The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004

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"A Cut above the Typical Nibbles Clone!"

Snakes and Nibbles have always been the faster breed of crawling critters, leaving Wormer and his unorthodox moving patterns to the dust. But now is his chance to prove his manhood by collecting the 81 orbs of power! 

Can Wormer prove himself in this test of brawn and intelligence, while dodging obstacles and finding powerful treasures? You determine Wormer's fate through nine levels, or customize your own levels through the level editor!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
While the stillshots aren't mind-blowing, it's the animation in the game that really shows off what Jofers is able to accomplish in the graphics department. Instead of a tile-by-tile movement (which is usually the norm for Snake games), Wormer moves pixel-by-pixel, with the ability to turn in circular motion instead of in a perpendicular fashion. This requires a change in the way the game is programmed that is rather impressive when the final product is seen.

Also individual of Wormer is the use of additional moving objects. Some metal objects are stationary but come with multiple animation frames. Powerups in the game occasionally disappear in a flash of white and reappear in other areas, while spinning blades rotate and move toward Wormer. The overall graphical effect of this is very immersive.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Wormer does not come with music, but the game does make up for itself somewhat by offering some appropriate and occasionally funny sound effects. Wormer will puddle into pools of water, and feel a sharp cutting noise when hit by a spinning blade. Even the various power-ups make sound effects after coming in contact with them. But the best sound effect is the whip sound that takes place, since it's adds an original and rather humorous air to the game's atmosphere.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
If you've never played a Snake or Nibbles-type game on your portable calculator or on your PC, then Wormer should be unfamiliar territory to you. The point of the game is to grab the nine numbered orbs in each of the game's nine levels. You have to do so without crashing into obstacles or else the game will be over. As an added challenge, your snake will grow in length as you grab the orbs. Essentially you'll be able to collide into yourself as the game wears on.

Unique to Wormer are the addition of several powerups that can alter Wormer's size. Heart powerups will reduce Wormer's size, making it easier for him to manuvuer. Drugs and poison increase Wormer's length (which is a bad thing in this type of game since you're more likely to collide into yourself).

Because of the number of moving objects and surprises in Wormer and only one life per game (no 1-UPS!), you'll probably die and die often while trying to figure out the game's controls. To compensate, Jofers added a save feature to the game which can easily be accessed through the "ESC" key (I'll mention this a few times since the game makes no utterance of this useful feature). Just make sure you save in a safe area because your saved quest will include your position and direction. With three save slots, use all of them to make sure you don't accidentally save in an inconvenient place.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
"Now he must prove his manhood" doesn't really stand out as best plot ever for an arcade game, but it is a plot for an arcade game, which is a lot more than other games in the same genre can say.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Most QB games don't have the turning control system, and generally shoot for a left means left and right means right approach. This makes Wormer a little unique among QB games, and since the graphics and sound quality are average, gamers can enjoy Wormer well after their first bite.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
(Very Good)
Because of the modified control system and the vast number of moving objects and powerups on the screen, you have to pay a lot more attention while playing Wormer than you would other Nibbles-type games. Learning how to manuvuer well is your highest priority. Because Wormer moves in a circular pattern, there's a lot more emphasis on weaving your way around obstacles than trying to make sure you don't crash into yourself. Then there's the added pressure of making sure no part of you gets cut by the spinning blades.

Thankfully, Jofers included a "save state" feature by pressing the ESC key while playing the game. The save state allows you to pick up the game exactly you left off after reloading instead of starting the level over again upon reload. This feature is put to extreme use while playtesting this game, easily breaking the lid for "most reloads" in a single QB game. This game is simply that hard.

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
If you're playing this game right, you should be experiencing one of two mental states at any one time while playing Wormer. The first voice in your head should be one of frustration, shouting at Jofer's subconcious for making such an evil and challenging game. But the second voice in your head should be the voice of self-satisfaction and relief, which usually chimes in whenever you beat one of Wormer's nine levels.

In terms of the Snakes and Nibbles clones we've seen so far, Wormer is the least like the traditional titles. If you're looking for a direct Nibbles clone, Wormer is not it. We recommend you try Binary Magic's Anaconda for that. But if you want the best snake game we've ever seen coded in QBasic yet, then Wormer is the title for you to corral as an addition to your game lineup.

Wormer Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1 player Genre: Arcade Game
Rating To solve: 2-4 hours Final Rating: 17/35

To download Anaconda (229KB), click here.
wTo play Wormer, unzip the file, then run "WORM.EXE".
wAfter playing Wormer for the first time, adjust the speed by running "SETSPEED.EXE".

Back to Arcade Games Page

Game Summary
Coding Group
Homepage URL
Final Rating
17 out of 35 points

The Highs: Left/right curve controls allow for a different type of challenge in a Snake game.
The Lows: A lot of "save state/reload state" needed to get past the more difficult and maddening game levels.

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