Box art of Worms (1995) for PC
East Point Software (Game Boy, Mega Drive, and SNES)
Virtual Boy (cancelled)
|Release date|| Amiga, CD32, Game Boy, Playstation, Apple Mac|
1 June 1995
31 October 1995 (Retail)
19 October 2011 (Steam)
29 September 1996
|Rating|| ELSPA: 3+|
ESRB: Kids to Adults (1995)
ESRB: Everyone (2011)
|Genre||Turn-based strategy, artillery|
Worms was the first in a series of artillery games mostly developed by Team17 and released in 1995. Though initially only available for the Amiga, it was later ported to several other systems. In 2011, Team17 did a re-release of this game on Steam.
The game was originally created by Andy Davidson. The game is based on the 2D classic Artillery, and originally did not feature Worms, but the Lemmings from the popular game of the same name. Andy Davidson was working on a program called "Jack the Ripper" for the Amiga personal computer, which allowed him to trawl the residual contents of RAM after applications had been run and quit. In this way, he "ripped" the graphics from Lemmings, and used them while developing his version of Artillery. The original name of the game was Lemartillery, and it was created purely as a bit of fun for Andy and his school friends in 1993. The positive reaction he witnessed encouraged him to develop it further. Knowing he could never commercially release the Lemmings characters, he changed them for Worms and changed the name of the game to Total Wormage (most likely as a reference to Total Carnage, another game from the 90's).
Andy entered the game as an entry for a Blitz BASIC programming competition run by the popular Amiga Format magazine, a cut-down version of the programming language having been cover-mounted previously. Andy was unsuccessful, he sent the game to several publishers to no avail. Undeterred, Andy then took the game to the European Computer Trade Show in London in September 1994, where Team17 had a stand. Team17 made an offer on the spot to develop and publish the game after renaming it Worms.
During the development of Worms 2, Andy Davidson wrote Worms: The Directors Cut, a 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. Only 5,000 copies were ever sold. It was also the last version released for the Commodore Amiga platform from which the game originated.
The references to the developers' home county, West Yorkshire, is visible, with a soundbank named "Tykes", which is a Yorkshire accent (and also the nickname of Yorkshire football team Barnsley FC), and in the "Hell" level found in the single-player mission mode, a sign with "Welcome to Ossett! Ha! Ha! Ha!" written on it.
Similar to other early artillery games such as Scorched Earth (the computer game), the game is set on a two-dimensional field. The players control a team of Worms, each team consisting of four members. The objective is to kill every member of the opposing team(s) within a set time limit per round. Each turn, which lasts from 45 to 100 seconds, a player may move a selected Worm and use one or more of the available weapons and tools.
The weapons include simple firearms like the Shotgun and Uzi, alongside a variety of heavy weapons such as the Bazooka (the default selection), Cluster Bomb and Air Strike. The game also includes a number of "secret" weapons (available through cheat codes on options screens or Crate drops during the game) such as the Banana Bomb and Sheep, for which the series has become famous.
Also available are various tools such as the Drill, Blowtorch, and Girders - often used to add protection, adding additional strategy elements. The Ninja Rope, Bungee, and Teleport are also available for greater movement across the playing field.
Character, Level & Sound Design
The game's graphics and sound design is primarily "cartoon-like" (though less so than the later games in the series). Levels designs are randomly generated by the use of alpha-numeric strings. The object and landscape sets used to generate the field are arranged into "themes" including forests, martian landscapes, beaches and "hell".
Weapons & Utilities
Originally written in-game as all caps:
- 1 Up: Ginger, Smidge, Fluff, Dodger
- 2 Up: Rusty, Clanger, Noggin, Jasper
- 3 Up: Barney, Gonk, Nasher, Ferret
- 4 Up: Wiz, Gonz, Fallon, Kelvin
- Fab Four: John, Paul, George, Ringo
- Royalty: Elizabeth, Charles, Diana, Phillip
- Top Dogs: Lassie, Scooby, Rebel, Beethoven
- Takethis: Gary, Mark, Howard, Jason
- Coolcars: 911 Turbo SE, Testarossa, Diablo, Esprit
- All 4 1: Aramis, Porthos, Dartagnan, Athos
- Waterloo: Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha, Anni-Frid
- F A B: Lady Penelope, Scott, Brains, Parker
- Merrymen: Robin Hood, Little John, Maid Marion, Friar Tuck
- Utensils: Teaspoon, Fork, Wooden Spoon, Whisk
- Teddies: Rupert, Pooh, Paddington, Yogi
- Team 17: Spadge, Clogz, Beefy, Boggy B
- Team17 planned on producing Worms for the Virtual Boy back in 1995. Though, after a few weeks, they cancelled this plan due to the lack of interest of the publisher and the expected failure of the Virtual Boy.
- You can make levels out of pound banknotes, the currency of England.
- The cinema ad shows the troublesome student turning into a worm from the cover art at the right side, then it shows the Worms Logo and the requirements and then the teacher turns into a worm too but different.
- Official Worms series website
- Worms at Worms Knowledge Base
- Worms guide at StrategyWiki
- Worms at MobyGames
|2D variants||First Generation|
Worms Open Warfare •
Worms (2007) •
Worms Open Warfare 2 •
Worms: A Space Oddity •
Worms 2: Armageddon •
Worms Reloaded •
Worms Battle Islands