On the whole, this game is not a visual delight, as the screens are rather simple, and the game play becomes repetitive
Ant war is a simple little game from Anarchy Enterprises and Party Top.
The graphics are simplistic but colorful.
Battles are very minimal and not so fun.
Your the leader of a tiny colony of ants, with a very simple victory condition: Grow your colony from humble origins to a grand total of one billion ants. It won't be easy, as your colony will be beset by rival ants, other insects, and a variety of enemies who will either kill your ants, destroy parts of your colony, or destroy your food stocks.
At start your given an opportunity to name your colony, and to pick the type of ant you would like to play as. The selection includes:
Leaf cutter ants, which are good at saving food. They also find more special food bonuses, so this help your growth, as food is essential for ant growth.
Harvester ants, which are good at finding food, and they find more food items each day, but average at storing food.
Weaver ants, which are good at reproducing. They make new ants and find gems easier, but they are poor at combat.
Carpenter ants, which are natural engineers, are good at digging, and they make your nest grow faster.
Fire ants are good at combat, and will find more enemies to combat.
Once your selection is made, you move on to the actual game, which is set up like the simple DOS games of years ago, and relies very heavily on text, and includes little game play or interaction with the player.
Basically, you start your game in Mr Suburbia's backyard, and you have the option to move to a number of other locations, which includes both food, growth, and other benefits, as well as negatives. The game displays a calender with a weather forecast, and this determines how well your digging, food search, and explanation will go each day.
Your first job is to determine the ratio of your four branches of colony operation, namely scouts to find food, nurses to breed more ants, workers to dig and maintain the colony, and soldiers to fight with. You can set the percentages to any thing you like, but it's best to get a balance, gather more food at first, and soldiers aren't really needed early. A good early balance is 60% scouts, 20% nurses and 20% workers. Your advisor, who is always visible on the upper right hand side of the screen will tell you if this combination is working, and warn you if you need to change it. He's called Adam ant, and like all the characters in this game, is portrayed in cartoonish and campy style. You also gets information and advice from grandpa ant, who pops up periodically.
You can improve your ant's ability through the buying of enhancements, this is done by finds gems, which are used as currency, and you can spend it in the ant bank on various items. Also, you can only change your location if you pay gems and food.
There are some minor RPG overtones such as leveling up.
You can choose from a handful of Ants, depending on what you need them to do.
Once your selections are made, and ratios set, you leave the start screen for the backyard screen. This is a cartoon example of a backyard, and like all the visuals in this game, seems to be aimed at the younger gammers. Your colony appears in the center of the screen, and gets larger as it actually grows. The amount of ants is displayed as a colored bar graph on the screen bottom, and rises and falls as events happen.
The events are text messages on the upper left, accompanied by little pictures representing the events, and usually involve finding and losing food at first, and the occasional enemy approaching. A few events (between one ond five) will appear as text, and the day ends, you go back to the sub screens.
Once you find a few gems, you can move to the following locations, paying food and gems for each:
Rose's Garden The garden is a beautiful spot to live, especially in the spring months.
Mr. Suburbia's House The house will keep you safe when the weather outside is rough…and keep an eye out for leftovers in the kitchen (in winter and during rain, your colony is best served by being indoors).
Spring Valley Bridge Crossing the bridge gets you to and from town. Just watch out for all the traffic, as it will damage the colony and kill ants.
The Stream The stream is the beginning of the wilderness and connects you to Farmer Brown's farm, and is not a good place for your colony.
The Field The 'battle' field is the place if you want to test your soldiers and have lots of fights. Battles in Ant war is represented very simply, a screen appears showing your ants (in little helmets) and your enemy in a separate box. Depending on the size of the colony, the weapons you have bought with gems, and your battle experience, a simple hit/miss procedure is used. The game will warn you if it thinks your over-matched. You mouse click, and if you win, you get gems and food, and if you lose, ants die. The battle animation is, like all the other parts of Ant war, minimalist.
The Forest Deep in the forest you can find gems and encounter some wild animals. Be careful of the termites though, as they are difficult enemies.
Farmer Brown's Farm Find lots of food bonuses at Farmer Brown's Farm. Just beware of his crazy chicken and mad cow, powerful enemies that attack often.
The Park The park is a great place for parties and picnics. There's always lots of food around, especially in the summer months, so this helps.
The Sidewalk The cracks in the sidewalk are great for building up your nest. Just be careful of all the humans walking around.
The Playground The playground is the best spot in town for kids, so its good for your nursery too. The children will damage and attack the colony at times.
Martha's Bakery Good food, good treat bonus. The bakery is a great spot for sweets, especially during the winter holidays.
Spring Valley School Learn some fun facts about ants and raid the cafeteria. But not much to do here during summer break.
Spring Valley Diner This greasy spoon has lots of food for your ants, burgers, fries and spilled ketchup all provide for hungry ants.
The Beach The beach is a safe place to relax…no battles happen here so your ants can kick back and relax. Come in the summer when humans drop lots of food.
The City Dump One person's trash is another ant's treasure. There's plenty of food in the dump, but beware…the trash attracts lots of other ants as well, so plenty of battles here.
The Worm Hole The worm hole lets you travel to any location on the map that you've already unlocked, as the other areas are layed out in a linear fashion, you can circumvent this with the wormhole, and go where you like anytime.
As your nest grows, your given a goal in ant population, and when reached, you get gems and food as a bonus. Also, as your nest grows, the messages begin to show the town, and eventually the world becoming concerned, and eventually you will be attacked often by scarred and annoyed humans, even the army arrives to stop you. But once you reach a million ants, your colony becomes virtually unbeatable, and no enemy can stop you from growing and reaching the billion ant total.
At the playground, kids will occasionally destroy your colony.
You can learn some fun facts about ants at the school.
ANT WAR VERDICT
On the whole, this game is not a visual delight, as the screens are rather simple, and the game play becomes repetitive. It does only take about three hours to complete, and it will hold the attention of youngsters, and it will make you laugh from time to time, as some of the events are fun. There is even a little strategy in the area selection, and choosing your specialists. If you like text games that run easy, or have kids you want to entertain for a time, Ant wars is worthwhile. But taken from all aspects, Ant wars is a mediocre game, and is not highly recommended for the serious strategy gamer.
TOP GAME MOMENT
There’s something very satisfying about leading a group of ants to do battle against a cockroach.