Worms: Crazy Golf

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d loaded up your typical Worms offering.

By fishdalf, Posted 09 Dec 2011

The Worms series holds a place in many gamers hearts and has done for many for the past sixteen years. That’s when my experience with it began, thrashing all that stood before me on my patched-up Amiga, swinging my way to glory Ninja Rope style across its colourful 2D landscapes.  Since then the series has seen many titles come and go, some hit and some miss, but have ultimately maintained those simple yet addictive gameplay mechanics, a steady sense of humour, and that unique way of drawing in both the hardcore and casual gamer.

Worms: Crazy Golf takes a side step away from explosive action, which is a risk in itself, as in the world of video games familiarity usually plays a big role when people push to make a purchase. However, in this instance this is a spin-off that actually walks the right side of that fine line between maintaing the feel of its counterparts, yet going in a direction that has enough substance behind it and an interesting enough concept that people will allow themselves to make the transition.

Worms, Crazy Golf, Review

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d loaded up your typical Worms offering, as graphically it mimics them to a tee – pun intended. The first course in particular – Brittania – is especially pleasing on the eye, with its rocky hangings covered in lush green foliage. The second course – Pirate Cavern – is a little devoid of life, with grey stone paved over the ominous background of a cave dwelled pirate ship. The third course – Graveyard – combines a steady mix of the two, and is plastered with draconian architecture that is naturally trickier to navigate.

Passed your basic walls, floors and the murky water that lines the bottom of the screen, there are other obstacles to contend with, the most common of which are rogue worms that stand in awkward positions. Hitting these results in them self-destructing and leaving a nice big bunker for your ball to sit in. There are also magnets, some attracting and some repelling that can be manipulated via switches; cannons can be entered and used to blast you to otherwise hard to reach places, and housing, such as castles, can also be entered and used as teleports.

In terms of difficulty, the game has a welcoming interface that displays hints and tips in a way that’s easy to comprehend. The only thing that may take a little while to adjust to is the power bar, but with a little practise you’ll be teeing off like a pro. Then as you progress, and unlock the games various utilities that are there to aid your progress, thing’s start to feel like second nature and those birdie’s and albatross’s will make more prolific appearances.

Worms, Crazy Golf, Review

The wacky utilities are a staple of the Worms brand so there’s no surprise they play a major role here. The only problem is they make the task of getting the ball in the hole a little too easy. The parachute, for example, can be deployed and then the ball spun and manipulated in the air so that an almost perfect placement can be achieved in a way that feels a little undeserved. There are restrictions placed upon them, such as a timer, or a certain number of shots, but you’re on to the next hole before it ever becomes a deterrent.

There is a selection of four clubs available to you from the off – Driver, Iron, Wedge and Putter – all of which are upgradeable from the customisation menu and boast difference ratings in power, control and accuracy. Each one does an able job and provides just enough diversity to cater for personal preference, without sacrificing the games easy to approach attitude. In terms of adding further flavour to your Worms, you can purchase different balls, hats and speech banks to apply, from the various coins you can collect throughout the courses, but the level of diversity is nothing to shout home about.

Worms, Crazy Golf, Review

Each course has your standard 18 holes that are unlockable through career and have you looking for par or better to progress. Beyond that there are challenges that are slipped in at various stages between levels, five in total, where the aim of the game may be to hit a number of targets against the clock, or see how many times you can keep your ball bouncing off various objects before it settles. Unfortunately they’re not quite diverse enough from the main portion, and challenge may be stretching it in terms of how difficult they actually are to complete.

A competitive element can be added to proceedings by posting your scores to the online leaderboards, but that’s it as far as any real online element. Multiplayer is purely restricted to offline play, and just like recent releases from the franchise, you can play with up to four players, mapped on one-to-four controllers. Aside from that, what will keep you coming back are the games collectibles that are found littered throughout each course. To earn yourself a nice shiny star for each hole and consider it job done you must collect a hard-to-reach box, coins and earn a certain skill score before putting your way to the finish. These act as nice distractions and are easy enough to achieve, but fill just enough time to give the game some sense of longevity.

Worms, Crazy Golf, Review

For the trophy hunters amongst us the game is a tad easy and those who like treading an easy path can blow through them all in a few hours, with most unlocking on the fly, such as bagging a hole in one. The only one that really requires any sort of skill or patience pops for collecting every star on every hole, excluding the Carnival course, which is unlockable as downloadable content, and is surprisingly one of the better courses available. More courses and trophies are rumoured to be on their way.

In conclusion, the game has very solid playability and feels like a pleasant break from the norm, with large enough chunks of Worms-infused references and the like to stand it apart from other crazy golf games out there. Despite some gripes in certain areas, mainly in maintaining interest over the long haul, its affordable price tag makes it easier to forgive. So if you’re looking for a casual gaming experience, sports or otherwise, which doesn’t take itself too seriously, then this is your bag.

Craig Bryan, NoobFeed
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  • I mostly disagree with this. I found Crazy Golf to be a blemish on the otherwise entertaining Worms franchise, with its bland and repeptitive gameplay and unnaturally slow pace. The game does very little to create diversity or excitement and does it so slowly to boot, it's one of the only Worms titles that is a true snorefest. Is it fun? Maybe for 5 minutes, I won't deny that it has the same quirky qualities as other 2D titles, but seeing as there's a strict goal, most of that fun needs to be lobbed over.

    Posted Dec 12, 2011

  • I felt a little like that at first, but then that jund of went awat after a while. By all means though, I welcome a conflicting review.

    Posted Dec 15, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Team 17
Developer(s): Team 17
Genres: Sports
Themes: Puzzle
Release Date: 2011-10-26

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