When it comes to video game titles, none are quite as self-explanatory as Worm Jazz. In this game, you play as a worm and listen to jazz music. Ok, maybe there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s basically the idea.
It’s a puzzle game where you slither around the stage collecting food and blowing up walls to progress towards the golden apple. You have to plan your route carefully because if you get too big you’ll get stuck, and there are other things to consider later in the game too like wormholes which teleport you around the level. It’s a simple game, but it definitely gets your brain working overtime in some levels as you juggle having to work out where the bombs need to be, how long your worm needs to be and which order you need to do things.
It’s pretty easy to draw comparisons between this and the many variations of Snake. Controlling the worm is very similar and most players will be familiar with the concept right off the bat. However, it’s got some original ideas too. Picking up bombs and figuring out how to get them in the right place is the main challenge in most of the levels I played, and finding out how to make your way through the level is often an interesting conundrum. There’s not much variety, but getting all 3 stars for collecting everything on a level is engaging and enjoyable enough for what it is.
It can be a bit overwhelming at times though. Some levels feel a bit too much like trial-and-error, where you’re basically just throwing solutions at the wall to see what sticks. It can be hard to plan ahead and it’s easy to make mistakes, but thankfully you can undo any or all of your moves at any time. This reduces the frustration with particularly tough levels and lets you try different solutions without much consequence. Without it this game would probably be a bit too annoying, as one wrong move can make levels unbeatable. I think the undo feature definitely compliments the laid-back, chill vibe of the game. It alleviates potential frustration and let's you play at your own pace which is very welcome.
As far as the visuals and music go, there isn’t much to talk about. You have 3 different areas where levels take place, and they each have their own jazz track in the background. They’re nice enough tunes but I wouldn’t say they’re worth naming the game after them. I expected the jazz element to have a bit more relevance in the gameplay but other than some backing tracks there's nothing else to it. The visuals are fine too - nothing to write home about but it’s not super ugly to look at either.
Overall the presentation is very basic. The simple aesthetic suits the relatively simple gameplay but more could have been done to differentiate each level. Only a few of the levels have memorable layouts and once you’ve got all three stars by collecting everything in them you’ve got no reason to return. Only having 3 backgrounds is a bit disappointing, and the game would have been a bit more compelling if the levels were more unique from a visual standpoint.
The weirdest thing about Worm Jazz for me is the lack of sound options. There’s no way to change the volume of the music compared to the sound effects, so you’ve essentially got soothing jazz and loud explosions going off at the same time and you can’t adjust how loud things are. For a game that’s best played on a quiet evening to relax and work out fun puzzles, this is a strange choice and seems like an oversight. You can turn the sound effects off completely, but I would have liked to be able to adjust it myself. Personally, I prefer my smooth jazz to be free of explosions, but to each their own.
Other than the decent amount of levels there’s not much else to see here. Customisation is in but it's limited to a few unlockable hats, which isn’t really very exciting at all. You can choose different levels to pursue so if you get stuck on one you won’t be at a total roadblock, which is nice. However, I didn’t feel very compelled to play for long sessions – this doesn’t seem like a puzzle game you’ll get addicted to like some of the best in the genre.
For the price though, Worm Jazz is a fun little game that’ll definitely provide you with some entertainment. It’s not the most compelling game ever but it requires some serious thinking and it’s satisfying to find solutions for each level. Getting all 3-stars on each of them is a real challenge, but if you’d rather play it casually it’s still fairly enjoyable. There are a few oversights here and there, and it could definitely have used a bit more variety, but it’s rather cheap so I can’t complain too much. If you’re looking for a decent puzzler and you don’t hate the sound of jazz, Worm Jazz might be worth a try.