Worms is one of those rare games that steps past all of the high profile multimedia fluff and concentrates on delivering what gamers really thirst for - an entertaining play session. Everything about this title, from its kill everything that moves concept to its arrow key control, is designed with simplicity and entertainment in mind.
Like the board game Othello, Worms takes only a few minutes to learn, but may take a lifetime to master. Players take turns (up to 16 can play) moving a small worm around a randomly generated landscape and using a nasty weapon set that includes bazookas, shotguns, and fragmentation grenades (my personal favorite). More than just a simple shoot-'em-up, Worms requires players to develop a delicate touch when choosing the best angle and force to fire weapons (this is the lifetime-to-master bit). You'll also have to design complex strategies using the game's non-lethal optionsdigging tunnels, building girders, and teleporting. The more time players invest in the game, the more subtleties they'll discover and the more adept they'll become.
Even though Worms isn't the most technologically advanced title, the graphics and sound create a fantastic atmosphere. Rendered cutscenes are humorous enough to keep players interested, and short enough that they're never boring. Sound effects are equally impressive, featuring loads of Lemmings-like speech that makes killing your opponent very satisfying. The end product is a perfect example of how much programmers can achieve with a small budget. This unselfish game will even run on a 386 with 4 megs of RAM.
Worms does have its drawbacks. Since the game is turn-based, a large multi-player game can take what seems like ages to play, and the game's keyboard interface often makes it hard to achieve subtle changes in weapon angle and shot velocity. All in all, though, Worms is an inexpensive game that offers an exciting strategy competition, a lot of laughs, and fantastic replay value.