British developer Team 17 has been happily churning out Worms games for about 20 years now and fans have been just as happy to play them. While the core games like the iOS versions of Worms and Worms 2: Armageddon stick to the gameplay of the original Amiga and PC classics, the developer has successfully branched the series out. A perfect example is Worms Crazy Golf, which takes the classic 2D, physics-heavy, turn-based mayhem to the fairways.
The result is a game that has all the great humor and intuitive game play of the original, but a focus on putting instead of mass destruction. Granted, there’s still a lot of destruction here as well. Worms Crazy Golf is more like a mod of Worms 2. It uses the same colorful and destructible 2D engine and essentially the same controls to play golf with a worm.
Players control only one worm instead of a team, and the object is definitely golf-like. Each of the 18 holes of the four different courses has a par rating, just like real golf. Unlike real golf, however, the courses are filled with gold coins, multiple layers, powerful magnets, landmines, destructible objects, cannons, old ladies who hate golf, and gardeners who blow themselves up when hit with the ball.
The controls are simple. Choose a club, slide to aim, and hold down the golf ball icon to power up the swing. There are two levels of swing power on the multi-colored power bar. Green is normal and yellow is an overdrive swing, but the colors are separated by red bars, which will botch the shot. There’s also an ability to tweak the ball in play by sliding your finger rapidly over it.
I got worms.
There are power-ups as well, allowing players to give the ball a rocket boost or slow time. Better yet, the in-game store only uses the gold coins collected through play instead of real money. This facet alone is enough to earn Team 17 kudos for not following the money-sucking path of so many others.
It is disappointing that Worms Crazy Golf is offered in two different flavors instead of a single universal app though. On the plus side, the iPad version comes with an extra course (for a total of four) and the HD graphics are terrific. Also, the turn-based gameplay has always been ideal for internet play, but Worms Crazy Golf only offers local multiplayer for up to four players. It would be nice to see Team 17 take a cue from games like Words with Friends and add the option for long-distance play.
Worms Crazy Golf is just a lot of challenging fun. While we can’t guarantee that players unfamiliar with the Worms series will get the humor and creative gameplay style here, fans of the series should absolutely pick this up.