The title Worms 3 might lead you to assume there were two entries in this franchise before now. You’d be wrong. There are over twenty different iterations of the Worms experience since its first title in 1995. While very little has changed from the original this is actually a good thing. Worms has survived so long because it’s silly, chaotic and fun. Players field a team of four cute worms decked out in whatever bizarre accessories you choose and doing battle with a variety of equally unusual weapons like explosive sheep and banana bombs.
The controls are simple to master; a few jumps, movement and utilizing your tools of war are accomplished by the bare minimum of buttons. While controlling the game is easy, being in control is not. While your team is assailed by cartoon invertebrates you must carefully plan and execute your assault. Some weapons are effortless; whacking someone with a baseball bat takes little thought. With most other weapons there is a certain degree of calculation required. When launching a weapon you have to factor in the wind speed and direction as well as the overall effects of gravity and the power with which you shoot/throw. Sometimes this complicates a simple shot but at other moments you’ll cackle in glee when you manage to properly curve a projectile and hit an enemy from across the map.
Despite how careful and calculated the game may seem, chaos is the order of the day. Many of the weapons are unpredictable and tricky to use. Even when you’ve hit your mark there are explosive barrels and land mines that can turn the tables on you. More than once I lobbed a grenade at an enemy worm only to have the explosion send him hurtling into one of mine and knock him into the water, killing him instantly. Battles are ever-changing as the terrain is deformed by explosions and a seemingly safe point can turn into a killing field in a few turns.
While there’s a campaign mode that functions as part tutorial, part boot camp, the real meat of the Worms 3 experience is in multiplayer skirmishes. You can engage in local, pass-and-play games or online matches. While both the campaign and multiplayer are turn-based, the multiplayer mode notifies you when it’s your turn and there are no penalties associated with delaying in taking it. You can play with friends or get matched up with a random player online for a friendly, non-ranked match or one that affects leaderboard standings.
If you’ve ever played a Worms game before, the formula remains almost entirely unchanged. The biggest difference here is the optional card system. Before and after each turn players have the option to use a card that will alter the gameplay. They range from specific utilities like boosting the effects of health packs to chaotic game-changers like lowering gravity. When creating a match you can choose whether or not to enable the cards, so purists can get the classic experience they long for.
When seeing the cards I expected them to be largely available by in-app purchases since some are single use, but astoundingly the only way to get more cards is to buy them using the in-game coins that you get from normal gameplay. The only in-app purchases are customization packs for the worms that allow you to add to the array of outlandish accessories included in the regular game to make your worms stand out like waffle makers or dragon masks.
Worms 3 stands out as another iteration in a strong gaming lineage. With its timeless brand of goofy humor and incredibly enjoyable gameplay, this is one game that you should all be downloading as soon as humanly possible.
Yes. Despite silly looks this game demands skill.
The latest in a franchise old enough to vote, Worms 3 is an instant classic.