Slug Disco Studios released the early access version of its Empires of the Undergrowth ant colony management video game.
To play, users construct an ant colony underground by building tunnels and chambers to store food and raise their young. On the surface, the ants claim territory, gather resources, overpower arachnids and clash with other colonies. Nest design, army size, composition and attack timing are key to securing victory, the company says.
The ants are not individually controlled. Instead, the user selects what they want done and the ants go about it themselves. The ants’ skill level is based on the colony’s composition, organization and rate of expansion.
An undisclosed documentary filmmaker who studies ants narrates the missions. The primary game mode in early access is Formicarium, “where you take ownership of a home colony of unique DNA-harvesting ants as they work to assimilate the desirable traits of their foes.” The early access can be upgraded by playing one-off missions with the user’s home colony or with other ant species.
Users of the game can:
- Carve out and construct their underground colony to suit their strategy.
- Engage in fast-paced colony and colony combat above ground.
- Play as different ant species and explore their unique traits and weaknesses.
- Encounter and overpower dangerous beetles, arachnids and other arthropods.
In 2016, Slug Disco Studios created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the game’s development, and the goal was reached in less than one week.