshalb, weil sie selbst beim stärksten Wind präzise landet.
Worms: The Bazooka
Bazooka
Ein Klassiker im Waffenschrank, der im Idealfall 50 Schadenspunke anrichtet. Allerdings geht's nicht ohne sorgfältiges Zielen, außerdem sollte man unbedingt einen gewissen Sicherheitsabstand zum Opfer einhalten.
Worms: The Teleporter
Beamer
Die Funktion müßte jedem "Trekker" geläufig sein; allen anderen sei gesagt, daß man mit diesen Teleportern jeden Punkt des Spielfelds blitzartig erreichen kann.
Worms: The Bungee
Bungee-Seil
Die kraft- und punkteschonende Alternative zum seillosen Absturz in tiefe Täler - nicht ganz sicher, aber auf alle Fälle besser als ohne...
Worms: The Pneumatic Drill
Bohrer
Damit kommt man am schnellsten unter die Erde - und das sogar lebend, wenn man vor dem Erreichen des Grundwasserspiegels mit dem Bohren wieder aufhört. Horizontal oder diagonal kann man sich dann mit der Lötlampe weiter durch den Untergrund buddeln.
Worms: The Fire Punch
Feuerstoß
Hört sich nicht nur an wie der Spezialschlag aus "Street Fighter II", sondern wirkt auch genauso, und zwar immer senkrecht nach oben.
Worms: The Dragon Ball
Drachenball
Die zweite Anleihe bei "Street Fighter II" ist dort unter dem Namen Fireball bekannt und hat im Gegensatz zum Drachenball eine waagerechte Stoßrichtung.
Worms: The Dynamite
Dynamit
Funktioniert wie Sprengstoff im Gegenwert von 75 Schadenpunkten - fünf Sekunden bleiben einem selbst dabei für die Flucht.
Worms: Sheep
Explodierendes Schaf
Das merkwürdige Tier ist nur als Extra verfügbar und eigenwillig wie ein Esel - erfahrene Schafhirten bevorzugen daher die gemütliche Fernzündung via Spacetaste.
Worms: The Shotgun
Flinte
Das ist die einzige Waffe mit zwei Schüssen, wobei jeder 25 Pünktchen beim getroffenen Gegner abzieht.
Worms: I surrender
Freiwillige Aufgabe
Nur was für Feiglinge, ansonsten sinnlos.
Worms: The Grenade
Granate
Der Zündzeitpunkt und die nötige Aufprallhöhe sind einstellbar, der Wind stört hier kaum - dafür fällt diese springlebendige Waffe gern auf den Absender zurück...
Worms: Kamikaze Move
Kamikaze
Diese (selbst-) vernichtende Todesart wählen Würmer, mit denen es eh schon zu Ende geht. Sie haben damit einen ehrenvollen Abgang und können ihre trauernden Kollegen ein letztes Mal unterstützen.
Worms: The Homing Missile
Homing Missile
Dieser fälschlicherweise als Torpedo bezeichnete Knallkörper muß genau auf das Ziel ausgerichtet werden und ist leider nur begrenzt verfügbar.
Worms: The Blowtorch
Lötlampe
In erster Linie ein vorzügliches Grabungsinstrument, mißbräuchliche Verwendungsmöglichkeiten als Mini-Flammenwerfer sind aber durchaus erlaubt.
Worms: The Air Strike
Luftangriff
Klingt zunächst wie die ideale Waffe: sicher und von ungeheurer Breitenwirkung. Altgediente Wurmkrieger mögen sie trotzdem nicht, weil sie nur einmal verfügbar ist und der Feind auch (zu) genau weiß, was ihm hier bevorsteht.
Worms: Land Mines
Minen
Die sind schon von Haus aus überall verstreut; wer auf Slalomkurse steht, kann aber noch mehr davon in die Gegen pflanzen.
Worms: The Ninja Rope
Ninja-Seil
Im englischen Original treffender "Batrope" genannt und zum überwinden von Abgründen geeignet - kostet allerdings fünf Sekunden Spielzeit.
Worms: Minigun
Maschinengewehr
Lediglich als äußerst rares Extra verfügbar - und das ist auch gut so, denn mit dieser mörderisch effektiven Wumme kann man ganze Kleintierfamilien ausrotten!
Worms: The Girder
Stahlträger
Am oberen Ende des Gegners angebracht, funktioniert er wie ein Brett vor den Kopf, ist aber auch als überbrückungsmaßnahme und zum Schutz der eigenen Truppen einsetzbar.
 
