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Video Game / Empire of the Ants

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Empire of the Ants is a 2001 Real-Time Strategy game for the PC, based on the novel of the same name by Bernard Werber.

Players control various hives belonging to the Federation of wood ants (called russet ants, as in the book) over a series of missions, some of which are based off the events of the books.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ant War: The premise of most of the levels is to defeat enemy hives.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The tank ants, which are jaw buster ants mounted on workers, are more mobile than guard ants on their own but are still very slow and resource-heavy.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Preying mantids, stag beetles, and other large insects can be encountered, and they will happily shred their way through armies of ants before finally being brought down.
  • Bloody Murder: The dwarf ants have acidic blood which damages enemies upon death.
  • Butt Cannon: The Gunner and Queen's Gunners castes are specialized to fire globs of formic acid at enemies.
  • Close-Range Combatant: The Soldier, Soldier-in-Training, Jaw-buster, and Tank castes are all meant for melee combat and are useless against flying or ranged opponents.
  • Combat Medic: Honeypot ants and Nurses can feed and heal injured ants on the field, but are weak themselves.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The jaw buster ants' oversized heads can be used to block tunnels and shred opponents, but they lack mobility on their own.
  • Fantastic Racism: The russet (wood) ants don't much care for any of the other species of ants, which include dwarf ants, weaver ants, red ants, and harvester ants. Nor do they care much for the wasps, bees, and other eusocial insects.
  • Hive Caste System: The game has a wide number of castes which fit into basic RTS unit categories, to choose from,:
    • Carpenter - cost 9 food per unit
    • Gunners - cost 32 food per unit
    • Honey-pot - cost 9 food per unit
    • Honetpot nurses - cost 45 food per unit
    • Jaw-buster - cost 29 food per unit
    • Nurse - cost 9 food per unit
    • The Queen's Gunners - cost 32 food per unit
    • Queen
    • Princess - cost 60 food per unit
    • Soldiers - cost 20 food per unit
    • Soldiers in training - 60 food per unit
    • Tanks - cost 120 food per unit
    • Worker - cost 5 food per unit
  • Long-Range Fighter: The Gunner and Queen's Gunner castes are devastating at long range and against flying opponents but abysmal up-close.
  • Mighty Glacier: The jaw-buster caste has insane offensive power with its massive mandibles, but its bulk makes them slow and ponderous. The Tanks compensate by using workers to carry the jaw-busters, greatly increasing their speed and mobility.
  • Power Pincers: The main weapon of soldier ants, jaw-buster ants, tanks, and soldiers-in-training are their mandibles.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: In addition to a health meter, units have a hunger meter which goes down over time and can end up killing them if they don't eat. That's where honeypot ants come in.
  • Worker Unit: The worker ants, which the player has no direct control over but can assign tasks from the Hive menu.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Worker ants can be assigned to gather building supplies and food, which are placed in store rooms.
  • Zerg Rush: The basic battle tactic is to swarm enemy units with ants until they die.