Switch version tested
Review code provided
Anthill is an interesting take on the strategy genre from Image and Form Games, the team behind the exceptional SteamWorld universe. Originally released on the mobile platform some years back the game has you take control of a legion of ants for some real-time strategic havoc. The question posed is, does this freshly ported version meet the grade or will it simply be destined to sit amongst the plethora of indie clutter that resides on the eShop today?
Let’s be clear about this. There are many great, even exception. indie titles to be had in the eShop which is absolutely unquestionable. Sadly for everything that is good, there seems to be at least quadruple the number that are purely sub-par attempting to grab our cash. The lack of quality control is disturbing. Back to Anthill, firstly the Switch version is fully loaded, containing the original base game and all of the previously released DLC – a benefit of it moving across to console at a much later date. Image and Form didn’t stop there though, the team have been busy behind the scenes including a new and improved soundtrack.
The game is played solely using the touchscreen from an overhead viewpoint. The core mechanic is based around drawing trails of pheromone across the ground to point the colonies troops in the right direction. Defend the base and queen from hordes of enemies that attack and collect the deceased for points. The are several stylised worlds to master each split into segments. The levels themselves are then divided into waves that increase with difficulty as time passes. Anyone who has played a tower defence title will have a grounding and fun here. You will soon get to grips with what is expected to ensure victory is on the cards. The story is on the light side but not a major factor with the enjoyability of this title.
The usual rules apply in Anthill, the game starts off easy and guides with onscreen tips. New enemies are introduced which will get you thinking about the best way to attack or how to defend, it soon becomes a fine balance of resources versus sacrifice. With each passing level, new ants are unlocked bringing variety in how you best the oncoming wave. As points are acquired, by collecting the defeated, so does the ability to upgrade each of your unit types. Adding a more robust solution for success. Master these points and you’ll have a fully functioning swam in no time. If you fail a level simply replay it. If you are having major issues then backtrack a little and collect more points to upgrade those troops.
Visually the game is bright and vibrant on the Switch screen but is fairly simple in design with a cartoon-like quality. Both backgrounds and character models are functional, good looking but there’s nothing groundbreaking, not that it needs to be. The soundtrack that has been re-worked fits the mood well. Performance, as you would hope, is perfect and the controls are simple yet intuitive. As previously alluded, this edition includes all of the DLC so there are plenty of missions to keep you entertained and also an endless mode for those that just want to watch the world burn.
Anthill on Nintendo Switch is fun to play and provides a unique view on a much-loved genre. Dedicating to touch is a nod to the game’s conception but alienates those wanting to play docked. The game is designed to be played on the go in short sharp bursts and works perfectly on the Switch because of this. Antill provides a lot of content for the money and will entertain all ages with its accessible gameplay.
TBG Score: 6.5/10
Platform: Mobile, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 24/10/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Puzzle, Strategy
Developer: Image and Form Games
Download link: eShop