Stups
Die simpelste aller Kriegslisten: Man gibt dem Gegenüber einen Stups und schubst es so ins Wasser, auf eine Mine, in den Abgrund etc.
Worms: The Cluster Bomb
Splitterbombe
Quasi die Steigerungsform einer Granate mit fünf Sprengköpfen à 30 Schadenspunkten. Nicht ganz ungefährlich für den Benutzer.
Worms: The Uzi
Uzi
Nicht ganz so tödlich wie das Maschinengewehr, aber die Streuwirkung ist immer noch beachtlich.
Worms: Skip your Go
Zug überspringen
Nachdem während der gesamten Testdauer kein Zug vorbeikam (ein Streik der Eisenbahnwürmer?), könnten wir diese Funktion leider nie ausprobieren. Scherz beiseite: Natürlich sind hier Spielzüge gemeint, aber der Anwendungsbereich ist tatsächlich sehr begrenzt, weil es immer irgendetwas zu tun gibt.


Worms logo

Our neighbours on Amiga Format have been playing this continuously. We have erected some bookcases between our offices.

A review in AMIGA POWER has two purposes: to explain the operation of a game, and to convey the reviewer's opinion of it. In the case of Team 17's much delayed Worms, the first bit is simple: it's Scorched Tanks, the PD game where you take it in turns with Player 2 to fire cannonballs at each other's tanks, except with more tanks, te option to move about, a wider variety of weaponry, and other modifications.

The second bit, however, is more difficult. In fact, having been to the shops and purchased a copy of Worms (Team 17, of course, still being unwilling to send us copies of their games to review), I find myself unable to decide whether or not you would be advised to follow suit.

Instead I have compiled a multiple-choice questionnaire, and suggest that you 'do' it, make a note of your answers, tot up your score and check it against the 'How Did You Score?' section at the end.

1 It's called 'Worms', and in it your control a worm. Do you:
a) Snigger uncontrollably for up to 20 minutes, eventually collapsing on the floor unable to breathe and having to be taken away in an ambulance.
b) Sigh, and mutter something about programmers.
c) Refuse to become involved with it.

2. After a brief search of the surrounding area, you locate:
a) No one at all.
b) A friend
c) Up to sixteen other players.


What about the Clangers, eh?

3. Upon discovering that the worms in one of the pre-programmed teams are named after old children's television programmes, do you:
a) Say "Cor, yeah, I remember them. And what about the Clangers, eh? And whatever happened to Spangles? Eh?"
b) Close your eyes and think very hard about something else.
c) Punch the wall.

4. You have to think up some names for the four worms in your team. Do you:
a) Gleefully run through your entire vocabulary of swear words and anatomical terms, your typing made difficult by protracted bouts of convulsive sniggering.
b) Stick with the default old children's television programmes.
c) Plump for '1', '2', '3' and '4'.


Curse the day you were born

5. Although the backgrounds are quite attractive, with levels generated at random in settings like the desert and a scrapyard, the worms themselves are miniscule, and impossible to distinguish when they overlap. Your reaction?
a) "Look at the animation, though, eh? Brilliant! Did you see that, when he did a karate kick?"
b) "Gameplay, that's what it's all about. Yeah, Sensible Soccer etc".
c) A wry smile as you imagine the Play Station reviews.

6. It turns out that speeded-up samples are used to provide the worms with amusing squeaky voices, with which they can say things like "Hiee-ya!", "Oof!" and "Stupid!" Do you:
a) Cry "Ha ha ha ha ha! Brilliant! Did you hear that? Excellent! And certainly not, for example, a feeble rip-off of one of Lemmings' more irritating aspects."
b) Turn the volume down.
c) Curse the day you were born.


A latex-enveloped finger

7. Having had your go, while waiting up toa quarter of an hour for the fifteen other players to have their go, do you:
a) Peer over their shoulders, spluttering lines like "How hard's your worm?", "I bet I have a bigger worm than you", and, "Leave my worm alone" until your cheeks begin to ache.
b) Shout encouragement to the rest of your team.
c) Die of old age.

