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GC

North America

Worms Blast

by Jeff Shirley - December 8, 2002, 3:56 pm PST

8

Right, like you can shoot a bazooka from a canoe.

Worms Blast is a funky little puzzle game with a heart for multiplayer and strange mix of puzzle and action to make for a truly unique experience. I must say I had a good time with Worms Blast, even if it won’t win any awards.

The graphics in Worms Blast are simple with very detailed, very tiny, cel-shaded characters. Take note, only the characters, water, main menu, and some of the weapons are polygons. Everything else is either a 2D sprite or a background, which means the whole game is fast loading and always remains at 60 frames per second. The character designs are, well...odd. You’ve got two worms, a sheep, a skunk, an old woman, and a bird, plus three secret characters. Overall, these are simple graphics for a simple game.

The music is very pleasing with what sounds like steel drum reggae and 50’s pop. Weird combo huh? Strangely addicting too. Sounds include stuff like explosions, lasers, and the annoyingly funny cries of your worm as stuff falls on his/her head. There are really no issues on the sound side of things, except a limited music selection.

Control is spot on. Use the A button to shoot, B to switch weapons when you have more than one, and the C-stick or D-pad to move. It’s pretty simple and quite effective, so no complaints here.

Now onto the gameplay, which is always crucial, especially for a puzzle game. Obviously, this game borrows a lot from Bust-a-Move, where players match colored balls together by shooting them upwards and hoping they connect together. You shoot bazooka shells of a certain color to eliminate blocks of that same color. And just like Bust-A-Move, the colors appear at random. However, in Worms Blast, should you hit the wrong color, it doesn’t just stick to the others like in Bust-a-Move. Since the bazooka shells are filled with paint, the block will turn into the color of the shell. Should you happen to miss by not powering up your shot enough to reach the block, the shell will either hit you or go in the water, where the water level rises to increase the anxiety. Grabbing stars can reduce the water level. If your shot goes outside the playing field, a random object will fall on you. That’s the gist of Worm Blast. There are also alternate weapons, like the typical lasers and shotguns, plus some strange ones like a piranha and a meteor shower. You clear blocks for as long as possible until either you lose all of your health or the water level gets too high. Special weapons can help clear blocks faster, such as the shotgun, which is an “from point A to B” weapon, meaning it doesn’t need to be gauged for power. The laser is very similar to the shotgun, except it goes through blocks and destroys the blocks in a straight line until stopped. Another weapon is the dynamite, which is tossed upwards and will count down until a huge block-clearing explosion, which is really helpful in a tight spot.

One of the main single-player game modes is Puzzle, where you work your way toward a volcano in the center of a map. Between each stop point on the map is a challenge, ranging from easy-cake target shoots to teeth-gnashingly difficult challenges. By playing all these, you unlock said challenges so that you can try them at your whim later. You can also unlock the other multiplayer modes, which I can’t seem to do because the latter stages are really difficult.

The true appeal of Worms Blast is its wondrous multiplayer. My favorite mode is Deathmatch, where the object is to defeat your opponent instead of out-puzzle him. You can actually shoot at each other with your bazookas, making the game somewhat crazy and fun at the same time. Other modes include Star Collection, where you clear blocks in order to collect the most stars as they fall down to the water. The most frantic of the initial modes is Tide Trial, where the water at the bottom is constantly rising. Much like a tennis match, this mode can be over in 5 seconds or 10 minutes. Other modes are unlocked through the progression of the game. Multiplayer is definitely the most fun out of all of the gameplay options in Worms Blast.

Worms Blast proves that a fun game can succeed in the realm of games that have more eye-candy than thumb-candy.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 7 9 7 8 8
Graphics
6

Nothing special here. Although the fast and frantic framerate is to be commended, it is all but expected on a game with little to show.

Sound
7

Only a small selection of music, but I found myself humming it days later. It’s just so... right, ya know?

Control
9

I had nary a control problem, not one to be found.

Gameplay
7

Take pages from Bust-a-Move and add real-time physics and whatnot, plus difficult challenges. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much to this game.

Lastability
8

Loverly multiplayer modes and downright solid single player.

Final
8

I am very happy with this game, but it falls just short of something really cool. That, and the game is kind of short. Even though some of the challenges are thumb-breaking, it’s nothing you can’t get over after a couple of minutes. Solid effort, Team 17.

Summary

Pros
  • Boppy, addictive music
  • Good puzzler gameplay
  • Mad fun, really it is
Cons
  • Graphically lightweight
  • Limited music selection
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Puzzle
Developer Team17
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Worms Blast
Release Oct 24, 2002
PublisherUbisoft
RatingEveryone

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