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Team 17

Two new Worms games photo
Two new Worms games

Team17 is busy: Two new Worms games announced


Worms WMD and Worms 4
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Wow, Team17 has a lot on its plate! In addition to helping with the production of Yooka-Laylee, it looks like it has two more Worms games in the works. The first is called Worms WMD, and will feature a new 2D cartoo...
The Escapists photo
The Escapists

The Escapists meets The Walking Dead later this year


I did not expect this!
Jul 08
// Chris Carter
The Escapists was a pretty awesome little strategy game, and it looks like Team 17 isn't done yet with the series. It's just announced The Escapists: The Walking Dead, which will evidently feature locations and characte...
The escapists photo
The escapists

The Escapists is getting locked up on PS4


I sentence you to life on a Sony home console
Apr 15
// Laura Kate Dale
They've been planning this for months now. They know the guards schedules. They managed to steal a cell door key. They beat up all the snitches. The Escapists is finally making a mad dash for freedom. CRASH! The Escapists fle...

Review: LA Cops

Mar 13 // Conrad Zimmerman
LA Cops (PC [Reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: LA Cops LtdPublisher: Team17Released: March 13, 2015MSRP: $14.99 LA Cops attempts to evoke American police fiction of the 1970s through a number of recognizable tropes. Vignettes preceding missions include the beleaguered police chief trying to wrangle loose cannons, cops willing to go outside the law for justice, and even a nod toward gender integration conflicts as a female detective joins the squad. These touchstones are there but never thoroughly explored, winding up as little more than weak references to the genre. It doesn't help that the cutscene content is shoddy. A simplistic plot somehow manages to be a bit confusing, as half the scenes set up character conflicts which see no expansion or satisfactory resolution while others introduce key characters without any clear exposition to give the player a reason to care. Dull writing is performed with stiff voice acting across the board, falling emotionally flat in nearly every example. Worse yet, all such content sounds as though the actors wore buckets over their heads for the recording sessions. [embed]289031:57776:0[/embed] Missions play out from a top-down perspective, with players using two detectives to raid buildings and dispense justice to occupying criminals. Vastly outnumbered and easily killed, the idea is that the player is to use these characters in tandem by directly controlling one and issuing move orders to the other to even the odds. The most basic strategy for this is ordering the inactive cop to move in and then timing movement of the controlled cop to enter at the same time to clear rooms in a hail of bullets. Another option would be to position one cop on a blind corner, then assume control of the other cop and use them to lure enemies into a trap. It doesn't seem to matter which approach is used because AI controlled partners are, to put it mildly, inconsistent in their combat abilities. A vision cone shows which direction the partner is focusing their attention, but that doesn't mean they won't whip around and tag a guy running up behind them. They might. They might not. It also doesn't mean that they're any more likely to immediately shoot enemies within range and line of sight. It could happen, sure, but they could also just get gunned down by enemies who have walked right past a corner into the cone before pulling off a shot. Trying to use both cops through the entirety of the game, even the halfway point, is miserable. Despite warnings that players won't get very far without their partners, it's actually much easier to work through levels one cop at a time, treating the stationary partner as an extra life because using both cops is basically just asking for one of them to die. But by eschewing the tandem strategy, LA Cops becomes just a game where the player moves from room to room picking off enemies before they can shoot back and there are much better examples of that gameplay to be found elsewhere. Worse, the scoring system used to determine performance runs totally counter to the teamwork mechanic. Aside from being shot, criminals can also be arrested with a melee attack which renders them harmless. Arresting earns twice the points of killing, but there's no good way to do it using both cops because the AI might just shoot the nearest crook before they can be arrested (or not, whatever). It's as if LA Cops is actively encouraging the player to completely ignore its main selling point which, in light of how that's worked out, might be just as well. At least there's plenty of it. There are nine "story" missions with an additional five unrelated bonus stages and three difficulty settings. Nearly all contain multiple floors, and there are some secondary objectives which at least attempt to offer some variety. The more interesting missions include waves of enemies coming in from specific points on a floor or civilians to avoid shooting, but other tasks like reaching a hostage within a time limit (irrelevant since it cannot be achieved before dealing with all criminals on the floor) and the usually pointless destruction of environmental objects just feel like time wasters. There are six characters the player can select from to complete missions. While they differ at the outset across four statistics (speed, health, damage, and clip size), they're ultimately all the same due to the experience progression system. Completing missions earns XP which may be spent to increase individual stats or unlock new weapons, but all characters have the same potential and can gain access to the same guns, making there no reason to choose one over another apart from aesthetic appeal and little reason to switch to new characters once experience has been spent on those who have been used before. The pop minimalist art style of LA Cops is probably its most redeeming quality, sadly. Clean lines and high contrast colors make it stand out in the field of top-down shooters, and this design serves the gameplay by making it easy to pick out enemies and objectives. The visuals and the soundtrack, which consists of funky guitar tracks that fit neatly with the themes, are about the only elements of the game that aren't actively working against it. While there was clear opportunity in the buddy cop formula LA Cops attempted to create, the end result is a mess. Totally undermined by poor teammate AI, the central strategic hook is lost, resulting in a bland game confused about what it wants the player to do.
LA Cops review photo
Move along, nothing to see here
At first glance, the potential for LA Cops to be an interesting title is great. A top-down shooter in the style of a retro cop squad drama, its main appeal lies in the combination of real-time action with teamwork management, one player using two characters to systematically take down a criminal enterprise. It's just too bad that one of those cops always has to be Barney Fife.


