Review – Worms Rumble (Switch)

Before becoming one of the industry’s most respected indie curators and publishers, with releases like Yooka-Laylee and Blasphemous, Team17 was mainly known for their flagship franchise, Worms. Who doesn’t love the simplicity and fun of its idiotic, “turn-based-strategy-with-worms-and-guns” premise? The franchise’s latest iteration, Worms Rumble, isn’t exactly that. Instead of following what had been achieved with 2016’s excellent Worms W.M.D, Worms Rumble is either a spinoff or an attempt to radically reinvent the franchise’s main gameplay loop. I sure hope it’s the former.

Instead of being yet another turn-based artillery game, a genre the franchise basically reigns supreme over the competition, Worms Rumble is a real-time 2.5 shooter. That’s already the first puzzling design decision in this game, out of a handful we’ll see later down the line. I get it, the kids like their multiplayer shooters, their Fortnites and whatnot. But Worms is synonymous with slow-paced artillery and strategy. Hell, some people call any other artillery game out there a “Worms clone” for a reason. That, by itself, wouldn’t be that much of problem, but the fact to the matter is that Worms Rumble isn’t exactly very good. Sure, it’s not terrible, it’s playable and (very occasionally) enjoyable, but out of all Worms games I have ever played, this one might possibly be the most forgettable of them all.

Worms Rumble Graphics

What is the point of giving the player so many cosmetics to customize your worm if you look microscopic onscreen?

Gameplay-wise, Worms Rumble is a mix between a 2D platformer, a twin-stick action game, and a bog standard multiplayer shooter. You move around in 2.5D levels, jumping over platforms and occasionally performing (confusing and poorly explained) wall hops, and shooting at any other worm that comes your way with a simplistic aiming system attached to the right analog stick. It’s not a bad control scheme once you get used to the bizarre button mapping (jumping with the Switch’s A button is just odd), it’s just beyond basic.

So that’s what you’re supposed to do: jump around and kill other worms in a handful of multiplayer modes such as Deathmatch and Last Worm Standing, their own take on the Battle Royale genre, I’d assume. Play some modes, get experience points, unlock some dumb cosmetics for your worm that won’t even be seen during gameplay given how small your playable character is, and repeat until you get bored of it. This is basically all the game has to offer, as there is no single player campaign or any other mode besides a functional but underwhelming training ground. The lack of content in this game, which has been originally released half a year ago as of the writing of this review, is staggering and disappointing.

I also don’t think Worms Rumble was a good fit for the Switch. It’s not about its visuals, which are decent, even though the textural quality and framerate have been reduced in order to run at a weaker system. Nor is it about the overall sound design, which is forgettable, but filled with dumb one-liners that are too adorable to be hated on. The main problem is that this game required an internet connection at all times, which goes against the whole concept of being able to play your games anywhere you want to with your portable system. Not to mention that, as we all know, the Switch’s online infrastructure isn’t exactly the best, even though I was able to connect to matches pretty quickly.


Instead of miniature renditions of a living room or a garden, we have… a mall with realistic proportions and so on…

I commend developers when they try to create something new with estabilished franchises, but not at the cost of what people like the most about them in the first place. That’s the main problem with Worms Rumble: it just isn’t as fun as any of its turn-based counterparts. In a sea of multiplayer shooters with way more content out there, some of them not requiring an upfront payment in order to access them, this game just doesn’t have what it takes in order to stand out. Add in the reduced visual fidelity of the Switch version, as well as the fact you can’t exactly play it on-the-go due to the mandatory online connection, and what you get in the end is a forgettable attempt to make a classic franchise more appealing to a demographic that would have never cared about it in the first place.


Graphics: 7.0

A nice conversion of what the more powerful consoles were able to render, at the cost of a drastically reduced framerate.

Gameplay: 6.5

A bog-standard twin-stick shooter aiming system attached to a 2D action platformer. It takes a while before you get used to this unusual gameplay style for a Worms game, as well as the weird button placement in this version.

Sound: 6.5

Even though the soundtrack isn’t exactly anything special, the dumb voice clips uttered by the worms are just way too adorable for me not to love them.

Fun Factor: 5.5

It’s just an average-at-best 2D shooter that deviates way too much from the standard Worms formula, while failing to stand out among the rest of the multiplayer shooter crowd. It would have been more enjoyable if it had more content besides its handful of online modes and menial cosmetics.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Worms Rumble is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Worms Rumble was provided by the publisher.