Worms (lost build of cancelled Sega 32X port of artillery turn-based strategy game; existence unconfirmed; 1995)

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Cover art for Worms

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

Worms is a an artillery strategy turn-based game developed by Team 17. Released initially in November 1995, the game would be published on various platforms, including the Amiga, PC, Game Boy, and PlayStation. It was also claimed by a Spanish gaming magazine that a Sega 32X port was being developed, although it ultimately went unreleased.


Starting development in 1994 as Total Wormage, the game would be re-titled as Worms when developer Andy Davidson starting working on the project in conjunction with Team 17.[1] With the help of publishers like Ocean Software,[2] Worms would be released to various platforms in November 1995,[3] including for the Amiga, PC, Game Boy, and PlayStation.[4] The success of the game on those platforms led to later ports being released, including for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Saturn, and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1996.[5][6] By 2006, Worms sold over 5 million units, kickstarting the Worms series in the process.[7]

As the game was being previewed in September 1995, Spanish gaming magazine Micromania listed a number of platforms Worms was planned to be released on.[4] Among platforms listed included Nintendo's Virtual Boy, and Sega's 32X console.[4] It is unknown whether Team17 and its publishers aimed to release these ports during the game's initial launch in November 1995, or at a later time period. However, considering that Worms was released on fellow Sega consoles in the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Saturn in 1996,[5][6] it can be speculated that a 32X port release was likely aimed around that same time period. However, neither the Virtual Boy nor the 32X port ended up ever being released.[8]


The 32X port's status remains questionable. Irrespective of Micromania's reliability, it remains the only known source to state that a 32X port was being developed.[4] Another issue is that even if a 32X port was being planned, there is no guarantee a build was ever established. For instance, the aforementioned Virtual Boy port was cancelled early into development, with Team 17 deciding based on a "mess around" with the console that it was highly unlikely it would succeed.[8] The company's concerns proved valid when the Virtual Boy was discontinued in 1996 after only selling 770,000 units.[9]

The Virtual Boy was not the only failing platform to be discontinued in 1996. The 32X, launched as an add-on for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994, was intended to provide a cheaper 32-bit option for consumers, while also expanding the main console's lifespan.[10] However, lukewarm reception, and with most gamers seeking upcoming standalone 32-bit consoles, including the Sega Saturn,[10] contributed towards the console only selling 800,000 copies when it was discontinued in 1996.[11] Consequentially, it is unknown whether Team 17 decided to press on with Worms' 32X port beyond September 1995,[4] considering how it abandoned the Virtual Boy port over concerns over that platform's performance.[8]



See Also