I was recently introduced to this "racing" game by my boss. He enjoyed it a lot and I figured if the boss man likes it, either my boss has bad taste or it actually is a good game. I figured I'd give it a go.
Overview Worm Up! is a bid-based racing game where your goal is to get your worm from start to finish. Each round, every player bids a number (4, 5, 6, 7, or X). Should no one else duplicate that number, you get to move your worm that number of segments wherever you would like. If another player bid the same thing as you did, TOO BAD! Neither of you get to move. First player to touch the finish line wins!
The Nutrient Cycling Good
Ease of Play Less than 5 minutes and we were off. Definitely light and rules as most filler should be.
Screw your buddy We quickly discovered that this game translates well into a screw your buddy game. Similar to Munchkin or Red Dragon Inn part of the joy of this game is intentionally making someone else's life miserable. Maneuvering your worm to completely block off someone else is a sure way to get a dirty glance shot in your direction, but also a lot of fun.
Decision Making While it appears shallow (you only have 5 choices) there is some meat to it. Remember, you are attempting to bid a unique number, to move, or bid a number you think someone else will bid, to prevent them from moving. There's a wee bit of Citadels double think going on in the bidding. Furthermore, you have the decision of where to move your worm. Do you beeline towards the finish with large numbers? Or do you take smaller steps and try and block of your opponents? Just enough thought in my opinion for a filler.
The Squirmy and Slimy Bad
Potential for Frustration If you get stuck on your first couple of turns, it is real easy to be left in the dust. About your only option then is to make everybody else miserable by intentionally bidding the most attractive options to stop them. The game can fall victim to both run away winner and run away loser based on how the bidding goes.
Duration and Downtime WOW! This game is short! Even by my filler standards, I found the duration of the game to be very short. Somewhere between 5-10 rounds and you're done. While there are other games that have this length (Poo most notably) that have this length there is a definite difference in feel. In Poo, the cards are constantly flying and you are never really waiting for things to happen. Worm Up! has relatively lengthy downtime due to people deciding what to bid and moving segments. While the absolute amount of time spent doing nothing in both games might be equivalent, I noticed it in Worm Up! more.
Overall Impression It's a good game. Not my preferred filler but it certainly has its merits. It brings double think to an accessible level and makes it relatively quick. The game has its moments, normally as you create a roadblock for an opposing worm, but there are definitely other games I would play first.