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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Worms


Worms World PartyWorms is a series of turn-based computer games with the common theme of players each controlling a small platoon of worms across a two-dimensional (and, in more recent games, three-dimensional), deformable landscape. The series is decidedly tongue-in-cheek, typified by cartoon-style graphics and an eclectic and bizarre set of weapons. Worms is part of a wider genre of turn-based games in which each player controls characters who duel with projectile weapons; predecessors include Scorched Earth and Gorilla. The game, whose concept was devised by Andy Davidson, is thought to have been inspired by Lemmings, with which it shares many similarities.

Contents
1 Games in the series
2 The game
3 Weapons and tools
4 Online play
4.1 Battle Race
4.2 Bazookas and Grenades
4.3 Capture the Flag
4.4 Elite
4.5 Fort
4.6 Rope Race
4.7 Roper
4.8 Shopper
5 External links




Games in the series
The Worms series consists of, in order of production, the original Worms game, Worms Reinforcements, Worms & Reinforcements United, Worms: Director's Cut, Worms 2, Worms Armageddon, Worms World Party, Worms 3D, Worms Forts: Under Siege, and Worms 4 : Mayhem, as well as a number of smaller spin-offs including Worms Pinball and Worms Blast. The game was originally a fan project, created with a cut-down version of Blitz BASIC given away with an issue of Amiga Format magazine. It later evolved into a full commercial game, developed by Team 17 originally for the Commodore Amiga computer. These games have been released regularly since the mid-1990s, and are available for Windows and Mac based computers, Amiga systems, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Nokia N-Gage, SNES, Sony PlayStation , Sega Saturn, and PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and possibly others.

During the development of Worms 2, Andy Davidson wrote Worms - The Director's Cut, an exclusive special edition produced exclusively for the Amiga. This was, to his eyes, the pinnacle of the series. Featuring weapons not seen in any Worms game before or since, it looks like an enhanced version of the original game. Although many die-hard fans feel it is the best Worms game ever made, only 5000 copies were ever sold.

In 2003, Worms 3D was released. This was the first game in the series to bring the annelid characters into a three-dimensional environment. It features an innovative poxel engine, described as a hybrid of polygons and voxels (the 3-D analogues of pixels). This allows for pseudo-realistic terrain deformation similar in style to the 2-D games, in which the terrain was represented by a bitmap.

The latest complete game in the series is Worms Forts: Under Siege, for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. It was released in November 2004 and features the biggest variation on the gameplay that the series has yet to see. Rather than fighting only worms on a fully destructible land, your worms are able to build forts. The object of the game has changed from only killing the worms, as you can now win a game by destroying the opponent's fort.

Worms 4: Mayhem will be released in mid-late 2005, aiming to be a revamp of the original Worms 3D engine, featuring smoother terrain deformation and making extensive use of cel-shading techniques. The gameplay will be much the same as it was in Worms 3D, but new gameplay modes will be introduced.

Two new 2D Worms games, one for Nintendo DS, the other for Sony PSP, have been announced to be in production. Both will be specifically designed for the handheld systems. No release date is currently set.




The game
Each player controls a team of several worms. During the course of the game, players take it in turns to select one of their worms and use whatever tools and weapons are available to kill the opponents' worms and win the game. Worms may move around the terrain in a variety of ways, some requiring particular tools such as the "Bungee" and "Ninja Rope". Each turn is time-limited to ensure that players do not hold up the game with excessive thinking or moving.

Over fifty weapons and tools may be available, but games are usually played with a reduced and thus less complicated arsenal, the settings for which are often saved into a "scheme" for easy selection in future games. Over time players have developed and refined a large number of very different and unusual schemes that do not always stick to the traditional worms gameplay.

Other scheme settings allow reinforcement crates to be deployed, from which additional weapons can be obtained; "Sudden Death" whereby the game is rushed to a conclusion after a time limit expires; and the inclusion of terrain objects such as land mines and explosive barrels.

Most weapons, when used, cause explosions that deform the terrain, removing chunks. The landscape is an island floating on a large body of water, or a restricted cave with water at the bottom. A worm dies when it enters the water (either by falling off the island, or through a hole in the bottom of it), or when its health is reduced to zero by, most commonly, contact with explosions.


Weapons and tools
Main article: Worms weapons and tools

A feature that makes Worms known among many gamers is its wide variety of weapons. As new versions are released, new weapons are added to the collection, and very few are removed, if any. As a result, newer games offer about 50 weapons.

