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Worms (1995 video game)


Worms is an artillery video game developed by Team17 and released in 1995. It is the first game in the Worms series of video games and was initially only available for the Amiga. Later it was ported to other platforms.Worms is a turn based game where a player controls a team of worms against other teams of worms that are controlled by a computer or human opponent. The aim is to use various weapons to kill the worms on the other teams and have the last surviving worm(s).

Gameplay

Worms is a turn based artillery game, similar to other early games in the genre such as Scorched Earth. The game is set on a two-dimensional field. The players control a team of worms, each 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 grenades and airstrikes. The game also includes a number of ‘secret’ weapons (available through cheat codes on options screens or ‘weapon drops’ during the game) such as the Banana Bomb and exploding sheep, for which the series has become famous.

Also available are various tools such as the ‘girders’ – primarily used to add protection – as well as the ‘drill’, ‘blowtorch’ and ‘ninja rope’, which are primarily available for greater mobility across the playing field.

Development

The game was originally created by Andy Davidson as an entry for a Blitz BASIC programming competition run by the Amiga Format magazine, a cut-down version of the programming language having been covermounted previously. The game at this stage was called Total Wormage (possibly in reference to Total Carnage) and it did not win the competition. Davidson sent the game to several publishers with no success. He then took the game to the European Computer Trade Show, where he met with Mark Foreman – Head Games Buyer at GEM Distribution. Mark suggested to Andy that he should speak to Ocean/Team17 as they would be an ideal partner – they also had a stand at the show. Team17 made an offer on-the-spot to develop and publish the game.[3][4]

During the development of Worms 2, Andy Davidson wrote Worms – The Director’s 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, it looks like an enhanced version of the original game. Only 5000 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, Yorkshire, is visible, with a soundbank named “Tykes”, which is a Yorkshire accent, and in the “Hell” level found in the single player mission mode, a sign with “Welcome to Ossett! Ha! ha! ha!” written on it.

Character, level and 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’.

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