Team 17 have really ramped up the Worms machine recently, and following hot on the heals of Worms 3D comes Worms Crazy Golf, released on the PSN, Steam and iOS all at the same time. As a side-on light-hearted game it certainly recalls the graphical charm of the older Worms titles, but surely a golfing game is just cashing in on a popular franchise, right?
Weighing in at a whisker over £6 Worms Crazy Golf sits in a very awkward pricing category, neither cheap enough to be an instant impulse buy and below the bracket that would suggest it’s a big, long-lasting game. What we definitely have, however, is a fun and laid back game that’s genuinely playable and deceptively addictive. A simple set of controls lets you choose from two different swinging methods, either holding the X button to charge up the power meter or using the same button to start and then stop the power. Alongside that you get the option to spin the ball with the left stick, use a few special items, and that’s about it. Items scattered around the three courses make life interesting, with canons, sheep, bats and various other things making life more interesting or challenging, putting it beyond a simple “hit the ball a few times” game.
There are a few ways to play, each of which give you a different challenge or way to play. You’ll spend most of your time in the career mode which takes you through each of the courses hole by hole, with challenges on each hole which will unlock stuff when they’re completed. Completing the hole in a certain number of strokes is a must if you want to unlock the next hole, but you can also collect coins, smash crates or perform skills shots by bouncing the ball of various things on the way to the hole. The crates are a fun diversion; each one unlocks something in the shop, be it a new voice bank, a new ball design or whatever. These unlocked items can be bought using the coins you collect on each hole, so after a few holes you’ll have a bit of cash to spend on a football-designed golf ball or whatever. There are a handful of challenge modes and holes as well to try out to keep things fresh.
You’ve got multiplayer too, but it’s offline only which means you’ll need your friends with you if you want to challenge them. It’s a shame that there’s no actual online play, and this would really have made a big difference to the fun factor, but there we are. Visually Worms Crazy Golf is fairly pretty; the courses are colourful and crisp, and although we won’t be seeing any awards for design brilliance they do capture the Worms charm quite nicely. Sound wise is much as you’d expect, a quite game with the occasional scream of an exploding worm that’s just been smacked round the head by a flying golf ball. It’s a good job you can buy further voice packs with your in-game coins though, as there aren’t all that many phrases for each set.
It’s quite tricky to pin a score onto this, because while you’re playing through (something that will take you a few hours) it feels like there’s not a lot to be had, but when you go back and try to get all of the awards on each level life gets more tricky and you could easily end up getting quite addicted. There are only three courses, but they’re all well designed and have a good variety of hole layouts to keep you guessing. There’s DLC available, but whether or not you’d want to splash out more cash when you’ve already paid for the game is questionable. Basically, it boils down to one question. Do you want a light-hearted game that will give you a few hours of entertainment, a bit of a challenge and the option to play against your friends, albeit in the same room? If so, then the Worms charm will shine through and you’ll enjoy this. It’s not everything it could’ve been, but it is enjoyable and a solid effort from Team 17.
Reviewed on PS3