Review: Worms Clan Wars

Sep 03 // Fraser Brown
Worms Clan Wars (PC)Developer: Team 17Publisher: Team 17 Release: August 15, 2013MSRP: $24.99 Maybe you don't have a clue what Worms is. This is unlikely, and certainly embarrassing for you if true, but I'll refrain from judging you. The Worms of a decade ago is much the same as the Worms of today, with newer titles adding a few spins and twists on the classic formula but generally sticking to what made it work all those years ago (other than the terrible 3D Worms titles).  Teams of tiny, pink warriors (now up to eight, once more) fight each other across a 2D, fully destructible and obnoxiously colorful map, using weapons from the mundane -- but not too mundane, these are worms after all -- like uzis and bazookas, to the completely mental, like exploding sheep and banana bombs. It's all in the name of good, not-very-wholesome fun. Until one of your pals slaughters your beloved army of diminutive soldiers with an airstrike, that is.  All the lovely new features from Worms Revolution have been retained by its wriggling, younger sibling: classes, water, and physics, most notably. Combatants are split up into soldiers, scouts, scientists, and heavies, all with different movement speeds, health, and special abilities, like the scientist worm's knack for healing his chums. They've been tweaked and balanced since Revolution, with area of effects for special abilities being added or increased, for instance. Water, which was probably the most welcome addition in Worms Revolution, returns. It's much the same as it was before. Chucking water balloons at enemy worms will see them sliding down slopes and into a watery grave, and maps are filled with objects just waiting to be dislodged or blown up by missiles. But it's been augmented by machinery, with water gates, for example, allowing players to flood entire areas and drown their enemies.  Physics puzzles have been thrown into the mix, too, with all manner of buttons, levers, swinging bridges, and the aforementioned gates being strewn throughout the battle arenas of the war-torn museum that Clan Wars resides in. Oh yes, the museum -- that's definitely worthy of a mention. There's a story, you see. I know, you're incredulous. A story! How preposterous. And you'd be right, it is preposterous. A nefarious chap has pinched a sacred artifact known as the Stone Carrot, and is attempting to control all worms, because that's just what you do when you're completely barmy. The only thing that stands between him and complete worm domination is a ragtag band of worms and sociopathic crypt-robber Tara Pinkle, who's basically a loony Lara Croft voiced by Katherine Parkinson of IT Crowd fame.  You might recall that Matt Berry, also from IT Crowd, narrated the worms' last outing, so clearly Team 17 have a bit of a crush on the cast, and rightly so. While Berry's hilarious narration is sorely missed, Parkinson is delightfully silly while briefing the A-Team of the worm-world and describing all the terrible things that she's done while looting treasure from unfortunate tribes.  The single-player stuff isn't usually the draw of Worms, and while it's hardly the highlight of Clan Wars, it's an entertaining romp that eventually becomes tricky in places, sometimes because of fidgety platforming, sometimes because of challenging level design. There's a checkpoint system now, too, so replaying entire levels is a thing of the past unless you explicitly want to. Maps loosely follow the museum theme, with Stone Age, Viking, and Aztec-style battlefields, just to name a few. A day and night cycle adds a bit of visual variety to these maps, to boot. They are, as you would expect, ripe for deforming with explosive weaponry, and littered with objects that can be dislodged to block the route of an enemy worm, loosened to let forth a torrent of water previous held back, or just blown up to create a gargantuan explosion. While Revolution's object interactions were a bit on the fiddly side, Clan Wars offers a greater level of control over item placement mid-battle. What really elevates Clan Wars above its predecessors is the effort that has been put into the multiplayer component. There's local multiplayer, then your standard online PvP shenanigans, but the truly special, properly new addition is the titular clan feature. With the same tools used to make a team of deadly, slimy worm-warriors, you can put together a whole clan, with a distinct appearance along with a shiny emblem and a clan name, and then recruit members to this clan.  Clans compete for leaderboard positions, creating a perpetual worm-war and, hopefully, all the splendid drama, grudges, and competitive intensity found in eSporty games. Ultimately, its success lies in its ability to maintain a healthy population, which certainly won't happen if Team 17 keep churning out more Worm titles, so one hopes that they will take a breather.  In a novel twist, the floodgates have been opened up to user-generated content, with Steam Workshop integration. So in addition to the new weapons like flying monkeys and teleporter guns -- both of which can be used to help and hinder by moving objects and worms around the map -- there are a slew of cosmetic items and player-created maps just waiting to be downloaded.  While it doesn't stray too far from Worms Revolution, a game less than a year old, the focus on competitive multiplayer and custom content adds both longevity and depth to the long-running pastime of wormicide. If Revolution was the best that Worms had ever been -- and it was, because I said it was last year -- then Clan Wars is now the definitive version. 
Worms Clan Wars review photo
Bigger, fatter, and juicier
I think that Team 17 needs some help. Some dastardly villain has clearly locked the developer up and abandoned them, because less than a year after releasing the excellent Worms Revolution, the invertebrate-obsessed studio ha...

