Worms World Party
You probably won't thank me for sharing this, but in one glorious three-week spell, worms were responsible for some of the most delicious perversions and ridiculous sexual positions of my life. Before you start phoning the editor, or the RSPCA, allow me to me explain.
I had a girlfriend at the time who liked to gamble, liked to gamble a lot. And, like a sort of digital strip Twister, Worms makes a great icebreaker. It's an ideal game to play for forfeits. Of course, I never played to lose... what do you take me for? That was five years ago. Worms has been knocking about since 1995, and with each incarnation it's become slicker and more polished (in contrast to myself), while steadfastly resisting the temptation to go 3D. Somewhere up north in Worm development land there is a team of chaps wandering about endlessly reciting the mantra 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Early Bird
The idea behind the game is simple enough, taking inspiration from the pre-PC classic Tanks (where you took turns to lob shells at each other), and a dose of attitude from Lemmings.
You have teams of worms who take turns to employ a selection of daft weapons (petrol bombs, skunk, exploding sheep, etc). Last worm standing wins the game. The skill is choosing the right weapon and worm to attack before the timer kicks you off your turn, the fun comes from the degree of vindictiveness it inspires when a few players are gathered around the same PC.
If you've never played Worms and you can lay claim to some friends and a sense of humour, then you owe it to yourself to get a copy. It's the definitive gather-your-mates, post-pub game.
A New Kind Of Thrill?
In terms of weaponry and challenge, Worms World Party is the pinnacle of worm achievement. That's because it's the latest version, cunningly. Problems only come to the surface if you've already got one of the earlier versions. Worms is a one-gag wonder and if it's a gag you've already paid for then you won't be needing it again. Aside from minor additions and a different set of mission-driven games alongside the team match-ups (incidentally, bloody hard at times, those missions), the only really new attraction is the chance to play multiplayer games across the Internet. Hence the 'World Party' tag.
Now you might feel differently from me on this one, but I've tried the Internet play and while it works, it certainly isn't enough to drag my wallet out of whichever dusty crevice I have it tucked away in, even if it is this cheap.
And that's got nothing to do with being unable to collect forfeits over the Internet, thank you. If that were the case, chatrooms would be a whole lot duller. Trust me.