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Ant Raid HD
by Paul Byron on Wednesday 13th Jul 2011

Ant-agonistic

Ants. They get in your house, eat your picnics and generally cause a nuisance. But after playing Ant Raid I can sympathise with the little fellows.

The Ants in this game are happy, playful creatures who like nothing better than to dance and sing with their snail, caterpillar and bee friends. Life seems good for these little critters, but things are about to change. A pesticide turns all their bug friends into insect zombies, all out for ant blood. The ants must gang together and fight if they want to survive.

 

Fun Fun Fun

In most games this would be the part where I mention that the story doesn't really matter and carry on describing the gameplay instead. But with Ant Raid the story is so lovingly put together, with beautiful cartoon cut scenes and comic-style pages, that it would be criminal to say it wasn't integral to the quality of the game. New powers, new enemies and tasks are all introduced by the entertaining story as your queen tries to hold back the tide of mutant insects and find a way to stop this disaster.

The main body of the game is similar to something found in the realtime strategy genre. Protect your 'base' from enemy attacks by using selectable teams of troops to fight different enemies and pick up items. However, it's not Command and Conquer, the game keeps things simple as far as orders and abilities are concerned. Fans of other RTS games may think it waters the strategic element down too much in favour of timed based action tasks, but think of it more as Realtime Strategy Lite and you'll get the idea of where this game is coming from.

 

Not your usual Thompson Holiday

Bugs are defeated by mass attacks, with some foes easy to dispatch and others, like the snail, causing large scale damage when they die. Ants left dazed after an attack must be picked up by their fellow ants and brought back to the base to revive them. This adds an element of strategy; leave too many bugs out there and you won't have enough left to kill the next enemy, send too many other ants off to get them and you leave your base exposed.

Gradually, the game adds more tasks on top of bug squishing. Picking up needles for a flag means balancing troops between the task and defending the base, while squishing certain coloured bugs gives you abilities. Red bugs will give you speed and blue will give you invincibility, but the creatures also have these powers, so it becomes a constant need to manage the resources you have.

 

splat!

The other power available is the divine touch, which allows the player to touch on creatures to kill them when the meter is full. Filling the meter is simply a case of getting ants to squish more bugs, but touching on the floor instead of an enemy will cause an earthquake. It can also help you pick up items by swiping them across to your base. Things get more frantic when you have to mix this with the other powers and using the ants to kill more enemies in order to keep them from waning at the same time.

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