Worms Contest photo
Worms, Worms 2: Armageddon, and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem
[Update: Contest over! The winners are NovaKnight21, CabooseMiller, TheSunNamedMoon, DrButler, irishladdie727, and cnaltman62!] Our friends at Maximum Games have just released the Worms Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation...

Superfrog returns photo
Superfrog returns

Team17 to bring back Superfrog with HD PS3 and Vita game


New graphics, not filters
Feb 13
// Jordan Devore
Amiga platformer Superfrog is making a comeback. Rather than get a whole new game that couldn't possibly live up to fans' expectations, Team17 will put its energy into Superfrog HD, which features brand new visuals. No screen...

Review: Worms Revolution

Oct 16 // Fraser Brown
Worms Revolution (PC [reviewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Team 17 Software Ltd.Publisher: Team 17 Software Ltd.Release: October 10, 2012MSRP: $14.99 If you love Worms and you're just looking to sink your teeth into another colorful artillery game then stop reading, and go and buy the bloody thing. The core gameplay is, despite the new engine, nearly identical to the rest of the 2D installments; which means it's still pretty great.  Two teams of battle-hardened worm warriors meet on destructible battlefields and use a highly customizable variety of weapons, from the mundane, like shotgun and bazookas, to the absolutely bonkers, like explosive grannies and holy hand grenades (if it's not from Antioch, you've been ripped off), just to name a few.  If you're like me, however, and you've played the countless iterations, and they've all started to blend together, then you're probably wondering if it's worth picking up yet again. Do you like water, physics, and the consistently hilarious Matt Berry of IT Crowd and Mighty Boosh fame? If you don't, then you should probably just go back to playing Worms 2: Armageddon (or Worms Reloaded on the PC) which, up until now, was the most polished and content-heavy title in the series.  [embed]236702:45441[/embed] For those of you still with me, you answered correctly. All three of those things are awesome, and two of them are awesome in Worms Revolution. You get a gold star.  Water has been pushed as one of the defining features that sets this version apart from its predecessors. Water bombs, water pistols, pools -- it's like summer time. Unfortunately, it's actually October, so there's always the risk of pneumonia, too. Water-based weaponry makes up a small part of your wormy arsenal, while also featuring prominently as dangerous environmental hazards.  A water bomb or pistol can be employed to make enemy worms slide down slopes, and presumably to their doom, or just get them soggy and even more gross. Nobody likes a soggy worm. Similarly, a pool of water above some unsuspecting worms can be blown up, showering the worms below. It might push them down a hill, or it might create another pool that slowly drowns the little soldiers. The water acts more like runny jelly than good old H2O, and that's cool with me -- jelly is a lot more funny than water.  It's just another reason to pay close attention to the environment, and murdering foes in such a way is immensely satisfying. It's one of the most welcome additions to the series, and in the likely event we continue to get more Worms installments, I hope it becomes a mainstay.  The physics shenanigans are a little less impressive, sadly. Large objects are scattered throughout levels -- the refuse of humans. Worms are actually scaled appropriately, so mobile phones, zippo lighters, and water bottles are all significantly larger than the suicidal wee beasties. Telepathy and UFOs can move and drop these objects, some of which explode and drench the area in flames, and they are also susceptible to weapons fire, which can dislodge them or blow them up.  Much of the time, interacting with these objects is just a lot of hassle. Using telepathy to move objects is incredibly imprecise, and very rarely does it feel like you've achieved anything by doing so. Whether or not an object is damaged when you fire upon it also seems rather arbitrary. Directly hitting a bottle with a rocket might do no damage whatsoever, wasting a turn, whereas using the same tactics with a zippo might actually blow it up, or it might not. It feels random, and thus isn't a particularly solid tactic when there are actual explosives like mines or barrels, or pockets of water that will definitely unleash a torrent if struck.  