8. Your friends all leave, and you find yourself playing Worms on your own. Do you:
a) Entertain yourself by compiling a mental list of further hilarious 'worm' jokes with which to amuse your friends next time.
b) Grimace as the computer-controlled worms first jump about to no obvious effect for several seconds, then either blow themselves up unconvincingly or fire a bazooka across two screens against a 90mph prevailing wind hitting their target with pinpoint accuracy.
c) Knock yourself unconscious by running head-first at the wall in the hope that you'll wake up several years later to find that the magnetic particles on your Worms disks have degraded to the pint where they are no longer readable.

9. In a two-player game (which turns out to the best compromise), by executing a series of carefully-calculated tactics, you manage to kill three of your opponent's four worms with no losses to your own. Do you:
a) Rub your hands together and say, "Say goodbye to your worm." or something.
b) Express relief that it will soon be over.
c) Remark, "Hang on. We're still taking it in turns to move. Every time one of my worms has a go, yours gets a go as well. So your worm effectively gets four goes for each go mine set.

So if, for example, one of my worms is standing helpless next to yours, you can kill him at your leisure before beginning to pick off the others. This is clearly stupid. Through my cunning I outnumber you four to one, and should therefore win easily, but instead the game will drag on for another 20 minutes."

10. Removing your collection of AP coverdisks from their climate-controlled vault and flicking through them with a latex-enveloped finger, you notice that:
a) One of AP41's disks contains Scorched Tanks
b) Someone has made off with your Scorched Tanks disk, occasioning you to have to send off for a back issue.
c) Except that all the relevant back issues have been pulped by AP's heavy-handed puppeteer paymasters.

Scoring

1.a) 31b) 0c) -10
2.a) -35b) 40c) 18
3.a) 8b) 0c) 0
4.a) 14b) 0c) 0
5.a) 23b) 4c) -16
6.a) 11b) -3c) -11
7.a) 16b) 3c) -19
8.a) 4b) -15c) -41
9.a) 5b) 0c) -9
10.a) -35b) 11c) -15

How Did You Score?
Up to 40
You will not enjoy Worms. Months of painstaking development have, you will feel, utterly wrecked the Scorched Tanks formula, whose very simplicity was its prime attraction, and which was never meant to be anything more than a free PD game.

Casting Worms aside, you will wonder why, if releasing a revamped version of Scorched Tanks at £30 is such a great idea, no-one did it ten years ago.

Between 41 and 69
While accepting that Worms has its faults, something about it will entertain you, assuming you can find someone to play it against and thus avoid the mind-crippling tedium of the one-player game.

Perhaps it's the amusing animation; perhaps the way practising with it allows you to defeat less experienced opponents, as in all good multi-player games; perhaps the opportunity for side-splitting 'worm' innuendo. Whatever, Worms is far from a disaster although, given that playing it on your own is out, you may as well wait for one of your pals to crack and buy it first.

Between 41 and 69
You're Amiga Format, aren't you?


TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE
Will you like Worms? To assist you, we have compiled two lists of people, and their likely opinion of the game. You have merely to decide into which group you most nearly fit.
The following people would probably like Worms
  1. Princess Diana
  2. Margaret Thatcher
  3. Tiff Needell
  4. Cher
  5. Alex 'Hurrican' Higgins
  6. The Easter Bunny
  7. Pamela Anderson
  8. Fred West
The following people would probably not like Worms
  1. Kate Bush
  2. Sir Lancelot
  3. Victor Kiam
  4. Delia Smith
  5. Fungus the Bogeyman
  6. Charlie Daniels
  7. Yoda
  8. Guy Gibson
TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU'RE WAITING FOR YOUR GO
  1. Carve a wooden figurine.
  2. Go for a short run.
  3. Write your will.
  4. Look out of the window.
  5. Prepare, cook and eat a seafood pizza.
NOMENCLATURE

Probably the most enjoyable aspet of Worms is the naming of your team, which can be one in a humorous manner.

How about, for example, a clever play on the game's name? Here we've named our worms after different types of worm.

Or how about naming your team after the members of AMIGA POWER? (Or 'Amiga PO' as Worms woul have it.) Here Jonathan, Martin, Sue and... Ah. It seems to think there's already a 'Sue', even though we deleted the team 'JD + Sue' several hours ago.

Okay, for get that. Let's have boring names, like John and George. Except they seem to be taken as well, although our attempts to find a team called 'Fab Four' to delete them from ended in failure.



Worms logo CU Amiga Super Star

Price: £29.99 Publisher: Ocean 0161 832 6633

Worms are not the cutest creatures to base a game on. They're not furry, they don't jump over cliffs voluntarily and they're not Norwegian. They are armed and dangerous though...

