Review: Worms Crazy Golf

Fed up of raging all-out war upon each other using banana bombs and exploding sheep, the Worms are now taking up the traditionally more peaceful sport of crazy golf. Thing is, this is Worms, so the ratio of ‘Crazy’ to ‘Golf’ is about 16,000 to 1.

Worms Crazy Golf isn’t the best game in the world by a long shot, but what it is instead is a  reasonably fun little time-waster that is generally bogged down by difficulty spikes, lack of online multiplayer and reasonably poor rewards. That said, there are glimmers of fun between the negatives of Worms Crazy Golf, and while you’re likely to fling your controller at the screen after missing a ‘Par’ for the umpteenth time, something about the game keeps you playing until you can’t take any more Crazy Golf.

The game, essentially, is a 2D golf game that uses the license of Worms to full affect. You’ll still be hearing the traditional squeaky cries of ‘Kamikaze!’, Worms will still blow themselves up (this time when they’re whacked on the head with a golf ball), and each level is set out in the multi-layered and complex ways that Worms levels traditionally are. This is where things get tricky though – since you’re no longer simply bombarding enemy worms using a wide variety of mad-cap weaponry as you may be accustomed to playing worms, instead you’re now navigating a golf ball through a difficult course filled with enemy worms, traps, pitfalls, cannons and lord knows what else.

 

This means that, at times, Worms Crazy Golf can be highly frustrating. Some of the holes on the crazy golf course are so hard that it is almost seemingly impossible to grab a rating of ‘par’, and anyone who can manage to scrape an eagle on some of the more tricky holes is – in my opinion – a god. This then leads to multiple play-throughs of the same hole as, in Career mode, you can’t progress to the next hole unless you achieve a par rating ( a fact that rapidly gets rather annoying).

Yet something about this game keeps you coming back for more. Whether its timeless love for the Worms franchise or a determination not to be defeated by golf-club wielding worms, I’m not sure, but I found myself becoming curiously addicted to the title as time progressed. While the holes are difficult, there are moments when you can appreciate the intricacies of them, and finding the right solutions to the holes in order to get the best scores can be very challenging but rewarding. See, just when you think you’ve sussed Worms Crazy Golf, they introduce a new mechanic. Things that throw your ball off the course come regularly in the form of everything from magnets to deranged old ladies who do not take kindly to being hit on the head with a golf ball. This means you will have to routinely plan each and every shot, carefully weighing up which mechanics you’ll have to use to get the optimum distance and, while it doesn’t work perfectly a lot of the time, careful planning will help you to get around the courses much easier.

As you may expect, Worms Crazy Golf allows you to choose from a variety of clubs, which can be exchanged upon unlocking new ones. These clubs range from highly accurated to ridiculously powerful, so finding the right balance is essential for success within this title. Once you’ve chosen your clubs, your worm will then be dropped into the golf course, and its your job to use the traditional worms angle/power meter in order to whack your ball forth into the unknown, hoping that it doesn’t fall instantly into the water below. It takes a bit of a learning curve at first to know where the ball is going to go and what power you need dependant on what club you use, but I’m sure you’ll soon pick it up if you care to try for long enough.

In addition to the goal of getting to the hole (which sounds exceptionally wrong, but never mind), WCG’s courses also give you additional challenges including exploding a set number of sheep, killing all other worms on the map, collecting coins, and destroying crates. Now for the life of me I can find absolutely no way possible to do this and get a par rating – I can only assume that it means you have to either focus on the other tasks or instead go for a traditional golfing score.

WCG also contains a number of unlockables for you to play around with, meaning that as you progress, you can edit your worm using a variety of clothing and even different accents. A particular favourite of mine was the sheep-hat, which literally, as you may guess, puts a sheep on your worms’ head for absolutely no apparent reason whatsoever other than that it is effortlessly brilliant. You buy these rewards by redeeming points earned on-course, so be sure to get out there and play, play and play again until you get everything. If you can last that long playing the game, that is.

A lack of a online multiplayer suite, however, means you’re probably not going to invest that much time and effort into Worms Crazy Golf. It can be fun at a while, but you have to think it would be a lot better if you could take the action online and compete against others. There is a local multiplayer suite which you can use to challenge your friends, but it would be much better if you didn’t have to call them around every single time you wanted a challenge.

In summary, Worms Crazy Golf is not a bad game. It takes the Worms license and changes it up slightly by adding golf mechanics, and the unlockables and challenges keep you playing for a good while. Difficulty spikes and those damn annoying old women who hit your ball away with their umbrellas, however, make the game a frustrating experience at times. Worms Crazy Golf is therefore basically a game of two halves – slightly fun at times, while causing you to try to smother yourself with a pot plant (or whichever other inanimate object is nearby) at others.

Score: 6/10

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