Team 17 haa tried to mix up the dynamics of one's squad of worms by introducing classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The giant cranium of the Scientist allows them to make better turrets, for instance, and their knowledge of medicine means that every worm on their team regenerates a small amount of health each turn. The sneaky Scout is smaller and faster than his fellows, and can get into wee nooks and crannies that larger worms can only dream about (they are worms, so chances are they have weird dreams). The Heavy is a slow, ponderous behemoth; soaking up damage and smacking people around is his business. And finally, there's the basic Soldier -- the all-rounder, if you will.  I tended to favor the Soldier over the other classes, but the inclusion of such a feature definitely changed the way I played the game, even if it was only marginally. I'd frequently ignore easy kills so I could take the healing Scientist out quickly, or hunt down a Scout before he managed to worm his way into a tiny hole.  Worms Revolution comes with a surprisingly robust single-player campaign, along with a puzzle mode. I honestly don't see the appeal of playing Worms by one's self, but if I did, I would be all over this. There are some ingenious -- one could even say devious -- maps which are genuinely enjoyable to play through, even if it is against AI opponents. The campaign, and to a greater extent the puzzle mode, teaches players slightly more advanced tactics, encouraging players to think outside the box. Matt Berry narrates the whole thing in typical loin-melting fashion, and between the jokes and mockery he usually gives a hint (and often outright instruction) on how to tackle particular levels.  If you want to brush up on your worm-slaying skills without embarrassing yourself in front of friends and strangers on the Internet, then you can't really go wrong with the single-player shenanigans. The fact that you'll laugh your arse off thanks to Mr. Berry is just the icing on the cake. Really delicious icing. None of the cheap crap. Multiplayer is where the action is, however, and not simply because it's fun to destroy the hopes and dreams of a human opponent; although, that is certainly a factor. The joy of the multiplayer is in tailoring it for your own perfect battle experience. The PC version comes with a level editor, so of course there's the whole act of designing your battlefield, but there's so much more. Confession time: I'm nutty about menus. I could scroll through menus tweaking a game until it perfectly fits my specifications all day long. Unfortunately, the menus of Worms Revolution are fairly awful, but if you can get past how badly laid out they are, you may very well find yourself in customization Nirvana.  You can customize each mode (Classic, Deathmatch, and Forts), and alter how many times you can use the ninja rope, how frequently you encounter mines, how much health worms have, if they take damage from falling, if dynamic water will be used, how often crates are dropped, the length of the fuse on sticks of dynamite... needless to say, it's rather in-depth. The modes themselves aren't particularly surprising, but even before you start tinkering with them, they are more than serviceable. Classic removes the new features like water, Deathmatch doesn't, and Forts places the teams on two opposing land masses. More variety would have been welcome, but the customization options covers that if you're willing to play about with the settings for a bit.  Worms Revolution is as good as the franchise has ever been. It's good old psychotic fun, and that's all I really wanted. Yet, after 17 years, it's still very much the same game. Those looking for a refreshing take on the basic formula might be a tad disappointed, but in the face of watching suicidal grannies take out wriggly cannon fodder, or self-destructing moles, I think that disappointment will be short-lived.
Worms Revolution Reviewed photo
Let slip the worms of war
One cannot help but wonder, after so many years of senseless violence and bloodshed, what is it that makes worms so murderous? I guess that if you lived in the dirt, looked a bit gross, and were so often at the mercy of a tro...

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Worms Revolution has warring worms and exploding grannies


Sep 24
// Harry Monogenis
Worms Revolution is some two weeks away from being released, and Don Keystone is attempting to, for the last time, explain Team17's strategy game to us with his oh-so-seductive voice in a new gameplay video. The 2D game...

