Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: Carole Stewart McDonnell

Computer Platform: PC, MAC
Produced by: Maxis
Price Range: $9-29
Learning curve time: 1 hr.
Age level: 11+

Genre: Simulation
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5

For anyone who has ever wanted an ant farm without actually bringing these little insects into the house, for anyone who has wondered what Solomon meant when he said, "Go to the Ant, thou Sluggard, consider her ways and be wise," this is the game for you.

After studying the rules—you must study the rules for this game or you'll be lost in the mound before you begin—you may decide on a Quick Game, a Full Game, or an Experimental Game. By and large, the Experimental Game is best for the players ego. It's basically playing research and so the emotional investment is next to nil. You don't care if your cyber-insects die, you've discovered something. It's The Quick Game that is a little harder… you have only one goal: to move along a path. That sounds easy enough. It isn't. Many obstacles can get in the way of even the smallest goal. Still, it's a challenge. But when you get into the Full Game, then frustrations begin.

SimAnt has the usual array of windows one finds in a Maxis game. The Map Window, Behavior Control Window, Caste Control Window, History Window, Information Window, and Status Window. You can keep up on the Caste, Brood, Workers, Soldiers, Queens, Males and larvae in your highly regimented, extremely busy and warlike community. You can keep track of their foraging, nursing, diggings, and enemies—both natural and man-made—and their wars.

I always assumed that Solomon meant for us to consider the ants' business. After all, he called us “sluggards”. Certainly, when compared to ants, we humans come off a trifle more… slothful. But looking at this game, I learned more about ants… and more about humans. The ants are at war and can be very destructive. They are aware of their Great Enemy. They have a community that is tight-knit where every member contributes to the well-being of the community, primarily to the care of the Queen and the community's young. There were other things to learn: ants, for instance, can become cannibalistic when the situation warrants. Free will and free choice is not an option. So I will take a little of Solomon's advice and learn from the ant… but only where it concerns “sluggardness.” The rest of the allegory I'll push aside.

I think that SimAnt is a good, fun, and learning experience for all people that play it. You learn a lot, it really helps to show you that you learn from your mistakes. personally I like “TheSims” better but SimAnt is a good game too. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Tyler, age 16, non-Christian

I have to say that “Sim Ant” is possibly one of the worst games ever made. The gameplay just stinks. The game is just a waste of money and time. My Ratings: [5/1]
   —Spounge84, age 16

I am a huge Maxis fan. I own every Sim game out there. “SimAnt” is definitely one of the better games. It has a clever concept and is addictive. It has such a fun value to it and is also very educational. This is a great game considering it was made about ten years ago. The game is easy to learn how to play. I'd recommend picking up a copy of it for your kid or for your own amusement. I have seen this game all over stores in bargain bins for sometimes as little as $5.00. There is nothing whatsoever objectionable about it from a Christian standpoint. It's harmless fun. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Mark Arndt, age 16

Although it is aging, “SimAnt” still manages to pull it off as an extremely fun and educational game. I got this when I was younger and went through an ant and insect obsession (and even wrote a few books about insects) just because of this game. Hopefully Maxis will carry through and make a sequel. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Aaron O., age 14

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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