SoldierAnts is a turn-based strategy game that faithfully reproduces the action from the original Worms series, while adding a few new things to the mix. The gameplay consists of choosing an ant in your army, and attacking the enemy worms in 2-D playing field. You get one attack per turn, as does your enemy.
The game features a nice variety of weapons, including those not found in the Worms games, like a sniper rifle or revolver. The controls handle well for the most part, with moving, aiming, and shooting all being pretty self explanatory. Though it will take you a few games to understand what each weapon does, and a tutorial really couldn’t have hurt. There are extra weapons and powerups that fall from the sky, but when you collect them,
they don’t tell you what you just collected! Kind of odd that you have to figure out on your own which weapon you received, or which weapons received more ammo.
The movement of your ants is easy for the most part. Tap left or right to move in that direction, and swipe up and left or right to jump. Jumping isn’t any worse than Worms, which was honestly never that good, but it works. One complaint I have is with the sometimes crazy camera movement in the game. When switching between ants, it will sometimes zigzag back and forth like crazy. Also, there is no “free camera” mode while you are trying to aim at your enemies. So unless an enemy ant is in your close proximity, it’s impossible to fire a homing missle at them accurately.
One of the coolest features of SoldierAnts is the campaign mode – something that I have yet to see in a Worms game. Basically, you are set up on a continent map, and much like Risk, you choose various regions to invade. Your opponent does the same, and eventually you battle over regions. The winner is the person who can completely take over the map. This is something that’s pretty fun to play with a friend as well, since SoldierAnts allows same-device multiplayer. You can also save your campaign and come back to it later if you want.
Graphically, SoldierAnts is not that great. It’s certainly more polished than a lot of indie games out there, but it’s not up to the level that bigger titles have. The resolution is overall pretty low. The explosions and particle effects are good, and the map destruction works well. Speaking of maps, there are a large number of different themes, and they are randomly generated, offering a good variety of replay value.
Presentation & Graphics
Nothing amazing, but certainly solid. Good frame rate throughout, and nice variety of level designs. Animation for weapons is also good, with some decent particle effects. Unfortunately, backgrounds and levels are low-res, and don’t look too hot.
Good music in the game an menus, but can get boring after a while. Sound effects are good for the most part. Explosion sounds can get repetitive.
Aside from some annoying camera controls, SoldierAnts if very playable, and a lot of fun, especially when playing with a friend. The inclusion of campaign mode, with the ability to save, really adds some nice value to the game. Ran into a couple glitches relating to movement that forced me to restart the app… game wasn’t saved.
With same-device multiplayer and randomly generated maps and campaigns, there’s definitely a good amount of replay value to be had. Would have been cool to see some sort of storyline, and maybe unlockable weapons to really encourage me to keep coming back.
Judging on production quality alone, SoldierAnts can’t compare to previous Worms games. However, judging by the great variety of weapons, the new campaign mode, and same-device multiplayer, it certainly will give Worms a run for it’s money at it’s current 99 cent price point! It works very well as mobile game, as it is one you can come back to whenever you want to play a random battle, or continue a saved campaign. Every time you play, it’s different, and the challenging AI will keep on your toes.
UPDATE: This game received a hefty update. Click here for details.