Preview: Worms Revolution for Johnny No Mates

Sep 21 // Fraser Brown
Worms Revolution (PC [previewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Team17 Software Ltd.Publisher: Team17 Software Ltd.Release: October 10, 2012 Most of my fond memories surrounding the Worms franchise involve other people; people who were once friends but became, at least for the length of a round and probably the rest of the day, sworn enemies. Given the online mode, there's little reason not to want to take on another human commander of worms, however, on the off chance you don't want to deal with people or you have a repellent personality, there's a healthy amount of single-player content in Worms Revolution.   Even if you are eager to take on your pals in worm-on-worm conflict, it's probably worth taking the first part of the campaign, the tutorial, for a spin. You only get one worm to control, and enemies are static, passive things just waiting to be brutally murdered. There are quite a few new features, so it's a good place to come to grips with them.  Throughout, players are mocked, berated, and occasionally congratulated by the sexy voiced funny-man, Matt Berry (IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh) in his role as disgraced, mentally deranged wildlife expert Don Keystone. Fans of his comedy stylings will find a lot to delight them here, as the writing seems tailor made for his delivery, and I have no doubt that you lovely Americans will enjoy the oh-so hilarious accent and funny British words.  The tutorial stage of the campaign is drawn out over eight levels, which strikes me as a ridiculous number, and I must admit I found myself extremely bored after only one or two of them. Only Berry's narration made it tolerable. Thankfully, once that's over, it starts to pick up, and you finally get your full squad of violent, psychotic beasties.  The campaign will take you to many colorful battlegrounds; mundane places turned interesting due to the worms' tiny size. You see, unlike in previous titles, the worms and their surroundings are actually scaled more appropriately, and animated scenes play out in the background with large rats scurrying about, or massive pelicans. Littered around the environment are human items such as mobile phones or Zippo lighters, and they can often end up obstructing your progress and require a lovely big explosion to remove. Sometimes, these obstacles can be transformed into weapons to turn against your enemies, especially if these obstacles happen to be explosive or, even worse, filled with water. Right from the start, the battles can actually be a bit tricky. It's not because the AI is particularly good -- though sometimes it seems like the enemy worms have the accuracy of Robin Hood -- but rather because of the obstacles scattered throughout the levels. While mines and explosive barrels are undoubtedly threats to watch out for, or use to your advantage, it's the water that you really need to keep an eye on.  Water has always been a threat in Worms, but never before has it been used so widely, and as a weapon, no less. Water pistols and water bombs can be used to drown or knock down rows of foes, the jelly-like liquid carrying them down to their doom, while the water in the actual environment can also be manipulated to great effect. Pockets of water locked away in caves exist above and below the battlefield, and a well-placed explosive or an accurately fired rocket can turn these wee pools into deadly weapons.  One of my favorite things about the campaign was how it showcased some wonderful level design. Team17 clearly went all out to create interesting game-spaces, and it really made me eager to try my hand at it, too. Unfortunately, the landscape editor was unavailable in the preview build, so I had to console myself with the developer's intricate creations. On top of the campaign mode, the other single-player feature is the puzzle mode. Instead of straightforward battles, these levels teach players slightly more advanced strategies, and task them with thinking outside the box a little bit. To call them puzzles is a bit strong, though, as they struck me as more like extra tutorials, especially given the hints provided by Don Keystone. Still, they can be quite fun and feature interesting scenarios from defending fellow worms to murdering worms using only a weapon which will not actually kill them.  The single-player content seems surprisingly robust, if not nearly as fun as playing with other people. As a way to practice and hone strategies, the mode more than does the job, but it's unlikely that people will be spending very much time with it. I really hope they do, though, as Don Keystone is quite the character and makes the campaign and puzzles amusing.
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Since the mid-'90s, I've been unable to look at the common garden worm without wondering "How many kills does it have?" or "Does it have a shotgun?" I blame Team17 for this entirely; their military-minded, wriggly warriors ma...

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Worms Revolution: These tricky worms mean business


Sep 06
// Fraser Brown
These Worms Revolution videos have been causing quite the chuckle to rise up from my belly, or wherever my chuckles actually come from -- I don't know, I'm no scientist. The latest one is a Public Service Announcement m...
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Worms arrive on Facebook in closed beta


Aug 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
Those wacky Worms are on their way to becoming socially acceptable. Team 17 has announced that a closed beta test for the upcoming Facebook version of their classic artillery dueling title, Worms, has begun. Fans of the aggr...
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Worms Revolution: Think I'll go eat worms


Jul 13
// Fraser Brown
When I'm digging holes in my garden for completely normal and not in the least bit criminal reasons, I often see worms. They are always wearing the latest fashions and spouting hilarious quips. It makes gardening a delight. ...
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Drown some worms in Worms Revolution


Jul 06
// Fraser Brown
Worms has always brought out the worst in me. I become a vicious, hateful, overly-competitive, incredibly angry arsehole. I love it. This has followed me through the entire series, even the ones that weren't particularly goo...

