I adored Worms when I was younger. By the time I’d gotten round to Worms 2, I was (The People’s) elbow-deep in WWF Attitude-era fandom, and named umpteen squads after wrestling teams. I loved it. I loved the weapons, the arenas, the competition – against friends or against the AI. Above all, I loved the turn-based rules the battlefield enforced that made nailing your opponent oh-so-important with each shot. Mayan Death Robots [official site] takes those familiar mechanics, removes the worms, and adds, well, Mayan Death Robots.
In a nod to the 2012 Doomsaying, the world as we know it hasn’t quite ended, but has entered a new age of automaton juggernauts fighting each other. Each bot is equipped with four moves, such as ‘Jump’, ‘Boulder’, ‘Banana’ (a doff of the cap to QBasic artillery classic Gorillas, perhaps), and ‘Build’, among others, and must strive to destroy the opposing barbarian’s CPU sitting elsewhere on the map. Build letting bots reshape the landscape by dropping tetrominoes, which puts a nuanced and entertaining twist on the basic artillery formula, particularly as battles run longer.
The turn timer adds an element of urgency to each move and external factors serve to scupper your strategy – during my playthrough a flying dragon-like creature, who I later discovered was Kukulkan the feathered serpent god, rose from a pit to block what would’ve been my last, fatal blow to my opponent’s mainframe. They then got the jump on me and I was annihilated on the spot. Curse the gods. More levels and robots can be unlocked by racking up victories, which is something I’m clearly still working on.
Check out the launch trailer:
Like what you see? If so, Mayan Death Robots is out now for Windows, Mac, and Linux, on Steam at £9.89.