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Original box art.

SimAnt, known in Japan as シムアント [ShimuAnto], is a ant simulation game by developed and published by Maxis and released on MS-DOS in 1991, and later ported to various other platforms. You play as ants in a colony trying to expand the size of your colony across a yard and into a house. The game also comes with an experimental 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 bought SimAnt, not just because I really liked Sim games, but also because I always thought ants were really interesting. I found out they're even more interesting from this game, especially from the manual.


I own this game for DOS and have beaten both the game's quick and full game modes.


  • Overall: 6/10
  • Best Version: DOS


  • 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 and house, is very thematic.
  • The game has a lot of details that teach you about ants like the ability to modify their birthing caste, sharing food, chemical trails, etc.
  • The addition of the house setting, with new graphics and hazards, was icing on the cake.
  • 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, a rare occurrence in this time.
  • The in-game tutorial is very helpful.
  • The manual is amazing and features, not just details about the game, but a miniature encyclopedia of ants.
  • The addition of dialogue boxes is a hilarious addition to the game.
  • The game has a pretty impressive windowed interface for a 1991 DOS game.


  • 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 a few hours with only a rudimentary understanding of the game.
  • 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, guard and area, etc.
  • Even though most of the game takes place in a backyard lawn, there is very little grass. This was probably 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.


  • Nothing.

Box Art

There were two main art styles for SimAnt, the original and the re-released Classics version. While I like both, I prefer the original, which is the one I own.