Review: Worms 2 Armageddon For iOS

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At last! Worms is finally on the iPad in a form we can be proud of. The previous version of Worms on iOS was obviously hastily put together, with poorly resized graphic elements, interface problems, and ridiculous 3D backgrounds that served no purpose and likely drained your battery. To say nothing of the lack of features and modes! I was thoroughly disappointed. But Worms 2 Armageddon fixes nearly every problem, and if you’re a Worms fan, it’s definitely worth your $5.

Pros:

  • Full selection of weapons from Worms games
  • Customizable game types, worm health, hats, etc
  • Charming, polished artwork

Cons:

  • Levels seem slow to load
  • Computer players are either Terminators or Wall-E
  • No play-by-mail

If you’ve played the Worms series, you know what to expect. If not, you might be a little lost, but you must have seen the franchise around. You’ve got teams of worms, a huge variety of weapons to blow each other up with, and a randomly-generated 2D landscape on which to battle. It’s a great game to play with friends and kill a few minutes (or hours). But the last version on iPad was rife with problems, and didn’t let you do some of the things that made Worms what it is. No unlimited ninja ropes? No customizing worm health? The basic game was intact, but missing quite a bit. It wasn’t worth the money, straight up.

Not the case with Armageddon. They’ve added a bunch of weapons we’re all familiar with (banana bomb, super sheep, concrete donkey) and the layout is better. There’s also now a campaign mode where you earn gold to unlock weapons, hats, and other stuff for use in customizing game modes and teams.

I’m not going to lie. I knew I was giving this game a good review after the first few minutes. I haven’t finished the campaign mode, I haven’t bought every hat, and I haven’t tried all the modes, because I could tell within moments that this was a different beast from the half-baked version I’ve been playing on and off for a couple months.

My main criticisms are relatively minor: the game moves slowly when you’re playing the computer and when generating terrain; the computer always lets his five-second timer tick down and often spends a little while thinking. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but over ten or twenty turns it starts to add up.

And why do they even bother thinking when all they do is bulls-eye you every single time with a bazooka or grenade? These guys are murder. Except when they just fire their shotgun into a wall, think for five seconds, and then fire it into the wall again. Really, the computer seems to only have two modes: completely retarded or precision killing machine.

Also, and this may strike some as an unfair hit, but there’s no play by mail. By that I mean like Words With Friends, where you take your turn and that information is sent to the other player, wherever they are, whenever they have the bandwidth to download it. I asked about it and a representative said that the turn information was too large, but I really don’t believe that — the generated map could be stored locally and the turn information is as simple as time-stamped command information. I can’t imagine a full 60-second turn of moving around could be more than a few hundred kilobytes. That would have made this game a must-buy not only for me, but for all my friends.

Conclusion:

Like Worms? Buy this. Never played Worms? This is a good a place as any to start. Get your feet wet in campaign, play dirty, and then get ready for a great time with your friends. I didn’t realize how much I missed this game until Armageddon hit the iPad.

Note: I have not been able to test this on an iPhone or iPod touch, so I can’t guarantee it’s good on those. But it’s certainly better than its predecessor.

iTunes Store: Worms 2 Armageddon ($4.99)

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