Worms (1995 video game)
Worms is a 2D artillery tactical video game developed by Team17 and released in 1995. It is the first game in the Worms series of video games. It is a turn based game where a player controls a team of worms against other teams of worms that are controlled by a computer or human opponent. The aim is to use various weapons to kill the worms on the other teams and have the last surviving worm(s).
Worms is a turn-based artillery game, similar to other early games in the genre such as Scorched Earth. Each player controls a team of several worms. During the course of the game, players take turns selecting one of their worms. They then use whatever tools and weapons are available to attack and kill the opponents' worms, thereby winning the game. Worms may move around the terrain in a variety of ways, normally by walking and jumping but also by using particular tools such as the "Bungee" and "Ninja Rope", to move to otherwise inaccessible areas. Each turn is time-limited to ensure that players do not hold up the game with excessive thinking or moving. The time limit can be modified in some of the games in the Worms series.
Over fifty weapons and tools may be available each time a game is played, and differing selections of weapons and tools can be saved into a "scheme" for easy selection in future games. Other scheme settings allow options such as deployment of reinforcement crates, from which additional weapons can be obtained, and sudden death where the game is rushed to a conclusion after a time limit expires. Some settings provide for the inclusion of objects such as land mines and explosive barrels.
When most weapons are used, they cause explosions that deform the terrain, creating circular cavities. If a worm is hit with a weapon, they will lose health. A worm who is out of health will die by blowing themselves up and leaving a grave marker. Worms can also die by being thrown off the side of the map or by falling into the water at the map's base.
Worms was the brainchild of Andy Davidson, a then-unknown computer shop employee and fan of Amiga microcomputers since 1987, who began work on the project in 1990 under the name Artillery based on previous tank games from the 8-bit era using a Casio graphing calculator as an experiment for his own amusement. Davidson later moved development of Artillery to the Amiga in August 1993, which allowed to expand his idea further, leading him on introducing new elements and a graphical style to distinguish his project from its spiritual predecessors. Davidson wanted to achieve the same animation quality and humour seen in Lemmings, which led him on employing worms as characters for his project after delving on various experiments through Deluxe Paint.
With the addition of worms into his ideas and inspired by a Blitz BASIC programming competition held by Amiga Format magazine, Davidson renamed his project from Artillery to Total Wormage (possibly in reference to Midway's Total Carnage), featuring 55,000 levels and publications compared it with both Lemmings and Cannon Fodder due to its visual style and thematic, which Team17 project manager Marcus Dyson claimed said "cross" was planned from start. However, Davidson's entry did not win the competition nor did reached any place for classification. Davidson then pitched his project to multiple publishers with no success, before showcasing his game during ECTS in September 1994, where he met Team17 co-founder Martyn Brown. Team17 made an offer on-the-spot to develop and publish it. Level designs are randomly generated by the use of an alpha-numeric string as their seeds. The object and landscape sets used to generate the field are arranged into thematics including forests, martian terrains, beaches and hell.
Worms was first launched in Europe for the Amiga on November 17, 1995 by Ocean Software. Commercial ports of the game were released for Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar, Game Boy, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PlayStation, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The North American release of the PlayStation version was the subject of considerable negotiation, as Sony Computer Entertainment of America had a policy against 2D games being published for the console. The Saturn conversion was a straight port of the PlayStation version.
The Jaguar version was published by Telegames on May 15, 1998; Telegames announced the release of this version after becoming the last remaining software publisher for the Jaguar and, like all of its other games published following the system's discontinuation, Worms could be purchased either through direct order from Telegames' US and UK websites or select retailers such as Electronics Boutique. It also served as the final Atari-licensed title ever to be released for the Jaguar; two months earlier, on March 13, 1998, JTS Corporation sold all the assets of Atari Corporation, including the Atari name, to Hasbro Interactive, which, one year later, would release all of the Jaguar's rights into the public domain.
In 1995, Team17 began development on a port of Worms to Nintendo's Virtual Boy platform. The game was to be published by Ocean, but was canceled only weeks into development as a result of Nintendo's discontinuation of the console. A 32X release was also planned but never released as well.
Worms Reinforcements (1996) is an expansion pack for Worms, which was later amalgamated with the original game to create Worms and Reinforcements United (a.k.a. Worms United or Worms Utd.) the same year. Released only for the PC, it added a single player campaign and the ability to add custom levels and soundpacks (which was already available for the Amiga version), in addition of full motion video sequences.
