Worms W.M.D. (Switch): A Solid, Albeit Familiar, Strategic Worms Experience | A Short Pause Review
The very first Worms game was released in 1995 on the PC and not much has changed since. It was fun to play back then, and it’s still fun now. Worms W.M.D. continues the tried-and-true formula developed by Team 17 all those years ago. You play as a platoon of the titular invertebrates in a turn-based battle to eliminate the opposing team. Your squad of worms has access to an arsenal of wacky weapons they can use to bomb, shoot, incinerate, drown, or simply punch their way to victory.
Up to six players can face off online, or you can play against a mix of either human or AI opponents in a local match. Every battle is chock full of explosive mayhem as each team attempts to eliminate the other by any means necessary. Your troops can utilize mines, bazookas, shotguns, air strikes, explosive sheep, holy hand grenades, jet packs, or a number of other deadly armaments to complete their mission. There may even be an occasional crate full of weapon parts that can be collected in order to craft additional arms, or even improved versions of existing weapons. For example, you can use your homing missile, or you might want to craft a cluster missile in order to cover a larger area of destruction. Speaking of destruction, each of the procedurally-generated battle stages is fully destructible. So, if you think your troops are safe hiding in a cave or a building, think again. They may only be a few bazooka blasts away from their doom. In addition to the weapons kept on hand, some stages also feature vehicles such as tanks, helicopters, or mech suits that can be utilized by any nearby worm to blast his opponents into oblivion or make a hasty retreat.
Worms W.M.D. also features over 70 stages of single-player content to keep you busy, and many of said stages feature optional objectives for those who are seeking an additional challenge. These objectives include things like keeping all your worms alive for the whole match, defeating enemies with a specific weapon or vehicle, or even finishing the mission without utilizing a certain weapon.
The game runs great on the Switch, both in docked and handheld mode, and the cartoony art style is crisp and colorful. Each team of Worms can be customized with different hats and voice samples, as well as unique tombstones for when they bite the dust. The online play works great in my experience. You can either host a lobby and wait for others to join, or find other players who are seeking opponents. When you host a match, you have a number of options to customize the experience, including the size and style of the map, the amount of health for each worm, and the time limit for each turn.
This is actually the first Worms game I’ve played in over 10 years, and I feel like very little has changed with the franchise. This can be viewed as both a strength and a weakness, in my opinion. On one hand, the series hasn’t seen much innovation. If you’ve played one Worms title, you’ve played them all. On the other hand, as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” These games are still enjoyable, even if they’ve only seen minor tweaks over the years.
One minor issue I had with the game is in regards to the enemy AI. When playing against a squad of computer-controlled worms, they tend to take a little too long to finally make their move. In any given 60-second turn, I would often end up watching an enemy stand motionless for 10-15 seconds before they decided what to do. I suppose it’s more realistic that way, as any human player would need time to strategize and think about his or her next move, but I still would have preferred an option to speed up enemy turns. It is a minor complaint, though, as I still enjoyed the game overall.
So to sum it all up, if you’re looking for a zany and fun multiplayer experience on the Switch (or your platform of choice), then Worms W.M.D. is a solid choice. Just don’t expect any revolutionary new features if you’re an old veteran of wormy warfare.
We reviewed Worms W.M.D. on Nintendo Switch using a digital code provided to us by the fine folks at Team 17