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Review: Caveworm
Author: David Newton (DavidN)
Added: 17/12/2003

I have to admit that I haven't really played a game like this before. The objective is to guide a worm through a cave, as you might expect from the name. The game is presented very well indeed, and the ReadMe file provided is very detailed. Even a story is provided, even though it isn't even strictly necessary for this kind of game. It always gives the impression of some sort of purpose, though.

The start of the first level came as a bit of a shock to me - it might have been better to start off more gently. I don't really mean that the first level's particularly difficult, it's just that the sudden start is rather surprising when you're not used to the controls. My experience was as follows: I started for the first time, did nothing and crashed in to the rock surface below me. I then started again, held down the mouse button and crashed equally fatally in to the surface above me. It seems that the amount of "push" you're given at the start of a level is random due to the delay in loading the frame, but I'm not sure about that. Anyway, once you've got going the controls work decently enough.

The movement wasn't really what I was expecting, though - instead of heading right at a constant speed and using the mouse button to control your altitude, the mouse button rotates you anticlockwise (unless you're pointing up already) and you're automatically rotated clockwise if the mouse button isn't pressed. It's rather awkward at first, but I can see why the author did this - there are times when you'll want to go straight up or down.

The graphics are well drawn for the most part, but they tend to get a bit samey - everything is just different shapes of red-brown rock, which is what I suppose you'd expect to find in a cave. It does tend to get a little sore on the eyes, though - would there have been a way to put some colour in there?

A level select system is provided so that if you crash on later levels you don't have to go all the way back to the beginning and trudge through the game again, which is certainly a good thing - this is one of those games where progress is the main objective, and there's really no reason to replay afterwards apart from to beat your best score.

Also, after trying it more than a few times, I'm certain that the boss level is just some sort of cruel joke!

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