The Average Gamer

Worms Crazy Golf HD Review (iOS)

I haven’t played Worms in years. Back at school I loved the original game. Worms 2 was even better with the addition of amazing voices like The Raj. Ah, the hilarity when my worms would bungee off a cliff, rope securely wrapped around their little tails, and shout “Poppadom!”

It was a more innocent time back then. Rather more offensive to Indian gamers perhaps, but it was always done with love. Since them, Team 17 have been churning out the Worms games and you know what? They’re still great.

I lost an entire afternoon the first time I sat down with Worms Crazy Golf. The traditional Worms style is there but wrapped in a more (dare I say the word?) social setting. Worms Crazy Golf translates the physics and 2D setting of the traditional worm-killing franchise into a fantastic game on the iPad.

You don’t spend your time trying to blow each other up. Instead – as one would expect from a golf game – you hit your ball into the hole, amidst a host of environment hazards. 4 golf courses with 18 holes each gives a very good length for the single-player career mode. In true crazy golf style, you use cannons, mystery tunnels (or in this case, teleporters) and magnets to navigate each level and they get progressively more difficult. All the screenshots here are from the Britannia theme. You also have Pirate Cavern, Graveyard and Carnival.

Rather annoyingly, you do need to finish each hole on par or better before unlocking the next. Yes, yes, I know this is to give you a sense of accomplishment and progression and it’s just How Games Work but I do find it tedious. Where so many other iOS games give you a rating out of three stars, the pinnacle of achievement here is presumably to get a hole-in-one. That doesn’t do it for me so being forced to play the same hole over and over becomes a bit of a chore. I’d be happier if I could switch between the different courses for variety but that doesn’t seem to be an option.

As you progress through single-player career mode, you’ll gain coins and “utilities” like the ability to use a parachute to slow down and control your fall, anti-gravity to float over obstacles and so on. Each power is limited to 10 seconds in the level, so you can’t just float your way to the end.

Well, actually… if you do it right, you can. You can achieve a hole-in-one on every level once you’ve unlocked the correct power. Each level has a set of challenges as well, leading to plenty of replay value. Challenges include a number of varieties on the theme of knocking your ball onto a target area, a time attack to blow up as many sheep as possible in the given time, and a skill shot mode where you… blow up as many sheep as possible in the given time but in a slightly different way.

Of course, the best way to play any Worms game is with someone else so they’ve included a “Hot Seat Multiplayer” mode to be played while passing the iPad between your friends. You can each customise your worms with unlockable hats, different coloured balls and the oh-so-adorable voices. Sadly, The Raj is no longer available but we do still have Angry Scots, Scouser and the wonderful Soul Man. The multiplayer mode is good fun, though slightly marred by the loading times. In this post-Angry Birds era, we’ve all become far less patient in games and I found myself getting quite impatient waiting for the level to reset between each player’s turn.

There is a rather annoying interface design issue around the unlocks. I’ve completed the first skill shot available with a score that’s 200,000 points over the target of 75,000, yet I can’t progress to the next skill shot. There’s nothing to tell me what I need to do to unlock the next challenge. Same goes for the hats and voices. All I want to do is give my little worm golfer his Soul Man voice. I’ve earned loads of coins but I have no idea why I can buy new styles of golf club but not unlock any of the extra voices yet. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about the colour of my wedge. The help file suggests that some items need to be unlocked first by collecting crates but you have no indication of which item is in which crate. I very much dislike the lack of agency.

However… that doesn’t mean that this is a bad game. Worms Crazy Golf is a great game for the iPad. It’s beautiful, it’s charming and it’s fun to play. For £2.99 I’d definitely recommend buying it.

Worms Crazy Golf HD is available now on iTunes for iOS 3.2 or better. You can also get the non-HD version for iOS 3.1.3 and above


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