Game Site: www.antzz.org
Rating: Play It!
Antzzz (or Fourmizz, in the French) is a very original OSG that’s a lot of fun. Each player starts as a ruler of an Ant colony. There are only 2 resources, Food and Material, that you will have to collect to build the structures in your ant nest and raise an army.
To collect resources you will assign your “Workers” to harvest them from the hunting field. You can use your Queen to lay more workers or an army to expand your hunting field (which will then need more workers to fill). Expanding the hunting field is a great mechanic that acts like the dungeons in Lord of Ultima or the Barbarian Camps in Ikariam, but is much more integrated into the game. It forces players to get a taste of combat against pretty easy NPCs as part of the core gameplay.
You can, of course, send your army to attack other players as well. With a map that looks a little too familiar you can attack players as long as they’re within a certain range of your score. A mechanic I havnen’t seen before is that each player’s colony is divided into three areas that can be attacked: the hunting field, the anthill, and the nest. The tutorial explains the differences very well:
“Hunting Field: stricker and defender are on equal foot. If you win, you’ll take up to 20% of enemy’s HF, 1cm2 maximum per ant.
“Anthill: The defender has a 10% bonus (+ improvements). If you win, you’ll take a percentage of his food and materials (and the 20% of the HF). What you take is : 30% of the stock + 1% per level of aphid room, within a limit of 1 resource (food or material) per attack point of the surviving army.
“Nest: the defender has a 30% defense bonus (+ improvements). If you win, you colonize this anthill. A colony must give you a part of the resources it earns. Your troops will remain in the anthill of the enemy…”
“Take care: if you choose to attack the Anthill, you will also attack the HF. The same for the Nest : you’ll attack the HF, then the Anthill, and then the Nest.If your army dies in the Nest, you get nothing!”
Indeed, once you conquer another colony you automatically collect 20% of their resources (until they launch a successful rebellion). Also, as a defender you get to choose where to station your army. You could put all your troops in the Hunting Field to protect it, but they wouldn’t get the defensive bonus of the Nest! Overall this is a great mechanic that really allows each player to decide what strategy to use.
The main downside of the game is probably the lack of graphics. There’s no real “City View” screen. Although there is a “view” where you can see your anthill, you can’t interact with it. All the Buildings are selected from a list. On the plus side, it’s easy to see what your options are since the information about each building is right there. On the otherhand, it can be difficult to see what you already have and they’re not organized very well. The screen displays all the possible buildings along with the ones you’ve built, and the first two in the list can’t even be built until much later in the game. The game does do a good job of presenting everything with a pretty clean UI though. It’s always easy to see how many resources you have and to navigate between the different game screens. There’s also the issue of the constant adds for pest control…
Overall this is a great new game that simplifies the genre down to its core elements and focuses on making them fun. Hopefully if they can get enough players they can afford to make it a little prettier, though I hope they keep the minimalistic approach.