I mean...It's Worms.

I don't mean that like a bad thing, either. Worms is a beloved franchise, and for a reason. If you're not familiar, the Worms series is basically Team17's baby, a take on the old genre of 2D artillary-firing competition. (A lot of the core mechanics of this genre were later remixed and reworked into the gameplay loop of things like Angry Birds, and the wide array of trebuchet games.) The core entries have been, for a long time, more about refinement than innovation, but that's less to do with any kind of laziness and more to do with having a near-perfect specimen on their hands from early on.

The core gameplay of a round of Worms is simple. It's a turn-based, 2D game, set on a good-sized map. You start your turn, and take control of one of your eponymous worms. You have a short time in which you can move them freely, crawling and jumping across the map, until you get into position to select a weapon. Then out comes a reticle, letting you aim in a circle around your worm. Aim at one of the foul, terrible enemy worms, and hit fire, filling their tiny body with white-hot death! If it's a weapon with momentum(like any of the thrown weapons, or the bazooka), you'll also choose how hard to lob it, getting that beautiful arc to put a grenade right onto the enemy's noggin.

Then you typically get a few precious seconds to get out of the line of fire, and the round goes to the other player, who tries to do all of that right back to you. Just go back and forth until somebody's the last worm staaaandiiiing? Do worms stand? That's a question for the philosophy majors in the audience, I leave it for you to decide. The point is your enemies lay dead at your feet and you're gender-neutral-royal-figure of the mountain, baby.

This has been the basic loop of Worms since, really, the start. What makes the game more fun and exciting than some of its original contemporaries, though, is in the details. Worms has thrived on its weapon variety, and this is no exception. From banana bombs to exploding sheep to totally-not-shoryuken Fire Punches, you have quite a few options to wreck your enemies and make them wish they'd never been.

Worms WMD brings its own specific shiny toys to the table, as well. Vehicles and mounted guns offer immense firepower in specific, isolated situations, and there's a fun mix of quiiite a few weapons at your disposal. They even shake things up with a bit of a crafting system, letting you put together the endgame items, as well as various specialized variants. Want a shotgun that fires all of its ammo in one go? How about one with a dedicated laser sight? All of these are good options, and possible with the crafting system!

Of course, you don't need to actually use that crafting system. You can lock the game down to one of the classic weapon sets, and not even sweat the shiny stuff or its slight fiddly-ness. Especially if you're introducing the game to someone, boiling it down like this might be the way to go.

And Worms WMD translates very well into casual multiplayer. On Switch, not only do you have single-Joycon support, but if you find the resulting control scheme just a bit too fussy, you have play-and-pass support right there. And if your friends live far away, the game's netcode is solid from the rounds I played, giving me no real trouble at all...Though of course, as a turn-based game that doesn't need to transfer nearly as much information anywhere near as fast as some, I'd certainly hope that was the case.

So, all in all, there's a lot to like here. Solid core gameplay that's really survived and been refined through the tests of time. Just enough humor to keep you from taking it too seriously, with a great art style full of gorgeous little details in the maps.

There's just one little problem, and it hits the Switch version hardest of all. Namely, the whole thing clearly wasn't scaled to consider being played on a TV, let alone on a seven inch screen. Interface elements can sometimes be tiny, and with the maps being rather large, and your worms possessing fairly good mobility, zooming out enough to get the lay of the land can often mean zooming out so far you have no idea where any of the worms actually are.

And the game does its best to work with this, auto-zooming onto your worm at the start of your turn, having zoom controls right there, scaling some of the core interface elements (like your crosshair) to a decent degree when you zoom...But it can only go so far. The game was just designed with the assumption that you would be playing on a decent sized monitor less than an arm's length from your face, or mayyybe a nice big gorgeous new TV.

So do I hold that against the game? Well, when I've got a slightly old 32" TV across the room, and the Switch's screen suddenly feeling tiny due to the game's design...I do, a little. For a game that works so well in multiplayer, on a system practically built for quick spontaneous multi, not thinking enough about scale really stings.

But on the other hand, there's still a lot to like here. And considering how dang long the Worms series has been in my life, from that fateful day in middle school where my childhood friend discovered one of the computers wasn't hooked up to the network, and thus didn't receive the automatic wipe that the others did (and thus could have games stashed on it), all the way up until now...Well, I'm willing to overlook this design flaw, for the sake of having a really great worm-exploding simulator on my Switch. And I'd argue that you, perhaps, should do the same.