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Old 01-26-2012, 11:59 AM
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Default Ant Turns Zombie -- An interesting, fun twist to the line-drawing genre!




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Disclosure: I received a promo code for this game, but itís definitely one I wouldíve bought anyway and Iím very happy I own it! For me, itís a keeper.
Played On: iPod Touch, 4th Gen.
My Rating: ***** out of ***** for its genre.


Ant Turns Zombie is an interesting and enjoyable twist on the Flight Control-style, line-drawing genre. The premise is based on recent genuine scientific discoveries, which adds an educational element to game play too. In the real world, in Brazilís rain forest, mind-controlling fungi are creating ''zombie'' ants. The fungus invades brain cells and prompts the ants to wander seemingly aimlessly around the forest, until a specific time when they chomp down on a leaf in a death grip, in what turns out to be the perfect spot for the fungus to reproduce.

Solo developer Rangarajan Chellappan has perfectly blended this concept with the line-drawing style of game play to produce a delightful pick-up-and-play game! In his version, itís little blue flies that swoop in and attack the ants and turn them into zombies. In this game, you start with a field containing several ant hills, then draw lines to direct ants to their proper holes, while helping them pick up food along the way, and avoiding the flies that will bite them and turn them into zombie ants. Too many zombie ants on the field and itís game over!

There's lots to keep track of in this game, and it can get quite chaotic as time progresses! You not only have to keep track of the ants and direct them to hills and keep them away from the flies, but you need to keep each ant faction separate or else theyíll fight each other! Thatís right, thereís more than one type of ant on the screen at a time, and they do not go into the same holes nor do they like each other at all! Youíre kept hopping keeping the differently-colored ants away from each other, and away from the flies. Green ants are the one exception as they get along with everyone, which is good news when you need a breather from the chaos on-screen!

One thing that stands out for this game in its genre is that it gives you opportunities to regain control of the game when things heat up just a little too much. Zombie ants donít live forever, so a player can make plans to deprive the zombie ants of food, or redirect the ants on the field to eat all the food, and change the paths between the zombie ants, the incoming flies and the ants on the field. If you can hold off creating too many additional zombie ants, and wait out the deaths of the current ones, then youíll be back in control until the next wave of chaos erupts!

This game stands out for replayability too. Although itís a beat the highest score rather than a complete-levels style of play, there are four different ways of playing the game, and several different backgrounds to use for ant hill locations too, giving it a nice mix and feel.

The basic game is Ant Infection, in which you try to keep your ants away from flies so they donít turn into zombies, and definitely away from zombie ants which will turn them into more zombie ants! The zombie ants are weak in this mode, however, and wonít last long if they donít eat.

In Zombie Rage mode the zombie ants are much stronger and a lot more aggressive. Eating increases their lifespan, which makes the game tougher, but the green ant gains the power to fight and kill zombie ants. So make good use of your green ants!

Honeypot mode introduces the rare Honeypot ants. If ants drink from honeypots, they will increase your score, but if zombie ants get to the honeypots they will poison it!

The final game mode, Antidote, introduces a cure for the zombie ant condition. If a zombie ant eats a certain medicinal plant that appears on-screen it will turn back into a regular ant. These plants are in short supply though, so just make sure that regular ants donít eat them up first!

In summary, this game sports crystal clear graphics and great art, good music and sound effects, a fabulous tutorial, making it easy to play and easy to recommend. If you have kids who are into bugs, or youíre a fan of the line-drawing genre and want something a little different, then I highly recommend this game! Itís definitely a great buy at 99 cents.

 

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