Archive for October, 2011

Worms Crazy Golf

October 28, 2011

Worms Crazy Golf

 Developer: Team 17

Publisher: Team 17

Players: 1-4

Available On: PC, PS3, iPad, iPhone

Ah, Worms. It  brings back so many great memories of playing the original on my Amiga; the big box with the funky art work, the 3 disks, the black code book for the copy protection, making a load of teams with funny names and characters – ‘Aliens’ was my favourite, with Hicks, Hudson, Ripley, Kane etc in all their Wormy awesomeness. (Get on with it – Ed)

Apologies, it’s why I like reviewing retro games…

This game is in fact the latest release from Team 17, Worms Crazy Golf, which has taken the great Worms concept and added a sporting theme (who would have thought?). Worms Crazy Golf is a fun deviation from the usual Worms format. Instead of the usual war like destruction between a number of teams you take control of a single Worm and play your way through 18 holes of golf. The game retains the familiar Worms design and landscapes but introduces a different style of game play, whilst doing its utmost to keep in the general mayhem and craziness associated with previous Worms games. There are four courses to play; Britannia, Pirate Cavern, Graveyard and Carnival, each with their own unique set of level design, characters and pitfalls.

The game begins with setting up your Worm golfer, including name, voice and other customisations, with more to be unlocked as you progress through the game, such as a range of customisable clubs and hats. Starting a single player game, and choosing career, you are able to choose from Britannia or Carnival, all with a massive 18 holes to play on each course. The courses start off easy to allow the player to get used to the controls, the game then introduce more and more unique abilities and power ups needed in order to solve levels further down the line. Abilities such as; swerving the ball in midair, using a parachute to float your ball down and into position and an array of switches, cannons and shortcuts scattered across the landscape. The initial controls are simple; a power bar dictates the strength of your swing and a trail line to show where the shot is being aimed, some levels feature ‘wind’ so shots (like the bazooka) can be curved. The additional controls are introduced gently and make the course more challenging and more interesting than your average pitch and putt.

The game is simple and fun however, even on easy you must make par or better to unlock the next hole otherwise you cannot progress. A few times I had wished for a ‘restart hole’ feature to crop up, as when you realise you are not going to make par you still have to finish the hole knowing it won’t unlock the next one, which can be a little frustrating. Having played more than a few hours of this it was the only drawback I could find – the graphics are superb and I believe Team 17 excels when it comes to making great looking games. The landscapes are beautifully designed and extremely colourful. The Worms characters are distinct amongst the landscape, as are all the other characters to be found, including a few old favourites, with exploding sheep, old ladies, and odd disgruntled gardeners. These characters can be a help or a hindrance when it comes to playing a shot, but it also adds to the randomness and great humour of the game.

The sound effects are much the same as in previous Worms games, the humour is on top form and adding personality in the voices is still a great feature (I loved Scottish from the original). Most of the sound effects come hand in hand with the environment, whether it is firing your ball from a cannon or scoring a hole in one. The music is a nice background element but nothing outstanding. It seems like Team 17 sat around a table and thought what would the Worms be doing on a Sunday afternoon, taking some time out from the mayhem to relax?

It seems the answer is here. I loved playing this game, fun and simple with plenty of bonuses and customisation to keep the playability going long after you’ve finished the courses, with plenty of scope for an expansion or two. In single player mode there are trophies to collect, and a range of challenges including the familiar Time Attack and Chip In games, the game also includes multiplayer, something I’ll be exploring once I’ve finished the single player career (bring on the pirating). A brilliant addition to the Worms franchise, a sporting triumph and challenging in places but with all the humour and randomness that makes the Worms games so popular.

Below is a few of the features available in the game, as listed on the awesome Team 17 website, including the games original blurb, which sums this game up beautifully. Please visit the site for more information on Worms games available as well as the awesome Alien Breed.

Worms Crazy Golf is a hilarious mixture of the explosive action of Worms and the puzzle-based challenges of crazy golf! All of the trademark Worms humour, comic violence, and cartoon visuals are present, combined with addictive yet accessible golf gameplay. With extensive and replayable single-player options, and hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players, this is not just a load of balls!

Game Features:

EXTENSIVE SINGLE-PLAYER CONTENT:  Single-player career mode – x3 18-hole courses – Britannia, Pirate Cavern and Graveyard, with Steam Achievements. Single-player challenge mode – x15 challenges with leaderboards.

LOCAL MULTI-PLAYER ACTION: Hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players.

HIGHLY REPLAYABLE PUZZLE-BASED GAMEPLAY: Crazy golf! Navigate the hilarious, and increasingly challenging, holes in unique ways with interactive objects, utilities and ball spin.

WORMS HUMOUR AND CHARACTERS:  Worms humour! Exploding sheep, teleports, ball-whacking Old Women, ball-stealing moles, mines, magnets and even new bats!

CRAZY CUSTOMISATION: Customise the name, hat, club, speech and balls of your worm, and earn in-game cash to unlock even more customisation options.

Worms Tribute by uberflash

For some more Worms reviews, and some video of the actual gameplay, take a look at the video below from Ginx TV, which includes Worms Crazy Golf gameplay footage and interviews with the guys at Team 17.

Picture above drawn by uberflash on deviantART, link here!

Team 17 website.



Retro Adverts from Amiga Power

October 13, 2011

Amiga Power 14 June 1992

 Retro Adverts


Amiga Power

After putting up some retro adverts from Amiga Action I thought I’d have a good look through my favourite Amiga magazine from back in the day, Amiga Power, and do the same here! One thing I noticed about the Amiga Action adverts is how many of those games I didn’t actually own, even though I read the magazine and remember seeing the adverts for them. Whilst flicking through Amiga Power I noticed most of the games adverts were either of games I own, or had at least played… is this a coincidence? I just happened to buy and play games because they were in my favourite magazine? Certainly raises a few questions about the power of advertising!
Either way, I was happy to be influenced to buy and play some of these games in the adverts below, I remember every single advert here and own most of the games, one of my favourites (see above) is Fire and Ice, it’s a great advert with a great illustration of the hero cool coyote. A few of my other favourites from the list include; Moonstone (more for the game than the advert), Premiere, the manic Wizkid and the weird and wonderful advert for Harlequin, which, like Premiere, was also the box art for the game. These adverts had a distinct influence on the games I bought, alongside the usual previews, reviews and word of mouth. 
Hope you see a few adverts you remember and that they spark similar memories, it would be great to know which adverts you remember from gaming magazines back in the day, Amiga Power was certainly my favourite Amiga magazine and has clearly been an influence on my Amiga gaming choices and collection.
Amiga Power was definitely my favourite Amiga magazine on the market, it was funny, informative and had a really informal tone which I think made it the most appealing out of all the Amiga mags available. A few of my favourite writers were Dave Golder,  who now works on the awesome SFX Magazine (follow him here on twitter),  Stuart Campbell and Jonathan Davies.
Amiga Power (or AP for short) was a monthly magazine about Amiga computer games. It was published in the United Kingdom by Future Publishing, and ran for 65 issues, from May 1991 to September 1996 (From Wikipedia). Please see the full-page on Amiga Power using this
Please also visit Amiga Magazine Rack for more Amiga magazines and adverts!
Couple of bonus pics I’ve found which can be seen in the gallery above (last two pics)! The Amiga Power team in all their glory, and my entry in The Last Resort section of the mag, asking for help on the game Simon the Sorcerer, this is before you could look things up on the internet. Natch. Thanks to Rich Pelley for answering my question.