The Worms juggernaut rolls on. This is a franchise that's built upon a gaming foundation that's been around since, well, the beginning of video games. From the primordial beginnings of the artillery and strategy genres, the Worms franchise has taken the basics of those games and just kept on running (or inching along, depending on how you look at it). The latest in a long line of games from Team 17 is Worms 3, which, according the press for the game, is "developed exclusively" for iOS. Does that mean they've changed things up from the same formula that's been working for so many years?
In short -- yes and no. While the basic gameplay doesn't deviate too much from the rest of the Worms franchise, Worms 3 has a number of new features that it brings to the table. For instance, your army of slime sticks is now divided into different military classes, such as the Soldier, Heavy and Scout. This new feature seems to be taken straight from the Team Fortress playbook, which is not an unwelcome addition in the least.
On top of this, you can tweak your team of worms, customizing their appearance, voice, and other elements to set them apart. It's a nice bit of personalization that makes you feel a little more attached to your troops. Speaking of Team Fortress, there's an asynchronous multiplayer mode included that will let you take on other Worms lovers out there who have the game running on their iOS devices.
And really, that's where the true fun of this game lies. Like with past Worms games, it was always the best when you were taking on your friends. While there's plenty to enjoy throughout the 27 levels that are included with the single-player experience, it's not the same as the satisfaction you get when you're nuking your pals with a well-aimed air strike.
Another new addition to Worms 3 involves the use of strategic cards that you can use at times to shift the balance of power during a round. While this sounds like it could be disruptive to the core gameplay, the cards thankfully do not hinge on anything too important and are rather there as a supplemental element that you have to earn by playing a lot and collecting coins to purchase them with.
But in terms of the game being "developed exclusively" for iOS? A slightly dubious claim. I didn't feel like there was any particular gameplay element that made it feel as though the game was designed to take advantage of and work seamlessly with the touchscreen interface of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Rather, like Worms 2: Armageddon before it, the game feels like a Worms title that you're just playing on a tablet. In fact, the controls from time to time can feel a bit imprecise, though nowhere near to the point where it impacts anything in the wider scope of things.
For fans of the franchise, Worms 3 delivers what you'd expect. There's nothing here that succeeds or fails by leaps and bounds. Rather, this latest release is another solid, incremental inching forward of one of gaming’s longest-running franchises.