Although we're big touch screen fans, Worm Run had us begging developer Golden Ruby Games for a physical d-pad and buttons. The concept's great and the game is intensely addictive, but imprecise swipe controls and tricky mazes add an unnecessary layer of frustration to a well-made iOS title.
In it, players guide a tiny space man through five worlds in a desperate attempt to outrun a rather large and hairy worm. Although different items exist to slow the creature down, bombs in particular, the monster never gives up its pursuit, forcing gamers to make split-second decisions or suffer the consequence of being eaten.
Since Worm Run cycles through a collection of levels, users can't memorize layouts per se. One board may begin with an easily navigable stretch of land, while another forces them to fit through tight spaces.
This would be difficult even with a PlayStation Vita or 3DS, largely because a couple mistimed jumps is all it takes for the worm to cover a lot of ground, but the gesture controls make guiding the hero tougher than it should be. Swiping left/right to move works as it should, but combining that with swiping up to jump is a bit tricky, especially when it involves ascending walls or moving past bits of rock. How far and fast should you swipe? In a game where every second counts, you don't have time to ask that question.
With that out of the way, and judging Worm Run in its current state, we can't help but like it. Yes, it relies on gathering virtual currency (in this case, Grubies) to purchase costumes and power-ups, the majority of which prove useful, and it does little we haven't seen before, since many endless-runners send gamers on a desperate escape from some oversized menace.
You know what? It's still enjoyable. The fact that you'll often see the worm a section or two above the character adds to the adrenaline rush you'll experience, and the constant need to stuff your pockets with Grubies adds a welcome mini-game of sorts, but despite all of that, you'll probably curse the controls at some point. Heck, we'd even take an old-school NES controller. Instead, we'll just have to settle for Worm Run being flawed, but good.
What's Hot:Intense endless-running action, helpful items in the shop, oddly adorable worm.
What's Not:Annoying and at times imprecise flick controls.