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DeadLikeAnts.zip
Contains Dead Like Ants.t3
EnvComp entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 3 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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Dead Like Ants

by C.E.J. Pacian profile

2009

(based on 39 ratings)
4 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: March 23, 2009
Current Version: 6
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 3
Baf's Guide ID: 3188
IFID: F45B1592-DA5D-7722-45B7-100B1E55D763
TUID: x8toy0ku3y2af6se

Awards

Nominee, Best NPCs - 2009 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


A good game with a nicely fleshed out and unusual world, many Easter eggs, an interesting plot twist - and almost non-existent puzzles. The only problem I saw about it was the following. Beating the game consists of several... uhm... iterations, but the twist mentioned above becomes apparent after the first of them, so that from this point on, it's pretty clear what the rest of the iterations would be about. Also, I felt such an unusual game deserved a more unusual ending.

--Valentine Kopteltsev

Jay Is Games
The premise of Dead Like Ants seems straightforward enough: resolve the conflicts posed by the five dangerous creatures threatening the colony. This could easily become an epic quest, but Pacian chooses instead to go down a simpler, more poetic route. The game's main goal is not so much to present a steep intellectual challenge as it is to tell a story and offer a thought-provoking experience; on those counts, the game succeeds brilliantly. Pacian possesses real talents in the realms of language and characterization, and the game's insect cast in particular benefits from his (or is it her?) skills. (by Jess)
See the full review

SPAG
Dead Like Ants was a joy to play. As short and simple as it is, it packs a great deal of emotion, effortless whimsy, and a strange kind of humor which is dark yet not depressing. In the afterword, the author credits Lewis Carroll as inspiration, a muse whose contribution is powerfully felt without coming across as derivative in the slightest. And the prose is so... the only word I can think of is smooth, by which I mean that it succeeds in being elegantly sparse without sacrificing evocativeness. The parser will rarely give you a response over a line or two long, and yet each description contains all the information you need and still pulls off sounding downright pretty. (by Nate Dovel)
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Brass Lantern
EnvComp Reviews
Includes reviews of Dead Like Ants by Greg Boettcher, Stephen Granade, Jon Ingold, Jacqueline A. Lott, Mike Roberts, Dan Shiovitz, Lucian Smith, Mike Sousa, Duncan Stevens and Jake Wildstrom.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(7)
4 star:
(20)
3 star:
(12)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Surreal, Dark, Beautiful, April 12, 2010
by Danielle (The Wild West)
This wasn't what I expected when I picked it up. I figured some kind of game about ants, maybe being tortured by people...perhaps like ANT BULLY: THE TEXT ADVENTURE.

Instead I got this really strange piece with insects anthropomorphized into beings more like people (a widow, a lawyer, a damsel, not a spider, slug, and damselfly); more importantly, I got a tale of twisted tenderness and ambiguous triumph.

The navigation was a little strange ("sunwards" and "widdershins" replace some traditional directions), but once I got that figured out, interacting with the other characters was...interesting. After a number of encounters, you start (Spoiler - click to show)wondering how THIS daughter is going to die. It puts the reader/player in an interesting position, to (Spoiler - click to show)root for your character's demise, so you can "win".

That (Spoiler - click to show)"repeated-death-to-gain-victory" mechanic would be all well and good, but it's the epilogue (Spoiler - click to show)from the Queen's point of view that elevates it from "a strange tale" to "a strangely beautiful tale."

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful if slight little game, November 23, 2009
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Dead Like Ants is the only game I know of that uses cylindrical coordinates rather than compass directions, which is logical when the protagonist is an ant living in a tree. More interesting than the physical environment, however, is the social environment of an (anthropomorphic) ant colony, with its lack of individualism. If ant colonies produced literature, it might look like Dead Like Ants.

The game is short and polished, and combines atmosphere and message into an enjoyable package. The gameplay, however, is definitely on the slight side: it consists mostly of exploration, but the exploration becomes predictable rather quickly. Nevertheless, it is recommended.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting. Not what you expect., January 3, 2015
by Chai Hai (Kansas City KS)
This was an overall enjoyable game. I enjoyed (Spoiler - click to show)killing everyone one by one, although it was a bit morbid. I was always fascinated by the descriptions of the creatures and finding out what they really were from the score. I tried to figure out what each creature was and was usually wrong.

The directions took a bit of getting used to, but once you did it was a cinch. Overall, good game!

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Dead Like Ants:

Games with non-standard directions by Andrew Schultz
I'm wondering about games (primarily parser) with weird directions beyond NW/SW/SE/NE, up, down or inside/outside. I like the example in the Inform docs (Charles S. Roberts) about hexagonal directions but have no clue how to go about...

Mother-Daugher Relations by matt w (Matt Weiner)
What are some IF works that involve a relationship between a mother and a daughter? Not necessarily as the center of the work, but as something that impinges on it at all.

Emotional IF by Sorrel
I'm looking for IF that inspires one or more strong emotions in the player an IF that pulls on your heartstrings a little.

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This is version 9 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 23 April 2013 at 3:57am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item