Featured Worm Game
On first glance, you would be likely to dismiss any game that had worms in the title as something that you probably wouldn’t want to waste your time on - except for of course Team 17's classic series, most likely because you would equate the common worm with being ugly, pretty boring, and without merit, and no flash game in the world could ever change that. This may be true of the standard earthworm, but when the worm has deadly pincers and is capable of tunnelling through the ground rapidly and emerging to cause large amounts of destruction to people and property, you find that heads may start to turn. The game that has decided to make this crazy thought a reality is Effing Worms, a side-scrolling action game with the instant playability of an arcade game. You will take control of a deadly worm that grows as it kills, and requires more food as it gets bigger. It’s up to you to feed its hunger, and to kill all the enemies in sight.
The game takes place in a side-scrolling format where you guide your worm through a cross-section of the terrain, being able to see under the ground and also up to the sky. The aim is simply to keep the worm alive by filling up its rapidly-falling satiety bar. The only way to keep the bar filled up is to eat the humans and animals that are walking on the ground above. You control the worm with the directional arrows only, making him tunnel through the ground and emerge through the ground at various angles depending on your trajectory as you leave the ground. You will destroy and/or eat anything that is in your path, filling up your satiety bar as you go. If the bar reaches empty, your worm will explode and you will begin again from the last checkpoint. The game is split up into discrete levels which end when you have destroyed all of the enemies above the ground.
What makes the game so fun to play is the fact that you gain occasionally upgrades as you go along, such as an increase in the size and speed of the worm. These upgrades are achieved by destroying multiple enemies in quick succession, giving you a multiples bonus and sometimes leading to your worm being upgraded. Every level contains more enemies to kill; these enemies start off fairly docile, but after a few levels, they begin to fight back. Various foes are called in to try and fight back against your destructive tendencies including police officers that fire tiny bullets at you, to tanks and helicopters that fire explosives and mines at you. Running into explosions or mines will rapidly deplete your satiety bar at the bottom of the screen, so it is best to avoid these altogether and try and keep it topped up by eating as many people as possible.
Effing Worms is a fairly basic production by Effing Games, but in spite of its simple nature, its upgrades and the increasing level of challenge at each stage is what keeps it entertaining. The levels being to get extremely difficult as your worm grows bigger, affecting your speed and your turning circle and making accuracy all the more essential to keep you alive. The game doesn’t have huge amounts of depth, but it is entertaining nonetheless and makes the subject of worms somehow more entertaining than it should be.