Worms 3 is here…not to be confused with Worms 3D. What’s that? Yes there has already been a game called Worms 4. So how can this be Worms 3? Because it is, alright. In actuality this is Worms 3 because it is the third Worms game to be released on iOS. Worms 3 is pretty much the mobile version of Worms Revolution with a few bells and whistles strapped on for good measure.
The customisation options we’ve come to expect from a Worms title are all here, with a good stock of hats, facial hair, objects and voice banks to choose from. You don’t get the same level of choice as you would on a PC Worms title, but for a mobile game it’s pretty impressive. Using these options I set up Team VGU, a motley crew of worms rocking fedoras, handlebar moustaches and sunglasses who speak in the thickest of cockney accents.
With the team assembled, it was time to get stuck in. Worms 3 offers Campaign, Quick Game, Practice Match, Body Count and Pass n Play modes. The campaign consists of thirty levels which increase in difficulty, usually via that old worms staple tactic of just giving the other team/s more worms than you. Quick Game is just that, hit it and you’ll be thrown instantly into a 1 v 1 match with an AI team; a nice option to have if you just need a little entertainment but don’t want to get dragged into a full scale worm war. Practice Match is as you’d expect, you can just practice your shots on a team that won’t fight back, allowing you to become ‘that guy’. You know the guy I mean, the guy who can perfectly judge every shot, the guy who can bounce a grenade off five surfaces to land right at the feet of its target. No one likes that guy, so leave this mode well alone.
Body Count is basically horde mode, because what game doesn’t have a horde mode these days? Anyway, Body Count mode pits your lonely worm against an infinite number of worms who come in via teleporter. You can’t win; eventually your brave little worm will be overwhelmed. You just have to get the highest score you can by killing as many of the blighters as you can. It’s fun for a while but it won’t hold your attention for long unless you’re a high score junkie.
Finally we have Pass n Play mode, which is most reminiscent of the good old days of Worms, when you and a few of your mates would huddle around your PlayStation and pass the controller around to take your turn. The sample principle applies here; you take your turn then pass your apple device of choice over to a friend who makes their move. Multiplayer gaming using only one input device was amazing on the PlayStation and it’s still pretty darn cool here.
In some of the less rigid game types, you can customise the landscape you’ll be fighting on beforehand, choosing the shape and theme as well as the number of objects and landmines scattered around the place. Once you load up the game you’ll be greeted with the familiar sight of a random blob of terrain with a couple of teams of genocidal annelids dotted around.
Worm’s simple control scheme lends itself well to mobile gaming. Movement and aiming is achieved via a D-pad on the left hand side of the screen. Just to the right of that is the weapons inventory screen where you choose your method of worm disposal. Finally on the right hand side of the screen there are the fire weapon and jump buttons. Hit jump once to jump normally, double tap it to do the backflip jump. Other contextual buttons appear as and when they are needed, such as the grenade fuse timer and the airstrike direction button. Overall Worms 3’s control system works admirably, though it can get a little finicky when you have to perform the more delicate manoeuvres such as the old ‘jetpack dynamite drop’.
So far standard Worms, so what does Worms 3 bring to the table served fresh? Well the biggest addition is the optional card system. If you decide to use this mechanic before the game, then you are given a selection of cards to choose a ‘hand’ from before the match. You can then play your chosen cards at the appropriate time during the game to give yourself a leg up (or the other team a leg down). There are three levels of cards which denotes their power; gold, silver and bronze. Bronze cards include things like Bio Fuel which increases the fuel capacity of your jetpack for that turn. Silver cards start to escalate the conflict with things such as Double Clusters, which doubles the amount of clusters of bananas that come out of their respective bombs. Gold cards are the top dogs, the game changers and include things like Bonus Damage, meaning any damage dealt to enemy worms that turn is increased by 25 points.
The new card game system is a nice addition for those who want to use it, but many will find it slows the game pace down too much. I used it a few times but I quickly tired of being asked if I wanted to play cards at the start and end of every turn so I just turned it off. The enemy worms never play cards either, meaning the cards are just a ‘make the game easier’ option which is a shame.
All in all it’s very hard to fault Worms 3, primarily because it’s a mobile version of a fairly solid game. It adds very little to the Worms formula, but you certainly can’t fault it for anything else. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…just add peripheral mechanics that die-hard fans can turn off if they want. If you’re a fan of Worms and/or you do a lot of travelling or mobile gaming then give Worms 3 a try.