Life is never predictable, as life insurance companies never tire or telling us. One minute you're enjoying a full and varied existence, with friends, loved ones, milk and honey all around and the next minute some plonker swings down on a bungee and knocks you over a cliff. Sounds pessimistic? Well just be gland you're not a worm.

Worms is a game we actually previewed twice. Once way back in February when Team 17 were still going it alone, had just discovered Worms (then under the working title of Total Wormage) and it was a raw, but exciting game to play. Then, two months ago, we were presented with an almost finished version. A lot happened in the interim months. Team 17 had signed a distribution deal with Ocean that not only opened up new international territories for them, it also paved the way for what was now simply called Worms to be converted onto every conceivable computer and console format there is. This caused big delays though, considering that, under original plans, Worms was due out around Easter '95.

Has Worms benefited from this delay? Almost certainly. Despite what we normally say about other games machines the very fact that it's been developed across so many platforms has led to a number of enhancements which have made the Amiga version more playable. A good example would be the menu tool bar. In the original Amiga version you accessed all weapons and aids using the F keys. Fair enough if you have a good memory. But because it had to work on consoles, which don't have F keys, the tool bar was invented. When you become and experienced Worms player you will no doubt return to the F keys and rarely use this feature, but as a beginner it is invaluable in helping you to get to know the various options at your disposal.

The graphics have been tweaked too, though in fairness to its inventor and programmer, Andy Davidson, they haven't changed much in basic detail. Various levels like Hell (which has apparently been banned on the Playstation version 'cos Sony didn't want burning crucifixes in the game), Desert, Forest, Mars and Snow serve up massive variety. There are allegedly 4 billion possible game scenarios. There are also some hidden scenarios which, with some experimentation, will appear.

Landscapes like Snow and Mars have specific characteristics which suit the terrain: Snow is slippery, so worms will slide all over the place when hit; Mars has low gravity so they can jump much further than normal. The scrolling and parallax are as smooth as snails slime too (I mean this in a complimentary sense) - the extra time on development really does show.

The dark side
As strategy games go Worms can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It's not just a matter of lobbing bombs at the enemy, it's all about how you use hiding places, create safe tunnels, use the bungy, the teleporter and the girders. Team 18 have put 1000s of man hours playtesting Worms and they reckon there's two ways of approaching the game: Good and Evil. If you're playing on the side of good you don't play dirty: you don't hide and you don't dig tunnels or teleport your Worms into difficult to reach places. Doing this is lazy, they reckon, and it's called 'The Dark Side'. Other Dark Side tactics include hiding a worm until the end of the game and then polishing off the opposition by emerging and pneumatic drilling them to death.

All of this mayhem is accompanied by ridiculously cute and funny sound samples. The A500/600 version is a bit short of these, but the A1200 is positively brimming with fun noises and statements. Worms shout 'oy nutter!', 'revenge' and 'I'll get you' regularly and when dynamite is dropped they giggle maniacally. Air strikes and weapons drops are accompanied by jet aircraft noises and thunder and lightning strikes every now and then.

If you want a change from the English samples you could always load up German or French versions, where threats are made and fun is had in another language. This does not affect gameplay because instructions, weapons, etc. Don't change language but it adds to the mirth.
OK, it's not Linguaphone, but you might just pick up some useful phrases. One thing to be wary of, though, is that while these sounds are good fun for those playing Worms they can get very, very annoying if you're in the background listening. If the volume is turned up you can expect a thick ear before long

Lemmings?
Some years ago Lemmings took the world by storm with its relatively simple but engaging gameplay. It was often frustrating, but always funny and the big bonus was that it appealed to all ages and both sexes. The Lemmings sprites were cute too. Worms is made from the same mould, and given that it is being distributed worldwide by Ocean it could be as successful.

It appeals equally to hardened games players and computer virgins because of its easy to use interface and immediately involving gameplay. If I was to make a must have-recommendation for a game this Christmas, Worms is it...


Do You Come Here Often?

OK, OK, you should have heard of Worms before (we've previewed it often enough) but if not let me fill you in, briefly, on what it's all about. Worms is based on that old gaming gem Tanks. Basically you and an opponent lob bombs at each other, which inflict damage dependent on how close they land to your character. But in this game you have worms instead of tanks and there are 15 weapons to choose from along with six other items of inventory which are designed to make life easier and more interesting. These include a teleporter, a bungy rope and a pneumatic drill.

