SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony is a Maxis life simulation video game released in 1991. It is the company’s third product and focuses on ants. Will Wright was the man behind the design. It won “Best Simulation Game” at the Software Publishers Association’s Codie awards in 1992. SimAnt was re-released in 1993 as part of the SimClassics Volume 1 compilation for PC, Mac, and Amiga, alongside SimCity Classic and SimLife. SimAnt, along with several other Maxis simulation games, was re-released in 1996 as part of the Maxis Collector Series, with improved compatibility with Windows 95 and new box art, as well as the addition of Classics beneath the title.
The game is based on an ant colony simulation. Wright was influenced by E. O. Wilson’s research on ant colonies. SimAnt is divided into three modes: Quick Game, Full Game, and Experimental Game. It was released for the IBM PC, Amiga, Macintosh, and Super NES, among other platforms. The Super NES version includes eight scenarios in which the goal is to eliminate the enemy red ants in various locations, each with its own set of hazards.
In SimAnt, the player takes on the role of an ant in a black ant colony in the back yard of a suburban home. The ant colony must fight off invading red ants. The ultimate goal is for the red ants and human owners to be driven out of the garden and into the house. simantics differed from other ‘Sim’ games in this regard because it was open-ended and had no win conditions.
The player establishes a black ant colony in a small patch of yard in the Quick Game, which is shown from a top-down perspective. In the same patch, the computer opponent establishes a competing red ant colony. A side view of underground ant colonies is depicted. The player has direct control of one ant at a time, which is indicated by a yellow color and can switch to a different ant at any time by double-clicking the desired ant or selecting Exchange from the Yellow Ant menu and clicking on it. The player’s yellow ant can influence the behavior of other black ants by leaving pheromone trails to destinations such as food and enemy ant colonies, and it also has limited control over the other ants (by ordering a certain number to follow it, for instance). The yellow ant can also dig new tunnels underground, expanding the black colony’s network. When either the red or black colony in the said patch is defeated, the quick game is won or lost.
The player’s yellow ant can collect food and pebbles, participate in trophallaxis (receive regurgitated food from friendly ants), and attack enemy ants. Ants in groups (or the yellow ant with her recruits) can attack and kill larger enemies such as spiders, caterpillars, and antlions. Human footsteps, electrical outlets, bug spray, spiders, antlions, lawnmowers, and rain, which washes away pheromone trails and can flood the bottom of ant nests, are all-natural hazards.
The Full Game, like the Quick Game, begins with an ant colony in an overhead view. This overhead view focuses on a single square of a map that contains a yard and a house. The player spreads to new areas by producing young queens and drones to mate with. When the black colonies are eliminated, simantics is lost; when the red colonies are eliminated and the humans are driven out of the house, simantics is won.
The Experimental Game is similar to the Quick Game, with the exception that the player can also control red ants and spiders and has access to a set of experimental tools. The player can use these tools to place pheromone trails, maze walls, rocks, ants, pesticides, and food.
The boxed game also includes a well-researched instruction manual that not only covers game mechanics but also contains a wealth of information about ants and ant societies.
We might have SimAnt download available for more than one platform. SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony is currently available on these platforms:
How to play on Windows
- Click on the download button. It should redirect you to your download. Make sure you download the file properly and that your internet does not disconnect while downloading.
- Extract the “SimAnt The Electronic Ant Colony” folder to your desktop.
- Download the software called DOSBox and put a shortcut for DOSBox onto your desktop.
- Open the “SimAnt The Electronic Ant Colony” folder and then open the “Game Files” folder.
- Drag the file called “SIMANT” on top of the DOSBox icon. SimAnt should now launch in DOSBox.
- Enjoy SimAnt!
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