Publisher: MADSOFT Games, Inc.
With the increasing popularity of smartphones there has been has grown a bigger audience for casual gaming. This is why it's natural that there is an influx of casual games on the mobile market. Whenever you're busy and can only be on your phone for short spans of time, it's nice to have a good game that you can play for those short spans of time. SciAnts is one of those games. SciAnts is a casual arcade style game about protecting your various lunches (or maybe one big lunch) from hordes of ants, while in space.
There are two things you must do in each wave to progress to the next one. First is tap the ants to kill them so that they cannot get to the food. Second, you must reorganize and eat the food. Once you've eaten all of the food on that plate, you move on to the next one. Each plate adds more foods that take longer to eat as well as ants you have to deal with differently.
Killing ants is always does by tapping them, but same ants have to be dealt with differently than others. Some are basic worker ants that are killed with one tap, others are big and take more, while others on on fire from time to time, hurting you when you try to attack them. There is enough variety thrown at you at such a nice pace that it's never overwhelming. Each time a new type of ant is introduced there is a whole wave dedicated to it, just for you to get used to it. It's thoughtful design.
Eating food is the one true requirement for moving onto the next wave. To eat, you must tap and hold a piece of food for however long you need to. Each second a piece is bitten off, and once zero second remain the food has been eaten. However, while you're busy eating food, you cannot kill ants and stop them from stealing your food. This can lead to a lot of prioritizing.
Like the arcade games of old, SciAnts is a game you play over and over, developing and trying out strategies along the way. Do you pick up the foods and throw them to the bottom of the screen? Do you eat the smaller or the bigger foods first? What ants do you kill first? All of these are questions I've asked myself when developing strategies. Theorizing what works best and actually testing it is fun when it works well, and due to the simplicity of the game, it usually does.
This game can be quick, but with lots of replay-ability. Unless you're about to beat your high score, it's easy to just pause the game and pick it up later. Starting up is quick too, making this game easy to whip out for a sitting lasting only a few minutes. Games are usually quick anyways, with my longest lasting only about seven minutes. It's fun and fits the casual nature of it's market well.
Another cool thing to note that could also be noted about games like Don't Tap the White Tile is the different methods of play. You can use both thumbs, one thumb, one finger, multiple fingers, etc. All you have to do is tap and sometimes hold, and how you do it doesn't mater. The tapping system is a flexible system that I like in games utilizing the touchscreen.
Aesthetics are on point in this game. The art is a cartoony, hand-drawn style. It has a varied color pallet that makes it easy to distinguish everything, despite the very possible catastrophe of ants and food. The music is also an A+, being done by the wonderful Fat Bard. It's a selection of funky sci-fi pieces that really get you in the right atmosphere for the game.
All in all, SciAnts is a little mobile gem. If defending stuff from hordes is your thing, then this is a pretty fun take on your thing. Solid core-mechanics, bonus extra challenges, and interesting variables to keep up with are all wrapped up in an appealing art style with such great music makes for a good game. The simplistic design that can still involve strategy is also nice. Feels like a true arcade-style game. Go download it on Android.