I had only just walked into the UK Board Game Expo of 2023 and I had to do a double take. I spotted this game. Worms.
I could not believe what I had just seen and so I took a snap of it. The stall was near the entrance and the day had just started so they were incredibly busy. I couldn’t speak to anyone about it unfortunately. I had intentions on coming back, but got swept up in the occasion of the day and missed that chance as I was only there for the 1 day. How exciting does this game look though!?!
Seeing this little model at the Board game expo brought back so many nostalgic memories. I was a child when the first worms video game was created and my first memory of playing the game was probably back in 1996, playing the original edition on the Sega Megadrive. What a console that was but probably for another blog. A game for up to 4 players, each player controlling a team of 4 worms that competed on a 2D terrain to be the last team standing. The joy of taking turns of usually about 1 minute, then passing your controller on to your friend so they could take their turn. Each team is kitted out with an equal set of starting kit, some of it is infinite like your Bazookas and fire punches, others finite like a mine or a sheep (yes you read that correctly, sheep are weapons in this game). This was a skill game, timing of pressing the buttons being everything, like the amount of power you put into your grenade throw, the angle you choose to fire your weapon at or the moment you make a jump between two platforms (and hope to avoid plunging to your death at the bottom of the sea). This game was revolutionary!
One of the beautiful elements of this game is the terrain can also be blown away with your actions in play. So, as you are firing shot guns, digging with power drills and dropping air strikes on the enemy, the battlefield is constantly being reshaped with these explosive incidents making area’s that perhaps were not passible at the start of the game, possible to get through. On the flip side to this, where there was once land, there then may not be anymore and all that is left is an ocean where many worms find themselves at the bottom of. I’ll be fascinated to see how this element is recreated on the board.
This then moved into Worms 2 for me on the PC followed by Worms Armageddon. What a pair of games these were! As well as the classic team on team format as described above. You could create your team to complete missions and campaigns which un locked further gear. There was even training exercises to aid you in practicing your skills, like a ninja rope training session. You could also control the equipment you started games with as well as having a lot more kit with more weapons and tools to pick from. Which tended to fry your mind, because with a shot clock ticking away, having too many choices of kit invariably meant you ran out of time before achieving your goal for that turn.
Some of my favourite items to play the game with were absolutely bonkers and I would love to see them captured within this board game. How that will be possible is absolutely beyond me though? A lot of these items required skill to be successful in carrying them out. For instance;
The Super Sheep. The sheep was a significantly large bomb that a worm would throw and it would bounce and hop about the battlefield until the player detonated it. The super sheep however vertically launched first and the player had to frantically steer the hyper sensitive (to movement) bomb around the skies and try to direct it into an enemy. I’ve been known to friendly fire with this one.
Pistols, shotguns and Uzis. Some of the classic infinite game weapons but how is the line of sight recreated?
Bazookas and grenades. Weapons influenced by angles and then power of the launch. I remember you had to hold the button down to fire and watch the power bar increase to estimate what was needed. The embarrassing moments though when you accidently tap the button putting no power into the shot and blowing your own Worm away… Hilarious moments.
Holy Hand Grenade. Such a popular weapon. A bouncier and immensely more explosive grenade than the standard grenade. Be very far away when it detonates!
Dynamite. Nothing more malicious than sliding over to the enemy, dropping that Dynamite and running/jumping as quickly as you could back in the other direction whilst that 5 second fuse ticks down. Then watching your opposition getting launched to the other end of the map from the explosion. Absolute class!
Mortal Combat. Then there is the hand to hand combat, with fire punch and dragon ball. Or the humiliating poke, nothing more devastating than watching your opponent poke your worm off a cliff edge into the sea, another worm on the bottom of the ocean.
Tools. Blow Torches, girders, drills… these may be easier to re create but then the ultimate ninja rope. Watching your Worm carry on like Tarzan as they swing across the battlefield. Can this truly be re-created?
Going through these weapons you realise part of the joy of Worms was the funny quotes that popped out of their mouths during play, some of which were quite insulting on performance but always hilarious. Whether it was the classic squeaky worm voice or as the game further developed with later releases, angry Scots or just wacky. They were iconic to the overall gameplay. I can see a lot of players of the board game very much recreating their own voices during play.
Writing this blog about Worms the Board Game truly has been a trip down memory lane for my history with a wonderful video game. I have so many questions of the designers that at this moment cannot be answered from the information out there. I would imagine many fans have similar questions.
So, we can see from the kickstarter page that the kickstarter is due to start in the Summer of this year, 2023. We can see that Mantic Games are creating it and that Team 17 (original video game creators) are heavily involved with Mantic games to ensure quality of the video game is captured on the table-top.
About 1 month on from the UK board game Expo and I cannot see any more details on the internet than what was wrote about by other gaming reporters at the time. It really feels like the developers are keeping this one closely under wraps and we will have to wait longer still for more detail, or maybe they just plan to launch the kickstarter campaign and then the details start coming through. There isn’t even any additional information to be found on Mantic’s website. It’s top secret!
One piece of data that cannot be ignored is the 9000 follows on the kickstarter page. That is huge! 9000 people have saved and registered interest in the game and the number continues to go up. There is a huge appetite for this game, the video game was loved by thousands and so it is critical for the board games success that they deliver on key elements of what fans love about Worms. I have huge confidence the developers will do this and I cannot wait to see how this one turns out.