Worm Food is the latest game in the Nitrome library. It is full of the usual arcade fuelled goodness that we've come to expect from the team: snazzy music, pixelart and yes, it even includes using the [arrow] keys [up/down] for speed [left/right] for direction, to control a gigantic subterranean beast with an insatiable appetite whose only power is its ability to leap powerfully from the earth in order to devour several villages and even armies worth of unsuspecting tribesmen.
Wait, what? Yes folks, it does, but before we get too far into this: This game is a lot like indie darling Death Worm. Now that we've all made that observation, let's move on. The basic premise is as follows: You're a hungry worm, last of its species. You need to eat to survive, however the neighboring snacks... I mean, villagers, need to not be eaten in order to survive. Somewhere between these opposing points of view is where you come into things. As you devour the masses one at a time, they become more adept at warding you off. Such defenses they develop over the course of the games 20 levels are arrowmen, mines, concrete spikes, impassable walls (both buried and on terra firma) and some sort of flying eagle device which looks really cool when you eat one.
As with most of Nitrome's games, there are unlockable levels which can be accessed by chomping enough tribespeople in each of the prior levels during the time limits provided. Unfortunately, the standard formula doesn't seem to sit well with this game. Having the worm arbitrarily die after a time period seems like a cheat, especially when paired with some of the bizarre choices in terms of level design (level eight, I'm looking at you). Coupling this with the on-again off-again appearance of the enemies and the game just doesn't come off as having a natural flow to it from start to finish. Which is a shame, because there is a lot to like in this offering as well.
All in all, it's a Nitrome game. That kind of speaks for itself. The pixel art is seamless and vibrant and the music lends itself to the fun side of the gameplay. Whether you were a fan of the original Death Worm or are happening upon controlling a monstrous oligochaeta for the first time, rest assured that what you're about to play is pure Nitrome in its classic form.
Thanks to Bob, Nick, Meester, Repairmanman, Funlerz, Cathy, Waggles, Joey, Nautilus199, Spikey and Tobie for sending this one in!