SimAnt is a simulation game by Maxis where you play as ants in a colony trying to expand the size of your colony over a yard and house. The game also comes with an experiment mode and a thick manual with encyclopedic information about ants. Like a lot of the early Sim games, it's more of a toy than a game.
I own this game for DOS and have beaten the game's campaign mode.
- The game nicely embodies the Sim mentality allowing for lots of experimentation. You can dig your own ant tunnels, lay your own chemical trails, pit ants against each other, etc.
- It was nice that the designers actually included a campaign-style game where you can actually beat it. And the plot, trying to infest an entire yard, is very thematic.
- The game has a lot of details that teach you about ants like the ability to modify the birthing caste, sharing food, chemical trails, etc.
- The various hazards, rain, lawn mower, spider, ant lion, kitchen, etc. make the game very life-like.
- The graphics are actually quite nice for a PC game of the day, the designers wisely chose to modify the EGA palette.
- The manual is amazing.
- The addition of dialogue boxes is a hilarious addition to the game.
- The game has a pretty impressive windowed interface for 1991.
- Over all, there just isn't that much to do in the game. After a single play-through of the campaign mode, and an hour in experiment mode, you've done everything the game has to offer.
- The campaign mode is really easy, and can be beaten in only a few hours without much skill.
- While you get to dig your own nest, the AI ants don't utilize it effectively. They drop food and eggs randomly around, making it very difficult to make a strategic layout unless you want to sit in the nest all day and move stuff around. I would have preferred a way for you to direct other ants to keep eggs in one section, food in another, etc.
- Even though most of the game takes place in a backyard lawn, there is very little grass. This was probably a decided because too many obstacles would make movement frustrating, but this means you're looking at a dull brown screen most of the time.
- For some reason, in experiment mode, you can't remove walls once they're built, which makes them problematic to use.
- mobygames.com/game/simant-the-electronic-ant-colony - MobyGames.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SimAnt - Wikipedia.