Since Worms Armageddon, weapons that were intended to aid as utilities rather than damage-dealers (though some of them can also be used to deal damage when used in certain ways) were classified as tools. This classification mainly differs in the fact that they don't fall in ordinary weapon crates, and instead appear on toolboxes.


Online play
In Worms Armageddon and Worms World Party, and all future games of the Worms series, there is a feature called WormNET that allows players to compete over the Internet, using a Metaserver. There are a variety of unusual schemes that have been developed and refined by the WormNET community that are often played instead of the official schemes created by the original developer of the game. Some schemes have "rules" that are not enforced by the game itself, but are expected to be followed by players for the purposes of playability.

For reference purposes aimed at new players already familiar with the game in general, these schemes are described here (victory requires destruction of all opponents unless otherwise stated):


Battle Race
In Battle Race (BR) The terrain resembles a maze and is indestructible (unaffected in any way by use of weaponry). The object of the game is not to kill the opponents' worms but to be the first player to move your worm from the "Start" to the "Finish", which often takes many turns. The Start and Finish denote small regions of the terrain, normally marked by S and F respectively, formed out of the terrain itself. At the beginning of the game all players must place their worm, and do so by clicking in the Start region. The game ends when a player reaches the Finish, and all other players are obliged to surrender.


Bazookas and Grenades
With the Bazookas and Grenades (BnG) scheme you are allowed only to use bazookas and grenades, and some close combat weapons, to attack the enemy. "Anchoring" is a common setting in this scheme, whereby the worms are denied movement unless through the use of a tool such as "Blowtorch" or "Teleport", which the player is limited to a small allocation of each. A common rule in BnG is "no baking"/"no sitting" (among other names). This means a player cannot use the 5 second fuse on the grenade; more specifically, the player cannot drop a grenade next to the opponent and allow the fuse to burn down - the grenade must explode before it comes to a rest.


Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag (CTF) is a variation of the Fort scheme (see below). In this variation, victory can also be achieved by destroying the opponent's "flag", usually a small icon drawn into the terrain.


Elite
Elites are standard games similar to the default intermediate scheme which are usually played 1v1. The difference is that there is a higher degree of skill and strategy required due to only 20 seconds per turn. There are no rules, but other noticeable differences in the set scheme include the placing of worms at the start of the game, instant mines and the rapid water increase in sudden death.


Fort
Players are divided up into two teams. Each team places their worms on a pre-decided side of the terrain, which is normally fashioned to resemble two castles with a body of water between them. Invading the opponent's fort by sending a worm to the other side is normally forbidden, as is "fishing" whereby crates on a team's fort are stolen by the enemy.


Rope Race
Rope Race (RR) is essentially a Battle Race, but with all weapons disabled and only "Ninja Rope" at your disposal. You place your worm or worms at the location marked Start. Attacking (knocking) other worms is a cow. Try to keep your parachute active, so you do not lose your turn if you fall. To win, get your worm to the location marked Finish, or in some games, there and back. If you have two worms, you can win either by getting both to Finish, or one there and back.


Roper
Ropers (aka "Propers" or "ProRopers") are popular games in which a cavern terrain is used to stage a display of considerable skill with use of the "Ninja Rope", where players attempt to kill each other by launching Land Mines, Bazookas and Grenades from the Ninja Rope after first collecting a crate (this collection is compulsory and abbreviated as the "CBA" rule (Collect Before Attack/Crate Before Attack)) Attacking a player in last position (i.e. lowest total health) is forbidden by the "ABL" rule (All But Last) unless other players' worms are also injured in the same attack (the "Piles" rule).


Shopper
Shopper (aka "Shoppa") games utilize the CBA, ABL, and AFR (Attack From Rope) rules. Players attack from a rope if the weapon is compatible, and it's required that players attack each other with whatever weapons they can collect from crates. Variations of this are W2W (Wall to Wall), in which players are required to have their worm touch both walls of the map or other designated walls before attacking. Newer variations of W2W include W3W, W4W, W5W, W6W and sometimes more. Another variation is "Fly Shoppa", in which the map contains a large obstacle in the center over which players must "fly" by launching their worms from ropes, soaring to the other side before being allowed to attack. The Shopper game has unique maps, usually of a cityscape. One of the first maps to start this trend was "City Shopping 2001", by a player called Dogma. The "City Shopping 2002" map, also by Dogma, became one of the most well-known maps in the game, for its excellent design, hiding holes, and pitfalls.

12:30 PM

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