Ant Hill is an entertainment app that puts a simulated ant hill on your iPhone/iPod touch screen and — much like Pocket God — lets you interact with the ants in a sadistic sort of way. Ant Hill was developed by Concrete Software, a company that is no stranger to the App Store and that has several other releases in various categories including Nintaii, Fast Food Calorie Counter, and Spell Checker under their belt. In the case of Ant Hill, what they have achieved is hard to describe in a word, but let’s just say it’s unique.
When you launch Ant Hill, a literal ant hill will materialize on screen and ants start to crawl out of it at an alarming rate that borders on infestation. Frankly, it grosses me out, but then I have actually had a real life ant infestation and I have a very, very strong aversion to insects of most any variety, but hey, at least it isn’t cockroaches. Actually, I think an aversion, or at least indifference, to insects, specifically ants, is what they were going for with Ant Hill.
Ant Hill gives you a couple of different options to interact with the materialized ants, plus you can control the ant population with the sidebar Ant-o-meter. You can activate the accelerometer function and tilt and shake the colony, causing the ants to scatter and their hill to disappear and reappear elsewhere on the screen, or you can drop rocks on them and burn them to a crisp with a magnifying glass. If you are feeling a bit more kind, you can give them a strawberry for their dining pleasure. There is also a race function that pits black ants against red ants in a race to move a rock or finish off their fruit. Finally, you can use the path function to draw a line and watch them march to your direction — hurrah, hurrah.
While Ant Hill is merely a time waster, it is somewhat unique in its own rite. Though I personally would never, ever spend my time observing real ants, let alone simulated ones, I have no doubt there’s an audience for Ant Hill. The graphics are nice and the ants are pretty realistic. I even briefly feel sorry for the black ones that scream in anguish when the random red ants start to chase and attack them. Then I remember what it's like to have ants crawling all over the bathroom and kitchen and I'm pretty much over it.
It's easy to see the similarities between Ant Hill and Pocket God — except that there isn’t near the interaction with the ants in Ant Hill as the islanders in Pocket God and the ants have no personality traits and don't really do anything, after all they're just ants. However, it would appear that the developer has plans for updates that they intend to base on user feed back, so that may be an interesting development to watch.
As it is right now, Ant Hill is available for a sale price of .99 and that is pretty on target. If you are interested in having a uniquely random app featuring an ant population you can control, then grab it now and begin your own sadistic revenge against the ants.