Worms, traditionally, was always a game in which a team of earthworms took turns to blow each other up. Whether it was the original side-on 2D games or the more open, 3D variants, the core gameplay always remained the same. Featuring an arsenal of awesome weapons, a customisable team of worms and some brilliant locations, it made for one of the more fun turn-based experiences we’ve seen.
Although Worms Crazy Golf keeps the 2D style that we’ve seen in majority of the games in the Worms series, with the bold colours and distinctive cartoonish art style looking great in HD, it changes most of the gameplay that made the series excellent. Instead of having teams of worms battling it out with Super Sheep, Bazookas and Holy Hand Grenades, you take a lone worm onto one of the many holes in order to fire a golf ball into target hole in as few shots as possible.[videoyoutube]The standard mini golf rules apply: you must avoid scoring above par on each hole – of which there are eighteen in each of the three courses that you’ll play through in the careeer mode – and the four types of club (driver, iron, wedge and putter) are all used in different scenarios, mostly depending on your proximity to the hole.
It’s all seems like a very tame affair in comparison to the norm though – it’s the equivalent of going on a merry-go-round instead of the biggest rollercoaster at the theme park. Yes, it still retains a (relatively small) portion of the explosive nature – and therefore some of the charm – that’s a staple of Worms, notably the mines along with other obstacles such as sheep and old ladies that litter each map, but it’s simply not as fun and nowhere near as manic as classic Worms.
Taking aim at the putting green and hoping for the best isn’t the only thing you’ll have to do though – there are coins, crates and points to get in order to achieve the best score on each hole. Worms Crazy Golf wouldn’t live up to its name if it didn’t feature some crazy, ball-altering utilities to aid your attempts for a hole in one – whether you’re slowing down time for more precise control, blasting to give the ball an extra boost or reversing gravity to get past obstacles, these tools are very helpful and make this game more than just hitting a ball.
The courses aren’t just covered in mines and sheep of course(then it’d be entirely set in Wales) there are also cannons to propel your ball further, destructible blocks for you to… uh… destroy, magnets that repel or attract your ball and even worms that can be, though are not required to be, killed.
Unfortunately, you’re unable to randomly generate any levels or create your own. This suits the nature of the game, as the hole and par needs to be set correctly, but it does mean you’ll end up playing very similar levels, especially since there are only three different themes.[drop]Some levels can be infuriating and hard to beat, but generally they’re all well designed although the difficulty appears to spike randomly, rather than certain holes being listed as ‘challenging’. To break apart your traversal through the courses you encounter optional challenge rounds. These see you either destroying targets in the allotted time or hitting the ball on to the target area. There are five variations of these rounds, each of which changes the rules although not the core formula.
Whilst getting custom, randomised levels is out, you can still customise your worm’s voice (with a selection of the usual both quirky and funny voice acting that the series is know for), name and even change their hat. New hats and voices are unlocked as you progress and new clubs, with different stats, can be purchased with the coins collected from scoring big in the career mode.
Although there’s no online functionality bar leaderboards, there is a hot seat multiplayer mode which you can play with any number of controllers and up to four players; either passing the pad around or using your own. Each player takes turns to aim for the hole and, disappointingly, the ability to attack your opponents remains absent, making it essentially just the normal mode with multiple worms and balls. I feel as though an opportunity has been missed here – mixing the Crazy Golf gameplay with the core Worms arsenal could have been excellent.
The inherent problem with Worms Crazy Golf is that it becomes very repetitive after a while, mostly due to the nature of the gameplay. With only three themes – a fourth available to download for free – you’ll soon be sick of seeing the same obstacles, contraptions and very similar locations as you play through the career mode or against your friends in the local multiplayer.
- A unique departure for the series.
- Utilities are a useful mechanic.
- A decent amount of stuff to collect across the levels.
- Soon becomes repetitive.
- There’s not actually much to do.
- Multiplayer is disappointing.
- The levels aren’t varied enough, with only three themes.
- It’s simply not as good as a traditional Worms game.
Worms Crazy Golf truly doesn’t boast a lot of content and ends up feeling a little lacklustre. It’s fun to play but soon becomes repetitive; even the multiplayer mode is shallow and won’t keep you entertained for long. There’s little to bring you back to the game, even though there are collectable coins and crates which allow you to unlock everything. More variety would have been welcome, and whilst the added utilities succeed in mixing the gameplay up, Worms Crazy Golf doesn’t actually live up to the ‘crazy’ in its title, particularly in comparison to the series it spun off from.
Review based on the PSN version.