SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony
Maxis, creators' of SimCity and SimEarth, have designed the best ant farm ever to hit the SNES hill. SimAnt may not be for everyone, but the game's a classic example of how to make edutainment fun.
As a SimAnt, your task is simple -- go forth, multiply, and conquer. There are three different simulation challenges in the game that are all based on patterns of real ant behavior. Beginners should boot up the Tutorial to learn about ant life and to master SimAnt's system of window icons (the game is compatible with the SNES Mouse) and the variety of commands available. The controls themselves are a simple point-and-dick interface, but it takes a while to get the hang of what the different commands actually do and when you need to use them.
For example, you have to Forage, leave Scent Trails, Breed, and Dig. The game also enables you to track all of these activities via different views, graphs, and charts. The upshot is more information than you'll possibly need, but you'll certainly learn a lot!
ProTip: Don't make Breeder ants until you really need 'em. Wait until you've got about 80 workers and you're thinking about creating a new nest. Then, set the control panel to make only Breeders. As soon as you've got 20 Breeders, they'll be off to create a new nest.
Once you've mastered the basics, take on the Full Came scenario. From its very genesis, command your own ant colony with its individual queen. To win the game, you must make baby ants, expand your colony, take over the entire garden, and eventually the entire house. In addition to gathering food, building new nests, and the like, you must also defend your colony against your ultimate nemeses... the red ants.
The third game play option is the Scenario Came, where your goal is to annihilate the red ants in a series of eight increasingly challenging scenarios. The battles take place in such likely spots as in a park or in a house, and under such grueling conditions as a rainy day or a hot summer afternoon.
Battery backup enables multiple saves, and you're gonna need them. The game isn't too challenging for beginners, but a lot of reading is required.
Although SimAnt's graphics are very simplistic, they do provide many angles from an ant's-eye view. Various side, overhead, and cutaway views are done with simple cartoon-style graphics that enhance the sim-style action'. SimAnt's focus isn't on looking pretty, but rather on providing info. The tunes, however, are repetitive and cutesy.
- Best strategy? Gather as much food as quickly as possible to expand your population, then prepare to conquer new territory.
- You can control your ant's Behavior or Caste manually. In the beginning, though, it's easier to set the game to Automatic. The CPU will adjust your ants' behaviors for you.
- Save, save, save your game, especially when you're about to try a risky conquest.
- Check out the Ant Encyclopedia's strategy section to find out what to do!
What's the Antswer?
If you don't know anything about ants, SimAnt's a great way to have fun while you learn. Action-wise, many gamers may find simulation games too slow. Spend an evening with SimAnt, though, and you'll soon discover just how absorbing this kind of game can be.
SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony DownloadsSimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony download
If you want to learn something, yet still enjoy yourself, try taking a look at SimAnt by Maxis. You control a small ant population from start to finish. Learn about ant behavior as you forage for food, dig tunnels, or fight for territory against other insects.
Realistic scenarios will teach you about the life of an ant. Build your nest, and watch your colony grow. A number of decisions will test your mind. Where will you find your food? Can you defeat the red ants that threaten to move into your territory?
Just like the computer version, SimAnt offers hours of fun. If you liked SimCity, you're bound to like this one!