January 30, 2013 | by Ben Crawford
Evaluated version: 1.0.2
Pros: Cute and fun graphics and sounds, fast-paced strategy
Cons: Levels are over quickly, powers accumulate slowly
Ant Raid is made by the same Developers of The Tiny Bang Story and brings a more action-packed style to the Tower Defense Genre. Don’t let the cute graphics and quirky sound effects fool you, if you don’t make the correct moves at the beginning, you will fail and fail often at levels.
To start, Ant Raid is a simple defend-your-home game. You have an army of ants that you group to fight off snails, bees and more. There aren’t different types or classes of ants for you to choose; instead, you, eventually, have different powers to give your ant horde. Your ants surround their hive to defend it, and you use your finger to select as many ants as you want to send to attack your enemies. The trick at the beginning of the game is to select the right number of ants to attack the different approaching enemies. If you select too many or too few, the snails will destroy your hive within seconds. The last levels give you more tasks than simply defending your hive, and these add a dimension to the game that the first levels lack. Ant Raid starts off slow, but with more powers come more fun.
The further you progress in the game, you get more powers like berserker-mode, healing, and an earthquake that you control with your finger. These powers are much-needed as the story progress, but they seem to imbalance the power between you and the approaching enemies. While the first chapter has overpowered enemies where if you slip up, you die, the last couple chapters allow you to gain the upper hand with your powers. The earthquake power basically allows you to kill everything without remorse or challenge.
For replayability and a challenge, you can get up to three stars in each level. You can achieve these by beating the level within a certain time, not allowing your hive to get harmed, not letting your finger earthquakes hurt your ants, and more. These are great to have and add to the game, but don’t expect to get three stars often on your first try. As I mentioned, it takes knowing what enemies are coming where and how many ants you need to take them down to really get those three stars. These are achievable but much more difficult than say the first few levels of Angry Birds.
The story is enough to carry the game. It’s quirky, funny, and silly without being strictly for kids. The music and atmosphere match that light-hearted description, and it’s all very well created. The graphics are serviceable, very much in the Herocraft style; though, I would have liked fewer sharp edges on the enemies and a bit more detail to see your ant army easier.
My few complaints are all above: it takes too long to get all your powers with so few short levels (45, with more promised), your ants are difficult to see (especially the ones hidden behind your hive), and an imbalance in your powers versus the enemy’s. Overall, it’s worth trying out the demo, and without a lot of noteworthy Tower Defense games on Android, Ant Raid could soothe your tower-defenseless gaming soul.