You have a team of four worms and you can name this team whatever you like (up to eight characters in length). You can also name each worm. Then simply select how many human and computer players you want to play against, tweak some game options and start.

Worms is a turn based game, with each player having the opportunity to move one worm at a time, select a weapon and try to kill or damage another player's worm (or worms, the more the merrier). There is a user definable time limit on each turn of 10, 20, 30 or 60 seconds.
And that's it. Simple, effective and damn good fun. It's addictive too, with the sort of gameplay that made Lemmings and Cannon Fodder as what they were.


Angles of Fire

Some weapons are direct aiming ones, like ths shotgun, the Uzi and the minigun. Others are indirect like the homing missile, grenades, cluster bombs etc. Using grenades is most like the Tanks games of old. You need to get the elevation angle right then push the power bar to the optimum point for a direct hit. You've also got to set the timer for the grenade... you don't want it going off in the air half way to its target.

Even homing missiles aren't straightforward. The default setting gives you two homing missiles and the procedure for launching them is ostensibly simple: select the missile, point it at what you want to hit and press fire. But it's not so easy in practice. The amount of power you put into a homing missile shot will determine what angle it will hit its target at. If you want a homer to hit a worm who is hiding underneath an overhang, for instance, you will need to apply lots of power to get it to go further than its intended target and then curl back underneath the overhang to hit it.

But best fun of all is the bazooka. Although generally a direct fire weapon you can use the bazooka as a powerful indirect fire one by using the wind direction to your advantage. If there is a strong wind (which is indicated in the left and right bars above the power bar) you can fire your bazooka shell up into the air and the wind will curl it back and make it drop from above like a grenade. This is real show off territory: aiming the bazooka using the wind is difficult, but spectacular if you get it right.

