Antics on the Ant Farm: An Ant Colony Review

by Corey Whelen
6 June 2019
1-6 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, Medium Complexity, Light Strategy, Ages 5+
 
Dig into the dirt! Tear up the terrain! Make a mess in the mud with your friends, but don’t forget, the colony is relying on you! It’s all-for-one and one-for-all in this crazy cooperative game! Ant Colony is the tile-placing game of choice for families of all ages!

 
Gameplay in Ant Colony is easy to learn and impossible to ant-icipate. The Queen demands a home and it’s up to her royal retinue to build one that’s up to her standards! Turn-by-turn, players will take on the role of worker ants by drawing random tiles and fitting as many as possible on the grid-based board. Every turn, you roll a die to determine where you can build, and if you can fit all 4 “room” tiles on the board while providing two surface-level exits, all players win the game! There are a couple of flies (or ants) in the ointment, however; pesky boulder tiles can block your plans, bothersome beetle tiles always pop up at the wrong time, and don’t even get me started on those ant-eaters. If you run out of room to build, or your exits become blocked by hungry ant-eaters, then the game is over without ANY winners! This palpable threat keeps the team focused, but the random nature of Ant Colony’s tile-picking mechanic means every turn is fresh, unique, and challenging. It rewards planning ahead and taking risks, which go a long way towards keeping a game engaging through multiple playthroughs.
 

An Ant-astic Presentation
 
Cooperative games have so much going for them, and this game is no different. When you’re working together, the game becomes a clever little puzzle you solve with your friends. You’re trying to beat the game, not each other! This fosters a spirit of friendliness and teamwork that’s perfect for introducing new and younger players into the world of hobby board-gaming. The game has fantastic presentation as well, the tiles are sturdy and well-made, and the die is extra-large to prevent choking-hazards. The incredibly concise rules are presented on the inside of the box (which is beautifully decorated with dirt, grass, and a whole bunch of ants), and there’s only about 2-3 minutes of rules explanation standing between you and your first game!
 

Terrific Tunnel Tiles - how deep will yours go?
 
Winning together is even more rewarding than succeeding alone, and this is one game that won’t bug you at all. Ant Colony is a fantastic introduction to more complicated games with similar themes, be it tile-placing games like Carcassone or intense cooperative action like Pandemic. With clever gameplay, cartoon-y artwork, and enough complexity and chance to keep parents ant-ertained, Ant Colony is the perfect addition to any family boardgame collection.