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Worms has been a staple of the PC gaming scene for almost 20 years now, and during that time, its various sequels and spinoffs have made the rounds. It was only inevitable that the franchise would grace the Mac once again, which it recently has in the form of Worms Revolution – Deluxe Edition on the Mac App Store.
The basic formula hasn't changed much over the years; you'll still control a team of pink and squishy dirt dwellers that must square off against their own kind in a turn-based, militaristic tit for tat. Because it's a strategy game, the emphasis is on using your brains as opposed to just furiously mashing buttons. Terraforming remains a major component, as you'll find yourself digging through the mud to get closer to the foe, or for whatever other strategic purpose. Also, when something explodes, a good portion of the surrounding environment goes with it. The enemy is often far away, so learning the ins and outs of all of the available ranged weapons is a must, though some are for getting up close and personal or also just navigating the environment.
It should come as no surprise to hear that the overall mood of the game is still quite goofy, which is reflected by said arsenal. The worms themselves crack jokes, though the novelty factor is entirely contingent upon your sense of humor. There's also a narrator who frames the action as the host of a nature program, voiced by Matt Berry from various BBC offerings. Worms Revolution is and truly feels like a homegrown UK product, top to bottom.
One major addition that the latest game brings to the franchise is a class system; instead of just one type of worm, there are now four, each with its own attributes. Objects and actions that conform to the laws of physics are also new, though the behavior of certain weapons and objects are at times nonsensical, which can be supremely frustrating.
At least there's plenty to chew on. Aside from the beefy single-player campaign, which includes both straightforward matches and puzzles – the latter really emphasizes intelligent munitions management – there are also online modes, which prove to be the star of the show. Not only does online play extend the game's replay value, but it's also a reminder that the aforementioned physics issues provide a two-way street – one that's much funnier when something hasn't backfired on you.
The bottom line. Despite the wonky physics, Worms Revolution is a great new way to engage in the joys of trench warfare in a laid-back, completely approachable fashion.
Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 1.87Ghz Processor, 2GB RAM, 256MB VRAM, 2.5GB HD space
A fun and accessible approach to turn-based strategy war games. Online modes add a lot of replay value.
Added emphasis on physics can be frustrating. Sense of humor isn't for everyone.