Air Drops And Additional Weapons
At times a crate will be dropped somewhere on a landscape by parachute. Hidden in it may be extra standard weapons, like dynamite or an air strike. But if you're lucky you might just pick up one of the following little bonus weapons of mass destruction.
Worms: Sheep
SHEEP
Bombs dressed up as mutton more like! The sheep is basically a hopping, bleating stick of dynamite. It might look harmless, but point it in the right direction, let it hop to the worm you most dislike and press the space bar and it will cause immense damage. It also tops the hilarity stakes because of its excellent sample.
Worms: Banana Bombs
BANANA BOMBS
These are roughly based on the cluster bomb but infinitely more destructive. Each banana will yield 75 points damage and should you be lucky enough to get one it could win the game for you - as long as you don't kill yourself in the process. Thrown like a grenade it is unaffected by wind.
Worms: Minigun
MINIGUN
This is, without doubt, my favourite weapon. It looks and sounds awesome and really rattles opposing worms. The big daddy of the Uzi is rare and much more destructive but using it is very addictive when you finally get one. (Left) Keef, from the Stones, threatens one of the HRH team.
The tool bars...
Worms: The Bazooka
THE BAZOOKA
What fun. This can cause 50 points of damage if it's a direct hit and you can use the wind to effect its course. The bazooka will damage your own worm if he's too close to the target, though. No limit on ammunition.
Worms: The Homing Missile
THE HOMING MISSILE
A close relative of the bazooka which can cause 50 points of damage for a direct hit. Although it will home in automatically you will need to be careful with the power bar. You usually only get two missiles.
Worms: The Grenade
THE GRENADE
This is an indirect weapon for lobbing at opponents. Grenades are not effected by wind strength or direction but you need to set the fuse (one - five seconds) and judge aiming angle and bounce. Unlimited.
Worms: The Cluster Bomb
THE CLUSTER BOMB
This version of the grenade splits up into five smaller bombs. While the grenade can cause 50 points of damage, each of the five cluster bombs cause a max of 30. Five cluster bombs are available.
Worms: The Shotgun
THE SHOTGUN
With suitable sound effects, the shotgun is the only weapon which allows multiple shots. Two to be precise. Although each shot carries a maximum hit of 25 points it's useful for knocking worms into mines and off edges.
Worms: The Uzi
THE UZI
Familiar fare to all gun maniacs, the Uzi has a particularly satisfying machine gun sample and can cause a lot of damage to more than one worm in the way. You need to be able to aim directly at your opponent though.
Worms: The Fire Punch
THE FIRE PUNCH
Fans of games like Streetfighter II will appreciate this one. To use this you stand next to another worm, select it and knock them several paces. it's most useful if you are trying to knock a worm off screen.
Worms: The Dragon Ball
THE DRAGON BALL
Similar to the fire punch, the dragon ball doesn't involve physical contact. It seeds a blue ball of light into the other worm which will knock them horizontally. Once again, useful for knocking opponents off screen.
Worms: The Dynamite
THE DYNAMITE
Tee, hee, hee! This is what a worm exclaims when you get him to drop a piece of dynamite. And with good reason. It can cause 75 points worth of damage - to your worm too unless he moves quickly.
Worms: Land Mines
LAND MINES
Land mines are littered throughout Worms levels but you can use them like dynamite or else palce them on areas you want to protect. They cause a max of 50 points damage.
Worms: The Air Strike
THE AIR STRIKE
You normally only get one air strike per game but it is pretty useful. Basically a big plane comes along and drops a cluster of bombs. If you do this on a bridge it will nearly annihilate it and any worms on it.
Worms: The Teleporter
THE TELEPORTER
One for Star Trek fans. Two of these are supplied and they enable you to move an endangered worm to somewhere safer or to pick up weapons drops which have landed in awkward places.
Worms: The Blowtorch
THE BLOW TORCH
This enables you to burrow into the ground, through tree trunks and up into hills. It can be used as a weapon too but only inflicts 15 points damage. Still, at the end of a game your opponent might only have - 15 points!
Worms: The Pneumatic Drill
THE PNEUMATIC DRILL
If you want to go digging really seriously then you need to use the pneumatic drill. This can create a pretty nifty hiding place for one of your worms, but be careful about weapons dropped from above.
Worms: The Bungee
THE BUNGEE
The bungee allows you to swing off the edge of hills and bridges and land softly where ever you want. In theory anyway. In practice it is rather difficult to get a bungee jump just right, and to avoid death.
Worms: The Ninja Rope
THE NINJA ROPE
I'll let you in on a secret: this used to be known as the Bat Rope but Ocean, spoilsports that they are, reckoned that copyright problems would occur as a result. So we have the ninja rope instead.
Worms: The Girder
THE GIRDER
Fans or Irn Bru will appreciate this one. If your worm is in a difficult position or if you need to move somewhere but the landscape won't let you, why not make your own mini bridge with a girder.
Worms: Skip your Go
SKIP YOUR GO
This nice skipping rope allows you to make the ultimate boring statement about your life and gameplay abilities. Still, there may be moments, when a worm is hiding, that this is necessary.
Worms: Kamikaze Move
THE KAMIKAZE MOVE
Ha so! It's not very politically correct and you'll lose your own worm but hey, it's better to worm out than fade away! This move will shoot your worm through anything, even hills, to explode on impact.
Worms: I surrender
I SURRENDER
If it's dinner time, if it's too late in at night or if you get really annoyed with a computer opponent then you can select surrender. Or if there's a big yellow streak all the way down your spine!

Worms CD32 logo CD32

This game has passed the stringent test of being liked by David Taylor's games-hating girlfriend, so it's as addictive as ever.

The question that remains to be answered is: What does the CD32 version offer that the disk version doesn't? Not a great deal, unfortunately.

When you boot the disc, you get a couple of the rendering animations of worms gearing up (taken, I assume, from the PC version), which you may have seen on TV. These animations have been reduced to quarter screen CDXL files and have suffered a little bit in the process. Still, they make a nice intro, even if you only want to watch it once or twice.

The game itself is identical to the floppy version, even down to the way it loads (although it is quicker from CD). It does take advantage of the AGA chipset to "enhance the presentation of the game" and 2Mb memory to load in additional samples, as does the disk version.

In case you missed last month's review of the floppy version, here's a quick recap of the gameplay. You control a team of worms battling against other teams, controlled either by friends or the computer. The game is played in turns, where you get to select an action (usually a violent one) which will lead to the death of other players' worms and leave your team the only surviving and therefore a victor. In sort, you take it in turns to blow the crap out of each other. The game has several variants, such as tournaments and leagues, but the real boon is that the little creates look and sound enough like Lemmings that you can joyfully imagine you are terminating those little beggars.

There are only two real bonuses of the CD version Firstly, you get a CD audio track for each terrain, or can swap CDs for one of your own audio CDs and make the game play specific tracks for different terrains. Secondly, the use of the controller actually makes selecting the weapons and targets easier than with the original game.

