The phrase ‘I’ve got worms in my pocket’ is usually associated with that one kid who everyone tends to run away from, until now. Team 17 have finally ported last year’s Worms W.M.D. onto Nintendo’s Switch, where it feels like a perfect fit.
At its most basic, Worms W.M.D. is pure old school turn based combat with the same crazy weapons. Each team has a set amount of worms at their disposal and each worm takes a turn to move and fire, all set against a ticking time limit. Weapons are available from the off, but you can also add to your arsenal by picking up crates dotted around the landscape.
Add in some wonderful hand drawn art, a few new features such as crafting and mechs, but all tastefully done, and you have a fully up-to-date classic.
Crafting is the biggest new addition and can take place at any time during the game. Players will need to find parts dotted around the landscape to build the devastating weapons, but it’s well worth it for the resulting destruction they provide.
Likewise, the vehicles, from tanks to mechs, can be a game changer. Each has a powerful weapon or feature that can turn the tide in a battle. Thankfully, they’re limited in their availability, so getting one feels like a treat. You can also go inside buildings which adds another layer of strategy by protecting you but also means you can’t fire direct weapons easily and it’s yet another obstacle to climb.
Single screen co-op is still my favourite mode and a reason in itself for these games to exist. Passing a controller feels natural on Switch, though you can choose to use the 2 Joycons or more if you need to. Team 17 have had many years to practice their multiplayer skills and it shows, the online multiplayer games run smoothly and I had no issue finding a game. Options can be tweaked to your liking, too, so there are plenty of different ways to play online. It’s nice to see a good online system in a third party Switch game, with Team 17 not making things too complicated in order to find a game.
It’s only the occasional camera issue during the impressive destruction that can let the side down and a few niggles with over-sensitive controls when aiming a weapon to fire, especially as the timer ticks down to zero on your go. There are a couple of different settings for controls, though, so there’s the chance of finding one that works better, but I found both of them had their pros and cons.
More costumes and levels are built into the Switch version from the off, giving players on this format the benefit of starting with a huge range of variables to choose from. Part of the fun of Worms has always been choosing a strangely dressed team.
Many Worms fans talk about Armageddon as the high point in the series history, but for my money, W.M.D. is on a par with the best Worms game out there and the fact that it’s on a hybrid handheld that was designed with party games in mind makes this a perfect match.