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RPS Advent Game-o-Calendar: December 13th

FIVE GOLD WORMS!

The 13th of December is traditionally the day when we celebrate being hungry here at RPS. There are numerous ways to satiate that hunger, and therefore celebrate it. You can have a bowl of Weetabix, eat an apple, make a sandwich from last night’s curry, or, more seasonally, open a window on our Fairtrade advent calendar.

Because you know what’s in there.

CHOCOLATE. Om nom nom nom!

But how best to eat the chocolate? Clearly we must do it while saying “om nom nom nom”, but can there be more? Perhaps a game can help out: A game where all things are consumed by a gaping maw rising from the very ground we walk on…

It’s: DEATH WORM!

DEATH WORM! He eats more than mere chocolate.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time playing games this year. And I’ve played three particular games more than I should: Eve Online, Stalker, and… Death Worm. It’s a 2D scrolling eat ’em up, where you play something like the worm from Tremors. As the worm eats the things that walk across the surface above it grows fat, and so the game escalates. You start off eating the odd soldier and some elephants, and you’ll end up being attacking with drill bombs from the sky, and finally assaulted by aliens from another world. And all the time you must eat. More meat the for the guts. You are, after all, Death Worm.

Yes, this single-level indie game has gripped me for hours at a time, and I keep coming back to it. I keep pushing the limits of how much I can make the Death Worm eat, how far his enemies can go to try and destroy him. Perhaps it says something about my true, gluttonous nature, but I find great joy in the fluidity of the giant worm’s battle to eat as much as possible, for as long as possible. Bursting from the earth to snatch a bird from the sky, while under fire from tanks and aeroplanes, well it’s a rare pleasure. This one of those designs that encapsulates a precious, meat-headed fragment of gaming: you’re a worm and you have to get a high score. That’s about as much as a videogame needs to say.

Of course Death Worm does quite a bit more: there’s even some physics. Yes, you can use the rocks on the surface to crush your enemies.

As it is in Death Worm, so it is in life. Amen.

EDIT: Vista converter thing link.

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Jim Rossignol

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