Worms: The Director's Cut (1997) is a sequel to Worms, available only on the Amiga. It is largely built upon the original Amiga game engine with various gameplay enhancement and additions, as well as graphical improvements and fixes. During the development of Worms 2, Andy Davidson wrote this special edition produced exclusively for the Amiga's AGA chipset. Only 5000 copies were ever sold and was also the last version released for the Amiga platform, from which the game originated.
|Amiga Computing||91% (AGA)|
|Amiga Format||90% (AGA)|
|Amiga Power||60% (AGA)|
|Game Players||94% (SAT)|
|Mean Machines Sega||79/100 (SMD)|
|Next Generation||(SAT, PS)|
|OPM (UK)||7/10 (PS)|
|Video Games (DE)||70% (SMD)|
85% (PS, SAT)
|Absolute PlayStation||9/10 (PS)|
|Coming Soon Magazine||86% (PC)|
|CU Amiga||94% (AGA)|
|Fun Generation||10/10 (PS, SAT)|
|Génération 4||93% (PC)|
76% (PS, SAT)
|Sega Power||78/100 (SMD)|
|Sega Saturn Magazine||90% (SAT)|
Worms was a commercial success. By March 1996, its sales had reached almost 250,000 copies, following its release in November 1995. Across all its ports, the game ultimately sold above 5 million units by 2006.
Worms sharply divided critics. Reviewing the Saturn version, Sega Saturn Magazine especially praised Worms's unexpected complexity and the fun of multiplayer mode, and called it "quite simply the most playable game to hit the Saturn so far".
Maximum commented that "basically, Worms is Lemmings, but it's without the puzzles and with weapons instead". While firmly stating that they found the game dull and unappealing, they acknowledged that it was clearly well-liked by gamers.
A Next Generation critic argued while the game resembles Lemmings on a cursory examination, in actuality it is much more similar to Cannon Fodder. Praising the need for both strategy and skill, the multiplayer design, and the randomly generated landscapes, he described Worms as "the kind of game that makes no excuses for its lack of texture-mapped polygons or its minimalist gameplay. Worms is a fun game with an infectious spirit and near endless replay value".
GamePro summarized that "a humorous concept never really pays off in Worms". The reviewer criticized that the tiny size of the characters and their weapons makes them unappealing and even hard to make out. While allowing that the use of the different weapons is interesting at first, he found the action too slow-paced and repetitive to maintain interest.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly commented that "some games have great graphics and control, but Worms doesn't need either because the fun factor is a 10+. With multiplayer ability of up to four people, Worms is one of those games that is so unique, it doesn't fit into any category - except innovative and incredibly addictive". They later named it one of their "Top 5 Most Original Games of 1996".
GameSpot criticized the slowness of large multiplayer sessions and the imprecision of the keyboard controls, but, like Sega Saturn Magazine, they lauded the combination of surface simplicity and underlying complexity, summarizing that "like the board game Othello, Worms takes only a few minutes to learn, but may take a lifetime to master".
Conversely, the Amiga Power review, written in the style of a magazine personality quiz, whilst praising the detail of the animation, described frustrating imbalances especially in relation to the vaunted 16-player multi-player mode and was critical of the puerility of the game's humour.
Worms is the first game in the Worms series.
- Ported to Sega Mega Drive and SNES by East Point Software.
- Worms game manual (Atari Jaguar, US)
- Bobinator (24 March 2020). "Worms". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- Day, Ashley (March 2006). "The Making of... Worms". Retro Gamer. No. 23. Imagine Publishing. pp. 26–29.
- Nuttall, Andy (March 1995). "Work in Progress: War of the Worms - Worms". The One for Amiga Games. No. 77. EMAP. pp. 25–27.
- Dykes, Alan (September 1995). "Preview - Worms". CU Amiga. No. 67. EMAP. pp. 36–37.
- LaFlame, James (25 February 2008). "Worms Retrospective - Banana Bombs and Holy Hand Grenades: The fun history of the squiggly-crawly strategy game". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Davison, Andy (January 1995). "Worms - Preview". Amiga CD32 Gamer. No. 8. Paragon Publishing. p. 14.
- "Preview - Toujour Plus De Previews: Special Team17 - Worms". Amiga Concept (in French). No. 11. Delta Publishing Group. January 1995. p. 25.
- "Avant première - Worms (Team17)". Amiga Dream (in French). No. 14. Posse Press. January 1995. p. 33.
