Ant Assault is a game for iPhone and Touch that pits players against an army of ants invading your device and trying to steal its inner components. The ants come in waves and attempt to steal any one of five components and players stop them by tapping, flicking and shaking. If you’re not fast enough, they will make off with your device’s components and it’s game over.
The Ant Assault starts slow, with only a few black ants, but as you progress, they come faster, more furiously, and get bigger and badder. As you frantically try to defend your device by squishing the ants, you build your score. If a component is close to being lost, double tap the holder to reattach it. If an ant makes off with a component, try to recover it before it disappears off screen. It’s chaotic warfare against a swarm of ants whose motivation is unclear.
The gameplay in Ant Assault is based upon a fairly good story idea, or at least a fairly original one. The invading ants give purpose to the game and the frantic tapping to squish is a fairly tried and true execution at this stage. If you’ve played similar games before, the premise will be familiar. With Ant Assualt, the developers, Dark Studios Limited, also took advantage of the touch screen interface by adding flicking and shaking as alternative interactions and a means to thwart the invading ants.
Progressive difficulty, high score competitiveness, with the option to share through Open Feint, and simple interface make Ant Assault a decent game. There are some stability issues, including the inability to launch the game about half the time, that may or may not be fixed for all users with the recent 3.1.3 iPhone update—at least it wasn't for me. There also seems to be unnecessary lag between some interactions, such as double-tapping components to secure them. Other users who experience these issues will likely become frustrated by the unpredictability and no one appreciates having to uninstall, reinstall, and restart to gain stability in a simple game.
The graphics are solid, with the background meant to imitate a circuit board and the ants are realistic, but the color contrast is a bit dark. Gameplay is accompanied by subtle sound effects and music with a catchy beat. That said, the price drop of Ant Assault from it’s original release price of $1.99 to $.99 is right on target and if you can get the game to load predictably, it makes for a fast-paced, quick and mildly entertaining play.