Worms Blast - GBA

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Also for: PC, PS2, Power Mac, GameCube
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Strategy: Combat
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Team17 Soft. Co.: Team17
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 6 Dec 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Connectivity: Link Cable


Worms, the eternal force emanating out of Wakefield, Yorkshire, returns from a "finding itself" mission with a hefty debt to Taito of Japan. One of the best-selling game franchises of all time, this GBA outing takes a break from the much loved sociopathic invertebrate mechanic and delivers a strangely familiar puzzle game.

Now, not a lot of people know this, but Worms almost never made the jump to home console, following its runaway success on PC. Sony Computer Entertainment rejected the game outright when it was first presented. And the reason? It wasn't 3D. It was 2D, and the PlayStation wasn't willing to host a game that, it said at the time, should have belonged on the SNES. Team17 went back up to Wakefield and began cooking up a colossal humble pie. Several months later it was force-feeding it to Sony.

So, after the initial explosion of Worms mania throughout the world, we have been treated to over ten spin-off and sequels, that have seen everything from online Worms mayhem to portable pinball.

This however, is the strangest to date. Treading delicately, Worms Blast is "very much inspired" by Taito's Bubble Bobble spin-off, Puzzle Bobble, known as Bust-A-Move in the west. You play competitively, with the aim of removing all of the coloured blocks that loom above your character. This is done by connecting blocks of the same colour. The first to clear the screen wins.

In an attempt to avoid the wrath of Taito, the developers have thrown in a pleasant array of power-ups and some of the best colour-explosions seen since Bangai-O.

The game comes complete with Puzzle mode, Tournament mode and a pleasant 2-player Vs mode, all of which rely on the basic mechanic of matching colours.

Well worth a look.