One big downside, though, is that you can simply sweep over the game area, as you could with the mouse, so see where everyone is. Instead, you have to select a weapon that allows you to target, such as a homing missile, so that you can get a look around. Because you can't look around, it is a annoying flaw that the screen doesn't automatically centre on action as you can't always see what's happening and even have to aim at worms you can't see, even if they're quite close by.

This version has more or less just been dumped to CD by Team 17. It's not a game that takes full advantage of the CD status - why, for instance, could the CDXL animations not be incorporated into the game? Maybe not each time there was a kill, but at least at the end of each level or game even. However, it is a brilliant game that's now available to CD32 owners, for which we should be thankful.


WORM HOLES

There seem to be quite a few glitches when trying to run this on anything but a CD32. The SimBoot utility supplied by AsimCDFS could not boot it. It is possible to load it from Workbench, but only some CD filesystems would let me do this. From the standard CDFilesystem and AmiCDFileSystem and AsimCDFS, only the latter loaded the game, which then expected you to have a CD32 controller plugged in for you to enter the code and play the game - a joystick doesn't work and the keyboard was locked out.

All was not lost, however, because, by accident, I found a way around it. Using a PD program called WBCDBooter, couldn't boot the disc (as I was using a SCSI, not PCMCIA, drive), but did free up the keyboard when I tried to load it from Workbench. You can then use the keyboard and the mouse to play the game. (WBCDBooter was included on Coverdisks of Amiga Shopper 55, or should be available from PD Houses, if you want to try it).

All of this is ridiculously strange and I'm close to blaming the file systems, or possibly the accelerator card I had in, but other games run without a hitch. It doesn't look as if the game has been fully tested on all configurations, so you might end up playing around before getting it to run, although you should be able to in the end.


Silberfische & Killerwürmer

Worms CD32 logo CD32 AGA Only Amiga Joker Hit

Ein Hoch auf Team 17: Obwohl sich diese Actionknobelei wohl auch so verkaufen würde, haben die Engländer der neuen CD-Version zusätzlich noch gerenderte Zwishensequenzen und einen prima Soundtrack spendiert!

Unser Hochachtung für diesen Kundenservice, unsere Verachtung dagegen für den Autor der Anleitung. Oder zumindest doch einen kleinen Rüffel, denn im deutschen Teil des Manuals findet sich kein Hinweis darauf, daß man die Spiel-CD nach dem Erscheinen des Start-Logos und dem Ertönen der Fanfare in das CD32 einlegen muß, damit der Start ohne Probleme vonstattengeht!

Keinerlei Sorgen brauchen sich diesbezüglich jene Wurm-dompteure zu machen, die eine SX32-Erweiterung an ihrer Konsole oder einen 1200er mit angeschlossener Silbermine haben, denn bei diesen Hardware-Kombis läuft der Krieg der Kriecher immer problemlos an. Bloß: Dafür weigert sich der A1200, die jetzt vorhandenen Musikstücke wiederzugeben - was aber kein Hard- oder Softwarefehler, sondern leider so vorgesehen ist. Schade, denn die Stücke klingen ausgesprochen angenehm, und falls sie jemandem eines Tages doch zum Hals raushängen, kann er alternativ sogar eigene Audio-CDs an sein CD32 verfüttern. Die von der PC-Version übernommenen Render-Videos sind ebenfalls witzig gemacht, wobei man sich an derlei Animationssequenzen aber natürlich trotzdem irgendwann sattgesehen hat.

Sehr gespannt waren wir vor allem darauf, wie die Umsetzung der Maus- und Tastatur-steuerung der erst letzen Monat ausführlich getesteten Disk-Fassung auf das Joypad ausfallen würde. Und man lese und staune: Nach einer gar nicht mal so langen Eingewöhnungszeit läuft es wie geschmiert, zudem können die Mausbesitzer unter den Konsoleros auch wahlweise auf das alte System zurückgreifen.

Auch sonst haben die Programmierer alle Eventualitäten bedacht. So darf das gesamte Statistikmaterial (Teams, Ligalisten etc.) je nach vorhandener Konfiguration entweder auf Disk oder im NV-RAM gespeichert werden; lediglich die selbstgemalten Levels und die Hitliste mit den besten Wurmkriegern verlangen unbedingt nach einer Floppy. Schließlich ist selbst der praktische Sleep-Modus immer noch vorhanden, der es erlaubt, das Game während längerer Spielpausen platzsparend auf der Workbench zu parken.

