Originally written for 7Bit. Edited to make it read better and stuff. First published October 2011
Sport games very rarely occupy the same space as puzzle games, but Worms: Crazy Golf is aiming to hammer the two together. So, Team 17 not only need to convince fans that Bazookas and Grenades taking a back seat to drivers and putters is a good thing, they also have an even bigger test of convincing everyone that sports and puzzles can work together.
Last Thursday, 7Bit was whisked away – okay, we whisked ourselves – into London to get the first look at Worms: Crazy Golf, which will be appearing on iOS (iPad and iPhone), PSN and Steam. Jumping straight onto the PSN version, it’s clear that the crazy in the title is well earned, with old ladies thwacking your ball should it land to close to them, using bats as stepping stones to get to higher areas and using parachutes to glide your ball across the fairway, all of which racks up a hefty points score – as well as your normal golf score – for that hole.
It’s also deceptively simple. Powering up your swing is just a case of holding down the X button until you’re happy with the power and you can apply spin to the ball by twirling the right stick in the direction you want the ball to spin off to. Picking up and playing was straight forward, although a vast amount of skill will be needed to hole-in-one most courses in the game. Naturally, being a skilful ninja meant that the first go I got on the game, I managed to get a mythical hole-in-one. Although later levels exposed me as a sausage fingered klutz, as the bogeys started to rack up.
Oh yes, back to that parachute. We’re told by the lovely people at Team 17 that throughout the game you’ll have a range of utilities to use, from the aforementioned parachute to anti-gravity, all of which are designed to give you control of the ball even after you’ve hit your shot. On later holes it’s vital to know which utility you’ll need, otherwise you’ll be flinging your ball around hours after your mates have finished.
Speaking of your mates, in a surprising move, the game is offline multiplayer only. Is that an archaic move in this modern age? Maybe, but it didn’t really factor into the enjoyment of the chaotic pass the pad fun. Within seconds of the round starting, there were giggles and fury, as everyone passed on bad advice to put off their opponent. It was fun and harked back to a time when multiplayer meant staring your friend in the eye and not hearing their voice through static.
The campaign itself has been taking lessons from Angry Birds. Before you rush to the comments to tell me why this is brilliant/terrible/a sign of our impending doom, it actually looks as if it will work really well, the idea being you have to beat the current hole to unlock the next one. With 3 courses on the iPhone, PSN and Steam version and four for the iPad (that extra course will be making it’s way to the other platforms as DLC).
Are you excited by the direction that Worms is going or do you think that this sounds a bit too weird for your liking? Let us know in the comments below!