Preview: Worms Revolution brings a deluge from the past

Jun 29 // Casey Baker
[embed]230262:44236[/embed] Worms Revolution (PC [previewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Team17 Software Ltd. Publisher: Team17 Software Ltd.Release: End of September (PC), TBD (PSN, XBLA) Genesis of Worms: In the Beginning... The earliest genre of a strategy game in the vein of Worms appeared sometime in the '70s, with a simple demo program on the Apple II known as Artillery. This early prototype featured two pixelated squares meant to represent tanks facing off against each other on a very simple battlefield. The game featured actual physics that showed the trajectory of your projectiles as you shot at the opposing tank. Meanwhile, across the pond, a slacker student was designing his own form of Artillery on a graphing calculator while trying his hardest not to sleep through his mathematics class. As Andy Davidson tells it, "...The earliest form was on a Casio graph-plotting calculator -- we were meant to be doing maths lessons and everything, and I had a little bet with my mate. He said, 'I bet you can't make a game on that.' and I said, 'I bet I can.' ...it was just a basic artillery game, similar to the ones on the Commodore 64...and I showed it to him and he said, 'How the hell did you do that?' and looking back, I'm not sure how I did it -- but that's how boring maths was at school." When Davidson got his hands on an Amiga computer -- especially popular in the UK in the '80s -- he ported over his little project onto his school computer, and even began to add his own features, such as the bottomless water pits that caused instant kills, and "little things running around" that you could individually name. As his game ideas expanded, fellow students became obsessed with the game -- often to the frustration of his teachers. "It was purely a game for me and my mates rather than to do schoolwork; college-work and everything ... eventually it got people skipping lessons to play it. The corner of the art room was basically anarchy -- all you had was people shouting at each other, explosions going off. My form teacher eventually banned it, he just went, 'I never want to see that bloody game in school again.'" At this point, Andy Davidson decided his dream was to get his game published. "So then instead of going to university, I thought -- this is what I want to do. And with it being banned, I knew there was something in there. If a song's been banned, it's usually good. If a film's been banned, it's usually good. So I told them, 'I'm not going to go to University, I'm going to get my game published.'" My form teacher turned around and said, 'Andy, you're good -- but not that good.' Which was, you know, Cheers for the encouragement. So that drove me on as well..." From this point onward, Davidson rewrote and tinkered with his pet project while working in an Amiga shop. He chose to use worms instead of tanks because at that point in game's history worms hadn't been featured as characters yet, and because Davidson knew he could keep it simple and retain humorous animations using the annelids. Davidson offered his customers a chance to play his game, making them unwitting testers who would often spend hours in the shop just to keep playing "Total Wormage." "...I wanted people to like the game who hated video games, I wanted to create a really social thing -- because that's what it was, for you to play with your friends." At a London Computer Show known as the ECTS (European Computer Trade Show), Davidson brought his game forward to be considered for publishing and found a home with Ocean Software and development Team17. The original Worms was published in 1995 on the Amiga personal computer, and later ported to other electronic devices. Worms Revolution: The Approaching Flood Davidson left Team17 after working last on Worms Armageddon for PC because he didn't really like where the series was going. Some time after his departure came the first (somewhat disastrous) foray of Worms in 3D, and then several reiterations of Davidson's basic formula. Interestingly, exactly 17 years have passed since Davidson has returned to work on the series, and with Worms Revolution he and Team17 hope the game will appeal to a larger audience through its new gameplay engine and polished graphics. I had a chance to play a round with Davidson to get an idea of what this next iteration will add to the series. The first immediate noticeable change is the sense of scale in the game. With three-dimensional implementation, the worms appear in an environment more suited to their size while animals and people wander around as giants in the background. One of the first environments I saw was sort of an underground bunker in a mound of dirt at a farm. Other environments include within a sewer, on a beach, and in a scientist's "spooky backyard." The 3D implementation will also be important for a few special weapons, such as one that Davidson showed me where one of the original Worms of the series zip-lined into the foreground and was able to aim at a specific area of the map to blast the opposing team with a grenade. The environments are still structured very similarly to earlier games for strategic purposes, though with a new water physics implementation they're formed in such a way to make it fun to let water splash around and flow fluidly through tunnels and across barriers. The water physics are the biggest new mechanic draw to the series, as two of the water-specific weapons included a water-balloon grenade and an air strike of water balloons that can flood an area, sometimes washing nearby worms into the ocean depths. During my preview, I pelted Davidson's team of worms with several water balloons, slowly drowning at least one of them while pushing the rest just barely to the brink of death. The water physics add an interesting new wrinkle to the strategy as you can try to push the opposing worms towards explosive objects, chemically noxious beakers, or the bottomless sea itself. The water moves fluidly and realistically through the map, flooding areas and causing turn-based damage to worms who sit mindlessly under it. Another strategic implementation is the use of different classes of worms. When the player customizes his/her team of worms, they can choose between four classes for each worm. These classes include a tank type that can both deal and take a lot of damage but moves very slowly; a scout type who moves quickly through the level and can tunnel through dirt quickly but is highly vulnerable; a brainy type who offers health to his teammates and also can set up turrets; and finally, the stock soldier type that most players are already quite familiar with. The worms seem even more expressive than before, as they squirm and wriggle a bit more realistically through the environment and make hilariously dumb faces at the realization of imminent death. The new engine makes everything seem more cartoonish and expressive, including the background animations and player deaths. Worms Revolution includes four basic game types, including a campaign mode with about 40 specific missions, a deathmatch mode, a classic mode for hardcore gamers who want the original weapon set, and a new "Fort" mode, where each team has their own uniquely themed fort, and the strategy is found in deciding whether to infiltrate the enemy fort or defend your own as you lob projectiles at one another. I played a single deathmatch round with Andy and we both blasted each other with a few well-aimed shots of water and shrapnel and misfired a few others with often hilarious results. Though the match was a close one, Andy proved his worth as both a gamer and a developer and won by taking my team down with some incredibly well-aimed hits. The new water physics proved to be a blast to mess around with, and the overall gameplay still retains the same addictive sense of strategic mayhem that has made the Worms series such a lasting gem from the earlier days of gaming. Worms Revolution is planned to be released at the end of September on Steam for around $15.00 and later on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network for an equivalent price.
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The history of the Worms franchise is a long and storied one, spanning all the way back to the very early days of gaming. In an interview with Andy Davidson, the main creator of the original Worms game, I was given insight in...

