A wonderful, delightfully addictive calculator game for the TI-83 Plus calculator. Described by ticalc.org1 as "A snake-type game with a difference. Unlike Nibbles, where you can travel in four directions only, Uncle Worm can travel in no less than thirty-two directions." However, I find even this description to be oversimplifying.

Once launching Uncle Worm through the Ion frontend program, you are greeted with a screen that says2:

Uncle Worm

Press 0 to clear a high score


High score: 546
The game is played by moving left and right relatively from your current direction. So if you are facing diagonally up and left, and you move right, you'll be facing up. Sort of. The amount of time you hold down the arrow is proportional to the amount that you move. Uncle Worm is a game of precision. I've seen my friend Carl (and myself on a few surprising occasions) maneuver through a one-pixel-wide space. One must be "in the zone" for that to happen.

Nothing can describe the pure pleasure, the Zen-like experience, of playing Uncle Worm until you become the worm, and the worm is you. You're hungry! Those little, round, pixelated apples look might tasty. Just don't hit yourself trying to get one!

The best strategy to use, especially on the higher levels, is to curve around and back again like an intestine from the top to the bottom of the screen... but leave enough space for going back up to the top on the left side. That way your worm has a clear pattern to follow, and you'll never run into yourself until you actually run out of room, or miscalculate a turn.

I've been playing Uncle Worm for almost three years now, and I consider myself an expert player. Few in my school can rival me on Fast3, with the exception of Carl... he's come five points away from my high score of 444. The high scores on my calculator on Slow and Medium were not obtained by me, and are not worth mentioning. Suffice it to say I only play Fast.

If you can get a copy of this game for your TI-83 Plus, I highly recommend it. More fun than something inane like Falldown or Avalanche, and infinitely more engaging. Definitely takes a certain amount of mental clarity though. I've crashed many times on the first level due to lack of concentration. It just takes practice to clear one's mind of everything but the worm, and the apple ahead.

  1. Full URL is http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/96/9683.html
  2. The URL http://move.to/badja now forwards to http://badja.calc.org, but appears to be an unconfigured Apache server.
  3. The game can be played on Slow, Medium, and Fast modes. I consider Slow and Medium to be training levels. ;)