Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire
Android Version: 2.2
Sworm’s Gameplay Principle
Snake is a classic which even comes preinstalled on most mobile phones, so many of you will already be familiar with it. Sworm’s gameplay is pretty much the same: a worm is hunting for its food – clovers leaves – in a labyrinth and you have to guide it. Every time the worm takes a bite it gets more time allotted to its time account. Once the time has run out you lose a life, and every time the worm eats a leaf it becomes a bit longer. This is where the game’s challenge lies: the worm should never come into contact with itself, other worms, or any other obstacle.
Once the worm has eaten all the clover leaves you can jump to the final level by guiding the worm through a passage located on the game’s outer most border. A word of advice: this passage or opening is very small, so you have to watch out for it.
"Special Items" make life easier
Every now and again items drop into the playing field. Should you manage to catch these items within the give time frame your worm will briefly enjoy extra abilities.
• Pills / Medicin: Can make your worm shrink back to its original size
• Hour glass: For a short time you worm will move in slow motion. Be warned that the camera also zooms in which makes for tricky controls
• Heart: You’re awarded another life
The properties aren’t activated the second you catch the items. If you manage to catch an item a symbol for this specific item will appear at the top of the display, and when you want to make use of the item all you need do is click on the symbol.
According to the developer there are presently 5 levels, i.e. five levels of difficulty.
I’ve always been a big Snake fan; I used to play that game obsessively, so it makes sense that I’m partial to Sworm. The items are a nice twist—perhaps having an even bigger selection of items might be a good idea? How about an item that makes walls penetrable? Or something that speeds the worm’s movements up or makes it fatter?
For the moment 5 levels is perfectly sufficient for my standards, seeing as it took me a very long time to get through the existing levels. We hear that more levels are in the making.
Sworm deserves a solid four star rating.
Screen & Controls
Sworm’s controls can run via:
• Or trackball
According to the instructions controls should also function via your phone’s movement censors, but don’t recommend you make use of this option as it’s not really a viable one. If you do want to attempt it tap on the menu button and click "Activate Tilt Control".
The worm can be moved in one direction by 45 degrees. This means that if you want to do a –turn you have to click left twice and then right.
Controls: The Conclusion
I used to be unbeatable at Snake on my Nokia way back in the day. I had controls down to a T—but unfortunately that isn’t the case with Sworm. Controls are intuitive and run via trackball or touch screen, but I found both options to be super difficult. I can’t even say whether this comes down to the fact that the game runs slower every now and again. The bottom line is that I didn’t succeed at what I was aiming at most of the time, and although I got better with practice I couldn’t make out a clear pattern that improved the worm’s movements.
The Game’s Design
What can I say: it’s a nice game, but there’s not that much more to it. I think we could forgive the game its little glitches if we loved the design more. One very sweet feature is that if you go the menu button--> Settings --> "I believe in worms with eyes" you can adorn your wiggly friend with a pair of eyes! Cute!
Controls are not yet up to par, or at least I found them difficult to use, which put a bit of a damper on my enjoyment of the game.
We’re awarding 3 stars, after having toyed with the idea of giving the app 2 stars in this category (controls are important!), but then dismissing this as being to harsh.
Speed & Stability
Sworm run steadily and without crashing, although it did abuse the batteries. If you want to save battery life go to the settings and select decrease the "Frames per Second" (FPS).
There’s a lite and a full version of Sworm, although I’m not entirely sure what the difference between the two is. The full version costs EUR 1,50 and can be downloaded from Google Market as well as our very own AndroidPIT App Center. You can also find the lite version in both stores.