Ant War: Domination Review

Ant War: Domination is a port of a flash game from 2001. I actually first found the game on steam where it is advertised as a ‘strategy’ game in which you are in charge of managing an ant colony that is aiming to be the biggest ant colony in the city.

Whilst this concept on paper sounds like an interesting idea as an rts game where you have to build up and defend an ant colony against other ant colonies as well as facing other risks such as bad weather, other animals and environmental dangers is a great concept for a game regarding game design. However what we actually have is a ‘turn based’ clicker game with minimal rpg mechanics that are only used during battles and what activities your ants should be doing such as building your colony.

The rpg mechanics when implemented in the battles in game provide little to depth as the only mitigating factors are the amount of ants you currently have in your colony (which for whatever reason your whole colony can instantly appear for your militia even if they are supposed to be doing other tasks that are based in the colony rather than where the battle is.) and the strength/defense points you have (which is obtained by buying upgrades.). So after you get enough ants and battle equipment you can quickly complete battles as when you get a decent damage amount per attack and you have more ants in your colony than what your enemy has life points battles can be easily completed with little/no losses. In the strategy side to the game there is attempts at rpg mechanics these are mostly vanity and have little to no effect in game. One example being when I was first playing the game I was trying to build my colony I decided to base all my production around creating ants and in the first day I got attacked by other creatures, which I think is strange since I wasn’t outside foraging for food/looking for battles.

Over time I do think that the game is also very repetitive and becomes a chore after a while since you have no real control over much (other than buying upgrades.) and the main task you will be doing is skipping to the next day as when the days (in game) happen you have no interaction whatsoever as the game will control it for you except for battles. During the day in game the only differences you will get events that occur such as finding food that humans have dropped on the floor or getting ants lost in the area and these events are purely based upon luck with the environment your located in having little to no effect upon what happens or the ‘drop rate’ of food/other goods until later on.

The art style is quite odd since it is a mixed collection of different assets that are placed within the game. For example the main background of the bakery is a pixilated painting/photograph of your environment with a couple of animated clip art images such as a tarantula walking on the cake display which is out of place. I think that the clip art style used on some of the images is out of place when the background is a pixilated photo. The in game sounds/music isn’t much better as it is limited in selection as there are a couple songs that are played on a loop with the same sound effects that are constantly used when navigating the game or when events happen and this becomes repetitive after so long.

I do also think that is a wasted opportunity as the game could have been a complex rts game rather than a basic clicker. As a result I would recommend avoiding this game as there are better and cheaper strategy games that you can play on and various clicker games available for free online.

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