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Worms Revolution to introduce class-based mechanics


May 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
Team 17 revealed information on a new class system being implemented for the upcoming Worms Reloaded, expected to hit PCs and consoles later this year. Players will be able to build their four-man teams using worms with class...
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Good Old Games adds Worms, Superfrog, and Alien Breed


Jan 12
// Joshua Derocher
Good Old Games is always looking to add new developers and publishers to their ever growing library of aged-but-enjoyable PC games. The latest developer addition is Team 17. Right now, you can get Worms United, Superfrog, and...
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Worms series aims for fairway in Worms Crazy Golf


Aug 15
// Conrad Zimmerman
Team 17's classic series of turn-based games featuring heavily armed annelids, Worms, is taking a sharp slice into new territory with the announcement of Worms Crazy Golf. Coming later this year to PlayStation 3, PC (via...

Review: Worms: Battle Islands

Jan 14 // Destin Legarie
Worms: Battle Islands (PSP)Developer: Team 17Publisher: THQReleased: November 23, 2010MSRP: $24.99If you've never played a Worms title I'll describe what they've been reproducing.  You're a small team of worms on a large 2D landscape that can span multiple screens.  It usually has a theme like a snow covered lake or a field with various objects scattered about that can be used as cover, or to get a height advantage.  Your objective is to kill all the other worms before they kill you.  To do this you can use dynamite, missile launchers, grenades, cluster grenades, jet packs and more.  As you're setting off explosions (hopefully close to your enemies) giant craters are left behind deforming the playing field.  It can be a lot of fun.  The problem is that they've been doing this for so long now that there's 14 of these 2D games on the market.  The Worms franchise feels dead.There's already two Worms games available on the PSP. Worms: Open Warfare, and Worms: Open Warfare 2. This means that Worms: Battle Islands is going to appeal one of two groups.  The people who can't get enough Worms, (even though it's the same game) and those who want a worms title on the PSP, but don't already own one.  For those still interested, here's the game types you're getting.The campaign. Here you'll take over large chunks of land, collect blueprints and take over islands by winning matches.  It's traditional Worms gameplay at it's best topped off with a boss fight once the four surrounding islands have been conquered.VS mode. This allows you to play with up to 3 friends on one PSP, against computer opponents, or against a mix of the two.  Perfect if your on the go and don't want a lot of hassle connecting two PSPs.Online VS. Here you can connect via ad hoc to another PSP, or hop online and fight against... well nobody.  After trying multiple times over the span of 3 days I couldn't find a single match.  You can download flags and landscapes to use in online matches, which would be great if there were any.Time Attack mode.  You think it would be a, defeat all these enemies as fast as you can game type, but it isn't.  No, you'll instead use your jet pack or rope and fly through some painfully boring landscapes while trying to beat the "tracks" best time.  It's not very fun.  Finally, there's Puzzle Mode.Possibly the games saving grace, Puzzle Mode kept me challenged and gave me the most joy.  In this game type you're given a specific obstacle to overcome, such as not being able to move or only having a specific weapon and you need to try and defeat all the enemies on the screen.  