Worms World Party N-Gage Review

An elite team of worms has been sent to the N-Gage for their most daring mission yet: making a party game fun on a handheld system. With more than 40 weapons, 25 single player and 19 training missions things are looking good for Worms World Party.

The Beginning

Worms is best described as a 2D turn-based action-strategy. However, those familiar with the franchise know that there is a lot more to it than this. Players start with one, or more, worms on their team and, using a variety of weapons, the aim is to kill all the worms in other teams. Although weapons handling is important, it is movement that separates the expert from the rest. Only the expert can pick up several weapon crates and perform an attack in a single turn of 60 seconds. Novices might want to crank this up to 90 seconds to practise. Worms is not an easy game because a lot of factors play a role; wind, terrain and crates filled with weapons, utilities or health can make all the difference if used wisely.

For those of you who know absolutely nothing about how to play worms here is a brief summary. Once it is your turn, you pick a weapon and kill everybody else. You have the freedom of deciding everything else, from rules and options to how you kill your enemies. It is often easiest to blast your enemies off the screen or into the water, but dealing out damage can kill as well. Keep in mind that the environment can be blown apart, making it either easier or more difficult to move around and coupled with this, mines can be present all around the map. You can easily deal out more damage by making an opponent fly towards a mine after the initial attack. Worms is all about strategy, humour and crazy weapons. This game gives carpet bombing a whole new meaning. If you haven’t played worms then you are truly missing out on something great.

That’s enough on Worms in general. On towards the perks and flaws that this specific game has to offer.

The Good

There are actually quite a few things that make worms a fun game. All the weapons and gadgets that your worms need to successfully blow each other up are present in World Party: Ninja Rope, Dynamite, Banana Bomb, Sheep and, of course, the Bazooka are all accounted for. Another great thing is that all these weapons are actually quite a lot of fun to use on the N-Gage, although the Ninja Rope does require a bit more training than on other systems.

The first thing you’ll need to do is get to know the game. Training mode is exactly what you need to get the hang of a variety of weapons and the movement of worms. After training mode any man, woman or child should be ready for anything, and you can also try to obtain new highscores in these training missions as well. I had a great time going for the best score, so I hope you give this a try even if you don’t need the training.

Some of the Single Player Missions are crazier than anything you’ve seen before. Who knew you could turn a bunch of mines into a huge cannon? Figuring out how to complete the missions is even more fun than actually completing them. There are 25 of these missions, each one more difficult and crazier than the previous.

Multiplayer is the way worms should be played and I’m glad there are 3 ways to do it. The first way is to invite some friends over, start a game and pass the N-Gage along. The second way to play is by using bluetooth; this way you can have a 1 on 1 game if you can find someone with an N-Gage and Worms World Party. Finally, you can play using N-Gage arena against a maximum of 3 opponents. I prefer the first way so you can slap each other while playing. For this very reason make sure you sit close to whoever you are playing if you go for option number 2.

There are other very nice things in this game as well. World Party looks and sounds as insane as always, which adds to the overall experience. Furthermore everybody will surely appreciate the silly kind of humour. Even my own mum had to laugh when she heard some of the sounds.

The Bad

There are some issues with this game here and there, the loading times for example. Although it was a lot of fun figuring out what to do in the Missions, having to wait 10 seconds every time the map loaded became tedious. The controls aren’t as good as you would hope for either. With a large number of buttons this game isn’t something you pick up and play. Any opponent must have either played worms before, or be ready to learn everything while playing. It’s not that great a problem, but things could have been simplified. The controls are most tedious when using the Ninja Rope, where just one thumb operating the 4 directional buttons means that swinging around obstacles can be hard. Luckily this isn’t anything that training can’t fix.

As you can see, although Worms World Party suffers from a variety of minor issues, nothing seems to hurt gameplay. Well, almost nothing.

The Ugly

At the end of the day there is one issue that everybody will come across. Worms is best played with a few friends on a single big screen so that everybody can laugh at the humour the game has to offer. The N-Gage has a single small screen so don’t expect that more than 2 friends will be able to watch while you blow them up with a seemingly impossible bazooka shot.

In The End

Worms World Party for N-Gage has better gameplay than some of its PC and console counterparts, but I’d prefer to play a game of Worms on a big screen TV or monitor any day. Still, you’ll have a blast playing this one. I have made my mind up that, even though this game has its issues, it is still my favourite party game on any handheld system to date. Don’t expect serious enhancements in the series, but do expect fun; lots and lots of fun. Recommended to anyone who can play this game against friends from time to time.

8 out of 10