AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Fox Video Games

Worm War I
Ok, here's yet another Space Invaders/Galaxian clone. But if I were to chastize every single ripoff, I'd almost run out of games to positively review! That said, Worm War I is a decent, if not amusing, take on the slide-and-shoot theme. It has appeal basically to the younger person or one new to game play, but for those specific groups this game is serviceable.

The object is to collect as many points as possible by "driving" a tank through an obstacle course that also features wily worms and pagoda gas stations. Don't laugh, I'm serious. The so-called tank rests at the bottom of the screen. It is walled-in on both sides by vertical rows of colored blocks. The joystick controls the tank and may move it left or right, but not up and down. Tilting the joystick increases the speed while tilting the stick back decreases momentum. The firing button may be used for intermittent or continuous firing.

At the top of the playing screen, you'll see a set of numbers for the score and for your fuel level. The level of fuel is gauged by units. As each of the battles begins the player is given 99 fuel energy units, and must use thesse to best advantage by getting through the course. The only way to replenish thesse energy units is to drive through one of the pagoda gas stations mentioned earlier.

There are three play options from which to choose: the one with the obstacle course, the clear screen straightaway and the invisible worm field. When the game begins, the blocks along the side of the wall begin to move downward, disappearing into the lower portion of the screen. This is supposed to indicate forward movement. A unit of fuel is lost for each block that passes from the screen. Fuel units are also lost if the tank crashes into any object on the screen, whether worms, blocks or pagodas.

The rate of speed is entirely controlled by joystick, so the option to go slow or fast may be made or changed at any time. All objects appear in the upper portions of the screen and move in a downward scrolling fashion. The faster you move through a pagoda the more fuel energy units you may accumulate, so the longer you can pplay. The game is over when you have run completely out of fuel units. Running into a worm is the most costly hazard, lessening fuel supply by 10 units each time you collide with one.

Worm War I isn't a tough challenge. You'll derive some amusement from watching the worms do "push-ups" across the screen and beginners will be pleased at the chances for success during game play. There is little that is very unique or unusual here, the execution isn't too bad.

Title Worm War I
Publisher Fox Video Games
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 5
Sound 5
Gameplay 6
Overall 5
Reviewer Keita Iida

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