It was fun trying to calculate the velocity needed to throw a magnet, make a mine hit my opponent and watch it blow up in his face, or see if I could hit an activated mine just right with a baseball bat so it blew up at the perfect moment. These puzzles were my favorite part of the entire package, not only because they were something new, but because they made me better at the game.That's about it. The innovation this time around was supposed to be the new "Tactics Mode." Team 17 said this was going to "redefine multiplayer worming" but all it boils down to is selecting something from a menu before a match in an effort to tip the scales in your favor. They also tried to spice the game up by adding a customization option where you can build new weapons with the blueprints found, or by adding some barely entertaining cut scenes into the mix. It just didn't work very well. Look, you can slap all the smiley stickers you want on a rotting carcass but it's still going to smell, and it's still going to be painfully obvious that it's a rotting carcass.And this particular rotting carcass has long loading times.I hope Team 17 can find a way to breathe some new life into this dying franchise because at it's core, Worms games are great. Teddy Grahams are great too but if you eat 14 boxes of Teddy Grahams they're not so great anymore. Only the most dedicated of fans, or someone who's never played a Worms game before should pick up Worms: Battle Islands. If you still want a Worms title for cheap, save some cash and pick up one of the other two titles already available on the PSP.  You'll probably find them in a bargain bin for a fraction of the cost.
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Milking a franchise is one thing, but if you hook a milk machine up to a cow for long enough eventually nothing's going to be left. The cow's going to fall over, die, and the only thing you'll be sucking out are the innards o...

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Team 17: PSPgo's problem was price, not digital content


Jul 30
// Jim Sterling
The PSPgo was a waste of time and space. Objective, scientific, fact. Expensive, restricted, and lacking a library to back up its price, Sony's attempt to produce an "all-digital" handheld didn't work, and Team 17 believes t...
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Worms Reloaded is finally bringing Worms back to the PC


Jul 29
// Aerox
Ahh, Worms. The game my friends and I secretly installed on all the computers in our middle school's computer lab so that we could play instead of doing whatever asinine "Learn how to use a computer!" task we had been assigne...
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Fail: Worms Reloaded is just a rehash of XBLA/PSN games


Feb 25
// Jim Sterling
Ugh.  We, and a fair few readers, were really excited to learn that Team 17 was promising a new Worms game for Steam called Worms Reloaded. The name alone promised a reboot for the hilarious strategy series and we really...
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What? YES! According to Team 17's Martyn Brown, a brand new Worms game is coming to Steam, and the best part is that it'll be a real one, not one of those 3D abominations that I hate because I'm scared of new things. The murd...

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Forget Leisure Suit Larry, judge Team 17 by Worms


Jul 29
// Brad Nicholson
According to studio director Martyn Brown, developer Team 17 should be evaluated based on its latest release -- a downloadable Worms title -- instead of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust. A novel idea considering how dreadf...
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Team 17 calls Microsoft bribe accusations 'bollocks'


Jul 27
// Jim Sterling
Worms enjoyed an exclusive period of time on Xbox Live Arcade before gracing other digital platforms with its presence, and Team 17's other big revival, Alien Breed: Evolution, appears to be doing the same thing. Of course, w...
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Team 17 likes Microsoft better than Sony


Jul 20
// Jim Sterling
Team 17 made quite a few people happy when it announced that Alien Breed Evolution was bringing grub-splattering fun to a new generation of gamers. However, at least one side of the console wars will be happier than the other...

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