- Magenauer, Max (January 1995). "Newsflash: Neues von Team17 - Worms". Amiga Joker (in German). No. 53. Joker-Verlag. p. 10.
- Davies, Jonathan (April 1995). "True Stories". Amiga Power. No. 48. Future Publishing. pp. 12–13.
- Dykes, Alan (March 1995). "Game Preview - Worms". CU Amiga. No. 61. EMAP. p. 44.
- Carthew, Kevin (1 March 2006). "Worms: Open Warfare Developer Diary #1 - Team17's game designer Kevin Carthew kicks off a new series of diaries leading up to latest Worms mayhem". GameSpy. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Jackson, Alys (29 November 2017). "Whatever happend to the fabled Worms prototype? - Wormage is surely not without it". Retronauts. USgamer. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Hackett, Tina (September 1995). "System Preview - Worms". Amiga Computing. No. 90. Europress, IDG. p. 95.
- "Worms 3 Update Adds New Theme and More!". Team17 Official Website. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 13 October 2020.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "Christmas Games Guide". Computer Trade Weekly. No. 565. 27 November 1995. p. 43.
- "Checkpoint - Events And Software Releases". Computer and Video Games. No. 177. EMAP. August 1996. p. 53.
- "Next Wave - Saturn - Worms". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 82. Sendai Publishing. May 1996. p. 94.
- "Comunicados - Sega Saturn - destaques de outubro" (in Portuguese). Tectoy. 25 October 1996. Archived from the original on 25 June 1998. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- "[セガハード大百科] セガサターン対応ソフトウェア（ライセンシー発売）" (in Japanese). Sega. 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- Kujawa, Kraig (February 1998). "10 Games You Should Not Play Alone". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 103. Ziff Davis. p. 98.
- "Worms". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. p. 76.
- Merrett, Steve (January 1996). "Review: Worms". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 3. Emap International Limited. pp. 86–87.
- Charlton, Frank (August 1996). "STF News... - Worms wriggles in". ST Format. No. 85. Future plc. p. 10. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Smith, Jason. "Atari Jaguar Timeline". jaguarsector.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "Tidbits..." Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 94. Ziff Davis. May 1997. p. 24. Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "News Bits". GamePro. No. 105. IDG. June 1997. p. 20. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Recent Sightings of an Endangered Species". GameFan. Vol. 5 no. 10. Shinno Media. October 1997. p. 36. Archived from the original on 4 January 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Johnston, Chris (8 April 2000). "Atari Goes to Hasbro". GameSpot.
- "Hasbro Releases Jaguar Publishing Rights". Hasbro Interactive. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
Beverly, MA (May 14, 1999) – Leading entertainment software publisher, Hasbro Interactive announced today it has released all rights that it may have to the vintage Atari hardware platform, the Jaguar.
- "Reportaje: Extraña mezcla... de gusanos - Worms". Micromanía (in Spanish). Vol. 3 no. 8. HobbyPress. September 1995. p. 58.
- Radke, Christian (2020). "Worms". planetvb.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Bobinator (26 March 2020). "Worms: Reinforcements". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- Sackenheim, Shawn (1998). "Worms (PlayStation) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- Hackett, Tina (February 1996). "System Review - Worms". Amiga Computing. No. 96. Europress, IDG Media. pp. 82–83.
- McGill, Steve (Christmas 1995). "Screen Play - Worms". Amiga Format. No. 79. Future Publishing. pp. 49–51.
- Taylor, David (January 1996). "Screen Play - Worms CD32". Amiga Format. No. 80. Future Publishing. p. 62.
- Davies, Jonathan (January 1996). "Game Reviews: Worms". Amiga Power. No. 57. Future Publishing. pp. 30–32.
- Lomas, Ed (September 1996). "CVG Mini Review: Mega Drive - Worms". Computer and Video Games. No. 178. EMAP. p. 80. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Baran, Andrew; LeFebvre, Mark; Desmond, Mike; Williams, Ken (May 1996). "Review Crew: Worms". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 82. Sendai Publishing. p. 32.
- Ellis, Les (February 1996). "Reviews (Mega Drive) - Worms". GamesMaster. No. 39. Future Publishing. pp. 42–43.
- Bilson, Josse (February 1996). "Reviews (Saturn) - Worms". GamesMaster. No. 39. Future Publishing. pp. 62–63.
- Baggatta, Patrick (May 1996). "Saturn - Review - Worms". Game Players. No. 84. Signal Research. p. 64.
