The Feast Begins Anew in Effing Worms 2
Just like the title suggests, Effing Worms 2 continues where the first game left off – feeding on the masses. In this sequel to one of the simplest yet addictive and fun games we have ever played, players still take on the role of an insatiable monster worm feeding off anything that walks and flies over the ground and whose sole purpose is growing and feeding – it is a vicious cycle after all. Seriously though, Effing Worms 2 is a full blown sequel and we invite both fans of the first game and new players alike to join us in this gracious feast.
The Sight of the Second Coming
The first thing players will notice in Effing Worms 2 is the visual – of course the fact that your new worm now has wings will definitely have fans of the first game thinking of new ways to utilize it. But we will get to the part about the wings later in the gameplay section. The developer, Effing Games has done a great job in improving the game’s graphics, especially the look of the worm – which now changes depending on the upgrade the player chooses after a level is completed. Protruding spikes, massive jaws and even a snake-like tongue, these are but some of the visual enhancements players will get to put on their virtual carnivorous worm.
The enemy designs themselves have improved tremendously now looking even more like the big worm monsters Kevin Bacon faced off against in Tremors. Also no longer do we see stick men roaming about the lands, now we get to munch on Lego-looking men – which for us is a vast improvement since they are meatier. All the other consumable creatures also got some noticeable facelifts – from the soldiers, fighter jets and even the local cows. Everything looks new, which really gives the game that sequel feeling. One major overhaul that we noticed first was the design of the background. Back in the first game, the background was poorly drawn and hardly had any details on it – now it actually looks good with some neat 2D parallax techniques applied to it.
Animation in Effing Worms 2 seems to be on par with that found in the first game and indeed with Play Creek's Death Worm. Pretty much everything in this game has some form of animation going on - even the minute bobbing movement you see from a walking businessman’s head as he struts around in his suit. While there are some animations in the first game that were cut or removed, like the spinning gears on the tank’s threads, Effing Worm’s developers were still able to make the game look alive thanks to the good use of animations in the game.
Enemy variation was one of the things we liked about the first game, since it gave the game a feeling of being an actually monster attack scenario, where you not only eat defenseless villagers or civilians but also soldiers, tanks and later on bomber planes - who were called in to stop your rampage. While some of the edible victims you will eat during your game of Effing Worms 2 might be familiar, like the usual cows, soldiers and tanks. Some new meal choices are actually presented in the sequel – things like borrowing lizards, soldiers on hovering bikes and even a mobile suit robot – we are quite sure Japanese animation fans will recognize this immediately. While we will miss some of the classic enemies from the first game, like that rallying guy with the peace sign banner, we were still impressed with the variety of sprites created for this sequel.
Effing Worms 2’s music feels a bit uninspired and incomplete – we are a little disappointed. While it maintains the feel of the first game, where in the music starts off calm and subtle then instantly picks up when the chaos begins to ensue – everything just feels the same with regard to the game’s music; unlike in the game’s visual department where improvements are noticeable right off the bat, the audio presentation sadly just falls short with regard to the series’ progression. The same can also be said for the sound effects in the game. While the game still provides a lot of audio candy to help immerse players in the game, there is hardly anything new to hear. While newcomers who are playing the sequel for the first time will not notice these shortcomings, Effing Worm’s fans who played the first game will definitely notice the reuse of pretty much all the sound effects. While it is ok to reuse some audio effects from time to time, they could have at least provided new sound effects for the new enemies and prey that we get to munch on while playing the sequel. Sadly, most of the new edible things we can get our hungry mouths on are silent.
The Ensuing Feeding Frenzy
Following in the first game’s footsteps, Effing Worms 2’s gameplay still maintains its simple and straightforward style that we all enjoy and love. But to make sure people know that this is a sequel, some new elements were added to spice things up. While controlling your meat craving worm still uses the old control scheme – buttons W, S, A and D still move the worm forward or stear left and right, new tactics involving some new abilities might take some time getting used to, especially since our elongated friend now has a new trick to capture its prey. Players will definitely notice the wings attached to their Worm, these wings are not just for show. They can actually help in making the insatiable tunnel of doom known as the Effing Worm glide through the air – yes, you read that right, a gliding giant worm out to attack and eat unsuspecting victims.
This new gameplay mechanic actually serves two purposes, to easily capture enemies that are floating above ground and to evade land mines laid on the ground. This ability also makes successive eating much easier since combos can now be executed more easily since you do not have to burrow underground and get momentum to jump at floating or low flying baddies. Of course, successive combos still triggers the rampage mode that gives score bonuses while increasing the worm’s speed and size, learning how to glide is a sure way to rack up points in Effing Worms 2 more easily.
Another feature new to Effing Worms 2 is the upgrade ability. After every level cleared, the player is given a choice from two upgrades. Depending on the player’s preference, they might go for increased speed rather than upgrading the worm’s shell – which increases the worms overall defense against attacks. Other upgrades such as increasing the worm’s mouth size to better capture prey or even the carapace enhancement that makes your pretty much unaffected by landmines all add to the game’s replay value since players can not get all the upgrades at the same time. A special ability is also unlocked once you have cleared all the levels in the game. This ability gives the worm immeasurable leaping power that can literally propel our meat craving monster to new heights – even reaching the earth’s lower orbit to feast on Extra Terrestrials entering our world.
The online Leader Board is also back in Effing Worms 2 and pretty much works the same way as it did in the first game. Scores are tallied from doing combos and are sent online to a leader board where players from around the world submit their high scores in order to get awards or just to brag to their friends.
All Grown Up and Ready For More
A fitting sequel to an addictively fun game by Effing Games, Effing Worms 2 will surely satisfy your hunger for more gigantic carnivorous worm mayhem. While the game is short in terms of lifespan, the game’s inclusion of an upgrade system does increase its replay value. Plus, trying to beat the high scores online still kept us playing for more than we should, so we are quite sure players who won’t mind playing through the game multiple times will have a blast playing Effing Worms 2. Highly recommendable to all fun loving gamers looking for a quick, enjoyable and addictive game, this game will keep anyone occupied for least an hour or two. We can not wait for the third installment in the Effing Worms series and we satisfyingly give this sequel a hearty – 87/100.