Worm vs Birds In Review – It’s Not An Angry Birds Clone!

Team 17 made the idea of militaristic worms amusing, and of course we have Rovio to thank for the prolifiration of birds in way too many physics based games.  Now Chillingo brings the two together in its latest published puzzle game, Worm vs Birds.  I was a bit worried this was going to be another Angry Birds style game, but instead it plays a lot like Stupid Zombies, and quite frankly has me just as hooked as that one did.  Three star junkies can rejoice as well, because this game really makes you work hard at earning that last star on some levels.

You play an oddly gigantic worm that has decided to avenge all of his fallen brethren by ridding the world of as many nasty avians as possible.  Thankfully you have a useful cannon and some deadly snails at your disposal.  Your task is to clear each level before your ammo runs out.  If you’re really lucky, or very persistent, you’ll eventually be able to clear a level with one shot, which in most cases is the only way to get three stars.  You simply need to finish a level to move on to the next one, but you’ll need stars so unlock additional worlds and eventually Nightmare mode.

For most types of ammo you’ll simply drag a line from the cannon to where you ultimately want to fire.  Unlike many cannon based games I’m not sure that there’s any control over power here, but rather just an initial determination of trajectory on your part.  There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, such as the air strike snail that allows you to tap where you want to the strike to start from, and the GPS snail that allows you to tap where you want to target.  Additionally, one of the level sets has an extra button that lets you toggle between night and day, and another level set requires you to tap a jump button occasionally to keep some baby worms out of harm’s way.

There are currently 4 level sets with a total of 60 levels, and there is a decent balance between easy and difficult levels.  As mentioned earlier one level set has a day / night feature, and you’ll need to use this in order to be able to see certain birds that only appear at night.  Of course you still have to aim when it’s daytime!  Another level set has little worms that have gotten mixed in the fray, and the level ends immediately if you shoot one of them.  There’s also a nightmare mode that challenges you to make it through 60 levels in one try.  Yep – if you fail at one level you have to start back from the beginning.  Crystal is the social game network of choice for achievements here, and you can also use Twitter and Facebook to let the world know of your progress.

The character graphics are cute.  The birds keep themselves busy while you’re shooting at them, and even the snails waiting to be shot out of the cannon are animated.  The backgrounds are decent as well.  The only thing I didn’t care for were the platform graphics, which for some reason seemed a bit blah to me.  The sound effects are pretty standard, though I do like the noises the birds make, especially since each one has a unique sound when getting pummeled with snails.  The music is pretty good at first, and in small doses stays that way for the most part.  I wouldn’t recommend sitting on a given level for any length of time, tough, as the tunes will start to grate on you after a while.

Worm vs Birds is another physics puzzle game triumph for Chillingo.  It’s aesthetically pleasing, well balanced and offers a good variety between level layout and different ammo types.  Nightmare mode is a nice touch and sure to keep even skilled players busy for a while.  If anything I’d like to have a bit less repetitive music, and a way to cancel once you’ve selected special ammo would be appreciated as well.  Overall, though, I’d definitely recommend Worm vs Birds to puzzle fans in general and definitely to fans of Chillingo games.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Worm vs BirdsDeveloper: Chillingo Ltd
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:3.2
Price:$0.99App Size:
  • Simple, challenging game play
  • Nice variety in levels
  • Great character design
  • Social network integration
  • Music gets repetitive
  • Can’t cancel special ammo selection

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