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Worms Crazy Golf

For: Mobile

Fore crying out loud, where's the early birdie when you want it?

Product: Worms Crazy Golf (Java) | Developer: Kukan Games | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Multiplayer | Players: 1-4 | Format: J2ME | File size: 286KB | Reviewed on: W800i other handsets | Version: Europe
Worms Crazy Golf (Java) Mobile, thumbnail 1
Like that funny fizzing candy that popped in your mouth and air-rifle shooting ranges at fairgrounds, crazy golf is a leisure pursuit from another age. It's not hard to explain, we suppose; after all, there are hundreds of things more entertaining than knocking a grubby yellow ball through a few poorly-moulded concrete obstacles and into a hole these days.

Maybe switching the ball for a hand grenade with the pin removed would have livened matters up and crazy golf would still be popular today? Well, if the health and safety kill-joys kept their noses out.

Thankfully, you can get an idea of the fun that would have ensued by playing Worms Crazy Golf, which takes everyone's favourite artillery-packing nematodes to the local 9-hole links.

What takes place then is… well, given the Worms series fondness for high explosives and outlandish humour, it's all surprisingly low-key. You play as a series of worms tasked with blowing up an opposing worm who's been tied to the flag in each hole on a golf course.

The goal, then, is timeless: to blow up the enemy worm. But in Worms Crazy Golf, you've got to do so under par. So you not only have to take out the other side, you have to do it in as few shots as possible.

This is a difficult task to begin with, largely because the controls are tricky to get used to. You're stuck with a single iron and a putter and can adjust the trajectory of your shot with the cross-hairs and the shot strength with the power bar that pops up when you start your swing.

It'll take the first nine holes before you can begin to accurately guess where the grenade's going to end up and even then, the wind that's ever-present in the Pro mode will keep things unpredictable.

For beginners, the breeze-free Amateur mode is tricky enough, particularly when you get a look at the three courses you'll be playing. Each is themed around a particular style, with a fairground, weapons testing facility and the arctic each providing inspiration.

It's an enormous shame though that the courses are devoid of any interest at all. Each is featureless, save for the gradient changes and gaps in the platforms that you play on. The occasional bunker and pond crops up every now and again but they fail to add any entertainment value.

The only change between the three courses is the background picture and colour scheme. For a franchise of games that was built on crazy landscapes caricaturing a cultural stereotype, it's sub-par indeed.

The main draw of Worms games of old was always the unfeasible and comic arsenal of weapons that the participants had access to. Unleashing a Mad Cow or Flying Sheep has become an iconic moment in video gaming. Getting stuck with just a hand grenade in Worms Crazy Golf is like a flying saucer sweet without the sherbet in the middle.

Even the ability to turn the grenade into a timed bomb doesn't add any value, other than to take a shot off your score if you hole it from off the green.

It's all pretty mundane and lacking in the lunatic fun that we've come to expect from the pink wrigglies. While the courses do get progressively harder to navigate, the amount of entertainment diminishes in equal measure.

Only the turn-based multiplayer mode salvages what otherwise would have been a slice into the water: competing against up to three chums is diverting in a shooting-the-breeze kind of way, and will raise a laugh.

While it's not a terrible game, Worms Crazy Golf is far, far removed from the Worms we know and love. If you are after a golf-lite game because the likes of Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh are too much, Monkey Ball Mini Golf should be in your bag instead of Worms Crazy Golf.
Worms Crazy Golf
Reviewer photo
Mike Abolins | 7 March 2007
Coming in over par, these worms need more crazy and less golf
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