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Ants

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:David Nemecek

GAME DEVELOPER:Gemtree

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2000, David Nemecek

Ants is a fun card-based strategy game with interesting gameplay mechanics, but is unfortunately too easy to warrant repeated play. The game is a freeware remakes of Arcomage, the card game from 3DO that is in turn based on the mini-game in Might & Magic VII. Your goal in the game is to either be the first ant (yes, an ant general) to finish building a 100-stories-high castle, or demolish your opponent’s castle to the ground. The game is turn-based. Every turn, you are given 8 “action cards,” from which you can only choose one. The number of resources required to carry out the action is noted on the top right corner of each card. The resources range from bricks (to build defensive walls or castle floors), weapons and soldiers (to attack your enemy’s castle), and gems and magis (to cast spells). Your resources increase automatically every turn, but you can manually increase the amount by using certain action cards (typically casting spells). Cards for which you don’t have enough resources to use are grayed out and cannot be selected.

The game’s best part is the variety of action cards. These range from mundane actions such as build castle and attack, to more interesting actions such as summon a dragon to demolish 20+ floors of your enemy’s castles and stealing some of your enemy’s resources. Unfortunately, the game is far too easy – I beat it on my first try by demolishing my enemy’s castle, who never seems able to build more than 10 floors of his castle. The ability to compete against another human player makes the game a bit more interesting, although your success still depends much more on luck (i.e. getting a good range of cards) than on strategic skills. If you like beer-and-pretzel strategy games that are fun for at least 5-10 minutes it takes to beat it, or if you enjoy Arcomage but don’t feel like it’s worth the $12.95 price tag, Ants fits the bill.



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