Worms W.M.D Mobilize

Worms W.M.D Mobilize


Worm WMD Mobilize

It’s with a mixture of pride and sadness that on picking up this game to review I realised I’ve been playing Worms titles for 27 years… right back to the original PC game; and through many of the 18 mainline entries there’s been.  Despite the increases in technology and computing performance in that time that I’ve carried in my pocket, I’ve never once considered it would make a great mobile port – until now.  Let’s be clear, it’s not that I think it wouldn’t translate, it just never crossed my mind that the annelid based warfare that I played so much of in my university years (we had full year long leagues going in our student house) was now a perfect fit for the communications marvel I carry everywhere.  Of course it is, it’s obvious once the penny drops, and with relish I set about Worms W.M.D Mobilize to re-discover my love of the franchise.

This isn’t the first mobile Worms game, 5 have come before across handhelds and phones, but it is the only one based on a game released after 2010.  Pulling from the 2015 release, Worms W.M.D Mobilize is a slightly cut down version with retooled controls to suit the touchscreen interface.  It is pure unadulterated Worms though, that hasn’t been tampered with.  If you’ve never come across the franchise – or any of its spinoffs like Flockers – you’ll be taking control of a team of cartoon worms who are intent on destroying another team of cartoon worms.  Each team takes it in turns to move around the map and decide on a course of action, typically something explosive, and executes an attack before the timer counts down.  Successfully wiping out the opposition grants you the win and the accolades that come with it.  It’s a very simple premise that works brilliantly because no two rounds are ever the same, in part driven by the variety of tools of destruction on hand.

Worms W.M.D Mobilize doesn’t skimp on the hardware or the terrain destruction they can cause.  The classics are there like the bazooka, grenade and shotgun, as the more exotic holy hand grenade, banana bomb and super sheep; and there are the newer additions in the form of mechs, tanks and helicopters which add to the locomotion as much as the firepower.  Depending on the level there may even be artillery emplacements or machine gun nests to take control of, each of which open new tactical avenues.  As with every Worms title, the weapons are the fun part, and figuring out favourites and their peculiar mechanics is part and parcel of the gameplay, so it’s great that it all manages to translate to the very small screen.  You’ll get to try out quite a lot of the aggressive and mobility items in the 10 training levels, then put your learned skills to the test in the 20 campaign missions.  Really though, the main fun is to be had battling another human opponent.

Whilst the wonders of the internet and mobile phone data plans mean you can fight anyone in the world from anywhere in the world (with a signal at least), nothing beats setting up a local multiplayer match and trash talking each other as you punt worms off cliffs, bash them into mines, blast them with dynamite, or just hit them with a good old fashioned airstrike.  It’s easily done and as satisfying as you’d expect, though this and the single player portions probably lay bare the biggest issue Worms W.M.D Mobilize has.  It’s not a major one, it just needs some work on your finger placement.  Movement and interaction controls on the touchscreen need pretty precise triggering, and it’s very easy to slightly miss one meaning wasting time or tapping the wrong button.  Most heinous for the Worms hardcore is that pulling off tricksy ninja rope moves are nigh impossible.  It’s rarely detrimental as there are other ways of moving around, it’s more an impact on the flow of the game, especially considering how slick it is.  Pairing a controller with your phone solves a lot of the problems, yet that’s hardly something you’ll want to lug around.

It’s impressive then, it really is, and will help in bringing the joy of classic cartoon violence to a new audience.  At the very least it keeps those of us with high levels of nostalgia entertained for the limited time we might get to game when out and about.  Level size is just about right for the screen, though expect to have to zoom in and out a lot to line up shots, and match length nearly perfect with short rounds taking between 5 and 15 minutes.  Customisation comes naturally with successfully completing the side objectives and levelling up, and delivers various voice packs and visual goodies for the teams to help mix things up.  Could there be a bit more content?  If you’re a single player fan then you might miss the 10 levels that were in W.M.D’s main release, but those who enjoy human competition will find loads of replay opportunity, and don’t worry if you’ve not got a friend in the room, the invites integrate with WhatsApp and the like to make it easy to get connected.  It’s a great port of a great game, and Worms W.M.D Mobilize is definitely one for veterans and rookies alike.

An Android review copy of Worms W.M.D Mobilize was provided by Team 17’s PR team, and the game is available now on iOS and Android for around £6 depending on device and location.

The Verdict


The Good: Worms in mobile form | Decent longevity | Fun for short play sessions

The Bad: Slightly fiddly movement controls | Zooming in and out is needed… a lot

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Co-founder & Editor at Codec Moments

Gamer, F1 fanatic, one half of the Muddyfunkrs DJ duo (find us over on Hive Radio UK), MGS obsessed, tech geek.

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