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Hands on with Konami's DS insect sim Ant Nation

Management from the ground up

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Product: Ant Nation | Publisher: Konami | Genre: Simulation
For: DS
Ant Nation DS, thumbnail 1
It's normal to find the occasional Japanese-developed game a little odd, and that was definitely the case as we went hands on with Konami’s Ant Nation. Still, there have been some high profile insect sim games - Will Wright's 1991 Sim Ant springs to mind. Not that it ranks high on the list of his most successful ideas.

But the reason we found Konami's Ant Nation a strange proposition was its uncompromising nature.

For one thing, your ants are just dots without personality. No A Bug's Life this. Its real-time strategy nature also feels fairly extreme for the DS, both in terms of gameplay and the amount of stuff that's happening on screen.

As well as mundane actions such as using your worker ants to collect food and build up your colony by extending the ant hill, you have to train up your ants to make them resistant to elements like fire, water and poison. Events such as earthquakes and volcanoes will disrupt your progress as well.

Some form of payback comes when you're attacked by ladybugs, spiders and beetles and you can send out your evolved armies of soldier ants to defeat them.

But despite the nearly 100 missions and six environments, playing the game didn't feel like much fun - due, in part, to the steep learning curve you have to overcome. And the lack of anthropomorphic Formicidae - although maybe that's just me.

You'll be able to find out for yourself soon enough, however, as Ant Nation is due for a summer release on DS and WiiWare.

Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan 14 July 2009
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Anonymous | 21:09 - 14 July 2009
Yes, we have the best developers and this will be hit. Be on the watch for our new iphone game that we will launch with att after the all star MLB baseball. It is the best konami style.