Worms Battle Rally (lost builds of unfinished 3D kart game; 2003)
Worms Battle Rally was a 3D kart-based frag rally video game developed by Team 17, a spin-off of the artillery strategy series, Worms. The game was supposed to been released on the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and the PC sometime in 2004. However, it was cancelled in 2003, being replaced by Worms Forts: Under Siege.
Described by Unseen64 as being similar to Mario Kart's Battle Mode, Worms Battle Rally was developed as part of a deal with an unknown publisher according to Team 17's co-founder, Martyn Brown, during an interview with Retro Gamer. Additionally, developer Julian Holtom summarised the game in an interview with Unseen 64 as an example of the Worms franchise being incorporated into other genres to attract its fanbase, with Mario Kart being the inspiration for the spin-off. Containing elements from the main Worms series, the available screenshots indicate that the game was near completion. Additionally, a demo disc was rumoured to have been produced for the game, while composer Bjørn Lynne recorded eleven music tracks that he uploaded to YouTube on 5th April, 2020.
Development of Worms Battle Rally was hampered by multiple issues, one of which involving Team 17's lack of experience developing driving games. Despite Team 17's efforts in finishing development, the unnamed publisher was ultimately unsatisfied with the game. According to Brown during an interview with Retro Gamesmaster, excessive interference from the publisher further lowered morale towards releasing the Worms spin-off. Holtom claimed morale was further reduced when the team realised the game's quality was below expectations, especially when compared to previously released games. Ultimately, based on market research data gathered by the publisher at the time, Worms Forts: Under Siege was believed to be the more suitable concept, being created and released instead. Worms Battle Rally was cancelled shortly afterwards in 2003, with no plans to restart development in the future.
No copies of Worms Battle Rally, from the full build to the demo disc, have resurfaced online. Aside from various sources describing the game's content, only four screenshots of Worms Battle Rally, possibly of different builds, are currently available for public viewing.
- Unseen64 article.
- Issue 73 of Retro Gamer where Martyn Brown discusses Worms Battle Rally's development and cancellation.
- Unseen64 interview involving Julian Holtom discussing the game and providing two screenshots.
- Archived Team 17 forum discussing Worms Battle Rally.
- YouTube playlist containing Bjørn Lynne's music tracks for Worms Battle Rally
- Retro Gamesmaster interview with Martyn Brown, where he discusses the producer's interference during the development of Worms Battle Rally.
- Dream 17 article on Worms Battle Rally.