A Game of War, Survival, and maybe, just maybe Drama, but probably not.
I found myself sitting out on my porch after a recent storm while of course drinking some delicious ale for relaxation. I for whatever reason in my inebriated state found such child-like amusement in a group of ants. I watched as these small red ants attempted to deconstruct a small broken tomato that had fallen off my plant. They worked so efficiently and as a team unlike humans…
That is until a group of small black ants attempted to share in this failed fallen fruit of mine. But since they aren’t red, but also equally not blue or yellow, they couldn’t share, and so a brawl broke out. And from the few ants brawling, came more ants until it was a battlefield. Dead curled up ants, ants wounded crying out in anguish or wandering looking for a limb… And then I promptly threw a bucket of water down and washed away the hate, and the tomato got washed off the porch.
While downing another ale after having witnessed the horrors of ant war over a tomato, and the battle being red vs. black (not blue) and then the washing away trying to forget, great now I need another ale… this flash of life did take me back. Like I said child-like amusement; it reminded me of the SimAnt game on the SNES and PC. In my youth I both disliked and liked bugs typical young male kind of stuff. Also didn’t help that both A Bug’s Life and Antz animated movies came out when I was only 10 turning 11…
I played SimAnt on the SNES, as a kid and I loved it but going back to it now even while drinking and it’s awful. I’m guessing it was my own child attention span that made this game so much better than what it is and I hear this kind of sentiment with this game is often shared: Oh it’s great… then one replays it and oh shit… what the hell was I thinking?
The Sim games were huge in the 90’s and I have (before) and will talk about them but SimAnt is one of the weakest of those games. It plays often enough better without you doing anything; i.e. it takes the simulation a little bit too serious as the computer controlled ants just do what is needed with some minor quirks. Like other gamers and reviewers that loved this game and then returned to it years later I equally noticed that I never did and probably never will beat this game. This is because the two computer groups will (your ants and the red ants) negate one another so that you take over half the map and the red ants keep the other half for themselves those greedy war mongers.
Before you throw your arms up in air and start typing mean and rude comments, yes the game is beatable but patience is a virtue I don’t always share. So with another ale we can continue… controls of this game are annoying at worst but once you get use to them you can manage fairly well at least in regards to the SNES version, the computer version I can’t say. While your ant is of the black colony ants yours are marked as yellow ants so there are always three gauges on screen, blue (black) for your black colony, yellow (you) and red. It’s nice that it shows you/tells you the strength (numbers of little of you and your enemy and your colony.
Speaking of colony; your yellow ants can be three ants: breeder, soldier or worker. Of the three the breeder is the worst it can’t do a thing really, useless utterly useless. Soldier the next option can do a lot of what the worker can do but it can’t take care for the ant eggs; it also requires more food than a worker but it has a combat bonus and may survive fights with enemies and trust me the red ants on my porch probably wished for some soldiers in their foraging unit… Last comes the worker, the worker holding up the sickle and hammer, hailing some horrible “down with the ant monarchy….” Okay this joke was bad taste to begin with. Seriously the worker digs out the ant hole, gathers and brings food.
As far as food of which you need to grow and feed your colony it’s green spheres of which I and most others are lead to believe are peas. However the other creatures that you can kill turn into well green pea orbs after they die. In addition your workers can also share food, tend to the eggs. They are the utilitarian as they can do everything except breed because they are a worker drone which is why you probably will play as one the most.
Congratulations even in a video game you are an underachieving zombie drone…
To be fair there’s nothing wrong with this but you all know I’m joking, but seriously don’t ever get too attached to a single ant hole or ant they are short lived. As an ant there’s a lot of ways to die, starvation, other bugs, being stepped on, mowed over and etc. As for the ant hole well after you leave a part of the map for another if you return the computer has often ruined what you did for whatever reason. Yes I mean your allied computer… not the enemy computer.
Again, even as I slur my words; and thankfully the computer has spellchecker, it ultimately doesn’t matter; even the game suggest after playing a few hours to just go outside and look at real ants… So you know what; I think tomorrow I’ll put out some peas and not wash away the ants regardless of what mayhem will come. And all of you should stay away from this game unless of course you are amused and horrified by ant mayhem in real life and need solace in what you witnessed…
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