Der Rest vom Fest blieb wie gehabt: Maximal 16 Kleintierlenker in bis zu vier Teams können sich englisch, französisch oder deutsch sprechende Würmer aussuchen und diese in der vom Zufallsgenerator erstellten Landschaft aufeinanderhetzen. Das klappt in diversen Spielmodi ("Freundschaftsspiel", "Ligabetrieb", "Turnier" und "Training") und läßt sich mit Hilfe zahlloser Optionen individuell an die eigenen Wünsche anpassen. Die rundenweise organisierten Schlachten finden unter Zeitdruck und der Zuhilfenahme von Dynamit, Lötlampen, Maschinengewehren, Minen, Stahlträgern, Granaten etc. statt.

Die wichtigste Waffe ist jedoch das eigene Hirn, denn das Schlachtfeld steckt voll tückischer Fallen (Säureseen, Abgründe, Tretminen...), und die eingesetzten Gerätschaften sind meist auch für ihren Benutzer nicht ganz ungefährlich.

Die Grafik im Spiel selbst sieht ebenfalls aus wie eh und je; wie bei den artverwandten "Lemmings" lebt sie vor allem von den abgefahrenen Animationen der Winzlinge. Auch die neu eingebauten Videos sind nicht gerade formatfüllend, aber hübsch gerendert und gut vertont. An der verrückten Geräuschkulisse und den schnippischen Kommentaren der Kriegshelden hat sich auch nichts geändert, daher bleibt uns nur noch der abschließende Rat: Kauft Euch dieses Game, solange es noch Computer gibt, denn eine unterhaltsamere Herausforderung an die kleinen grauen Zellen werdet Ihr wohl erst wieder finden, wenn "Worms 2" erscheint! (mm)


Worms CD32 logo CD32 CU Amiga Super Star

Price: £29.99 Publisher: Team 17 01924 267 776

The worm has indeed turned. Here we have a CD32 game that's better than its Amiga cousin. Lights camera action...

If you were wondering where we got last month's rendered Worm for our cover then you need look no further than this CD32 version. At the beginning of the game one standard and one random animation from Team 17's twelve mini cartoons appears. They are all excellent.

CD Heaven
This is something extra for CD32 owners, but what else is there? Well, you also get more music than the disk based version and, if you like, you can play your own music. How? Well, if you have a CD player and a selection of CDs then you're in business. Instead of listening to the 10 tracks supplied with Worms you can access a music screen via the weapons options menu. If you click on Change CD! You can insert one of your own discs and Worms will begin playing it in order or randomly as each new game begins.

You can demolish your friends to the triumphant sound of Wagner's Ride Of The Valkeries or play a jungle level accompanied by Guns 'N' Roses. Even better, when a friend demands that you play their CD you can have it 'Wormed up', which doubles its speed, making even Metallica sound like the Smurfs.

In terms of gameplay there is not real difference, except of course that the CD32 has its own controller. There's no substitute for mouse control but, after initial grumbles, I became used to the six button pad. Where it loses out in terms of convenience moving the pointer around the screen it almost makes up in terms of accessibility of functions through its four buttons and two flippers.

No mouse?
You still can't beat mouse control though, so if you have an SX1 CD32 expansion you can plug in your PC keyboard, start the game up as normal (which involves letting the CD32 start-up sequence finish before inserting the disk) then, using the joypad to start things off, enter the options menu and select mouse and keyboard control. This works just fine and it doesn't say anything about it in the manual! Beware though, if you have a mouse but no SX1, which means you can't plug in a keyboard, you can forget about this option. Mouse control is not possible even though it can be selected.

We tried running it on a Power CD-ROM drive and an A1200 and although the animations work and you can go through the copy protection screen it eventually crashed. The box claims that it will work with a CD32 compatible CD-ROM drive, but this depends on the type of CD32 emulation software you have. Ask your dealer for details before you buy Worms with a view to running it one of the many CD-ROM drives available.

Worms is a superb yet simple game concept which invites competition between as many human players as you can get your hands on. It's available on almost every format and the CD32 version is one of the best. Its only real problem is that the cheesy copy protection of the A1200 version with its little black book of 5950 codes is still there. This is because you can copy it off the CD onto a hard drive. CD32 owners shouldn't be penalised with a protection routine that isn't necessary for their machines. It spoils the convenience of the format. But luckily nothing could spoil this game!