- Ward, Trent (1 May 1996). "Worms Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- "Worms". IGN. Ziff Davis. 26 November 1996. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- Marcus; Gus (August 1996). "Megadrive Review - Worms". Mean Machines Sega. No. 46. EMAP. pp. 64–65.
- Steve; Marcus (February 1996). "Saturn Review - Worms". Mean Machines Sega. No. 40. EMAP. pp. 68–70.
- C.S.G. (December 1995). "Punto De Mira: Worms - ¡Muere gusano! (PC CD-ROM)". Micromanía (in Spanish). Vol. 3 no. 11. HobbyPress. pp. 67–70.
- "Hooked". Next Generation. No. 18. Imagine Media. June 1996. p. 118.
- "PlayTest - Worms". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. No. 2. Future Publishing. January 1996. p. 107.
- Ahmed, Asam (November 1995). "Reviews: Worms". Play. No. 1. Paragon Publishing. pp. 70–71.
- Schweinitz, Jan (February 1996). "Mega Drive - Reviews: Kleinvieh - Worms". Video Games (in German). No. 51. Future-Verlag. p. 90.
- Schweinitz, Jan (February 1996). "Sony PlayStation/Sega Saturn - Reviews: Kraterparty - Worms". Video Games (in German). No. 51. Future-Verlag. pp. 72–73.
- Schweinitz, Jan (March 1997). "Super Nintendo - Reviews: Wurmig - Worms". Video Games (in German). No. 64. Future-Verlag. p. 101.
- Karels, Ralph (August 1999). "Special - Atari Jaguar - Komplettübersicht Jaguar-Modul-Games - Worms". Video Games (in German). No. 93. Future-Verlag. p. 56. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- Tom, Martin (September 1996). "WORMS". Absolute PlayStation. Absolute PlayStation International. Archived from the original on 19 August 2000. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- Bennicke, Trevor (November 1996). "Worms - PC Review". Coming Soon Magazine. No. 19. Coming Soon Magazine, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Dykes, Alan (December 1995). "Game Review - Worms". CU Amiga. No. 70. EMAP. pp. 43–45.
- Dykes, Alan (January 1996). "CD32 Review - Worms". CU Amiga. No. 71. EMAP. p. 57.
- Schmiedehausen, Götz; Neugebauer, Kai (March–April 1996). "Spiele Tests - PlayStation•Saturn: Worms - Game of the Month". Fun Generation (in German). No. 3. CyPress. pp. 53–55.
- F. Tarvin, Derek (1996). "Rambo Critters Run Amuck - A Review of Worms". World Village (Gamer's Zone). InfoMedia, Inc. Archived from the original on 26 December 1996. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Ernaux, Éric (November 1995). "Test (PC CD-Rom): Worms - En ver et contre tous". Génération 4 (in French). No. 82. Computec Media France. pp. 84–88. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- "Test Express - Worms (Mac CD-ROM)". Génération 4 (in French). No. 92. Computec Media France. October 1996. p. 146.
- Prézeau, Olivier (December 1995). "Test - PlayStation: Worms". Joypad (in French). No. 48. Yellow Media. pp. 68–69. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Albright, Wade (January 1998). "Reviews - Worms". MacAddict. No. 17. Imagine Media. p. 69. Archived from the original on 31 October 2004.
- Hartlehnert, Tobias (February 1996). "Spiele-Tests - PS/Saturn/MD: Worms". MAN!AC (in German). No. 28. Cybermedia. pp. 62–63.
- Blendl, Christian (February 1997). "Test - Worms (SN)". MAN!AC (in German). No. 40. Cybermedia. p. 79.
- "Maximum Reviews: Worms". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 3. Emap International Limited. January 1996. p. 158.
- "Maximum Reviews: Worms". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 3. Emap International Limited. January 1996. p. 144.
- "Reviews - Mega Drive - Worms". Sega Power. No. 76. Future plc. March 1996. p. 51.
- "Reviews - Saturn - Worms". Sega Power. No. 76. Future plc. March 1996. pp. 48–50.
- "Sales of Worms skyrockets". Computer Game Review. Ziff-Davis. 1996. Archived from the original on 18 October 1996. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- Coach Kyle (June 1996). "Saturn ProReview: Worms". GamePro. No. 93. IDG. p. 64.
- "Top 5 Most Original Games of 1996". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 91. Ziff Davis. February 1997. p. 152.
- "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 88.
- Mott, Tony (2 August 2010). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. Quintessence Editions Ltd. ISBN 978-1-74173-076-0.