HIGH Eating every morsel in a 75-point puzzle
LOW Small handful of single-solution puzzles
WTF How did I miss points in the end credit sequence!?
Writing for GameCritics, I’ve covered a wide array of titles, but never did I imagine that I would be playing a videogame inspired by both Snake and Bomberman. That said, 2020 has been full of surprises, and Worm Jazz is a welcome addition to this chaotic year.
Worm Jazz is a puzzle game that sees players take on the role of Mr. Mark, an earthworm with a fondness for hats and smooth jazz. Mr. Mark moves forward, left, or right across 50 plus stages. Within these stages are numerous tiny morsels that extends the earthworm’s length each time one is consumed.
The more Mr. Mark eats, the more difficult maneuvering becomes, as the earthworm is not able to cross over itself, but eating morsels is a necessity. Each stage requires Mr. Mark to eat enough to eventually unlock the golden apple that acts as the key to moving on to the next stage.
Besides the standard morsels, players will find bombs, moveable boulders, and wormholes scattered throughout many stages. Bombs can be deadly to Mr. Mark, but there are also green morsels to be eaten. These allow the worm to take the brunt of one explosion, sometimes needed to blow up cracked walls blocking paths.
Boulders can be barriers, but can also be pushed to detonate bombs. The wormholes allow the fearless worm to warp to other parts of the stage, sometimes leaving its tail end still sticking out the other end! These extra obstacles help to provide creative, complex puzzles.
As for jazz, it isn’t incorporated directly into gameplay – this is not a rhythm-based game – but it does help contribute to the chill atmosphere. Worm Jazz also boasts no timers nor any penalty for repeated failures. Players looking for a laid back, low-stress gaming option, will find it here.
As relaxing as Worm Jazz is, I do have two minor complaints. First, there are a few stages that appear to only have one specific solution. This can be frustrating when the answer isn’t clear, but fortunately there are less than five of these levels.
There’s also a slight issue with controls, especially when using the joystick – Mr. Mark would often move more than one space in the direction I was trying to go. This was not as common with D-pad movement, but still occurred occasionally. Thankfully, there’s a player-friendly rewind button that allows Mr. Mark to go back as many steps as needed, and this feature more than makes up for the minor annoyance of unintentional movement.
Small issues can’t detract from a solid puzzle game. Worm Jazz offers plenty of challenging head scratchers while providing a relaxing gaming experience at the same time.
Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Inconspicuous Creations. It is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E and contains Mild Fantasy Violence. Worm Jazz is safe for most young gamers. The only violence is the worm occasionally blowing up, but this is done in a cloud of dust – no bloodshed here.
Colorblind Modes: There no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are no noticeable sound cues within Worm Jazz. There is not any in-game story. Menu text size cannot be changed. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. Players move the worm with the left control stick or d-pad and can scan larger playfields with the right control stick. Going back a move or two is done by pressing the L button and resetting the entire stage is done with the + button.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.