Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the StoryYou play as a young woman in red overalls, a red worker ant. Every spring, five dangerous creatures visit the tree and threaten the village, and every spring, the Queen sends one of her daughters to negotiate with them. This spring, the Queen wants you to be that daughter.
Nominee, Best NPCs - 2009 XYZZY Awards
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
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)
See the full review
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
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
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."
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.
The game uses non-standard directions (such as "widdershins") and it provides other surprises that toy with your expectations of interactive fiction.
The numerous NPC's were surprisingly charming. The writer derived inspiration from Hans Christen Andersen, Lewis Carroll, and the musical "Into the woods". The game has an overall fairy-tale feel.
Once you pass the initial surprises, the games puzzles are not very difficult. This is a game to be finished in less than half an hour. I recommend it to everybody, because it has a great effect and doesn't take long to play.
See All 5 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed Dead Like Ants...
Related GamesPeople who like Dead Like Ants also gave high ratings to these games:
|This is the game that I wrote, by David Welbourn|
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
Written for SpeedIF Gruff on Jan. 21, 2006; the theme was fractured fairy tales. Vaguely inspired by "This is the house that Jack built."
|Aotearoa, by Matt Wigdahl|
Average member rating: (53 ratings)
The Fish of Māui. The Land of the Long Cloud. Aotearoa. An entire continent of untamed wilds, and the last place on Earth where dinosaurs still roam. If only you'd come ashore under better circumstances...
|The Fire Tower, by Jacqueline A. Lott|
Average member rating: (41 ratings)
Recommended ListsDead Like Ants appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Best fantasy games by MathBrush
These are my favorite games that include some sort of magical or fantastical element. Games with mostly horror or sci-fi elements are on other lists, as are surreal games, fairy tale/nursery games, and religious/mythological games. I've...
Favorite "atmosphere" games by MathBrush
These are games that are fun because of the atmosphere and plot more than the puzzles. These games are not too hard and not too easy. They generally have a big over-arching theme. I have included most horror and comedy games in other...
My new walkthroughs for July 2018 by David Welbourn
On Friday, July 6, 2018, I published several new walkthroughs for the games listed below! Many of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of...
PollsThe 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...
I am new to interactive fiction, could anyone recommend a game for me? by Urtikor
Hello, I just recently came across interactive fiction and I want to try it out and see if it's my kind of thing. I tried Dreamhold for maybe half an hour, but even though it seemed well written, solving puzzles isn't interesting for me....
This is version 11 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 7 July 2018 at 4:03pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item