Ants are awesome, even the Marvel ones, and Florantine the inventive
dreamer is no different. He may be tiny but his dreams are big, and no
spider, crow or other critter or conundrum is going to get in his way.
At least, not eventually.
This is a charming light and “loopy” little first chapter, that
does lots of things right but is somewhat let down by a few other
The plusses are obvious the moment you turn it on. The photorealistic
game world is glorious, and the sultry jazz accompaniment perfectly
suited. The chitterings, grunts and other ambient sounds are equally as
impressive. There is no dialogue, at least not any you can read or hear,
but AntVentor isn’t short on ways to get its message across. Thought
bubbles abound, conveying all sorts of feelings and information, much of
it necessary for what you need to do next.
Soon after the game starts, Florantine has reason to leave his nest
and you have to help him. It’s only fair, as it’s your fault he has
to leave in the first place. You spend the next 2 hours or so exploring
above ground, mainly limited to a tree and the immediate environment.
Given your ant-ness though, that is plenty of ground to cover. Double
click to run, but there is a lot to make you stumble and fall, (as well
as the need to climb), so don’t expect to get around terribly quickly.
It’s a point and click third person outing, and the cursor will
change to indicate something can be done or taken, and to indicate
screen exits. Interacting may well result in a thought bubble of
conversation or introspection, giving a hint perhaps as to what is
required. Some were way too opaque for me, others less so. Inventive
ants collect a lot of stuff, and can use and combine objects in creative
ways. I confess to using the tried and true do everything here in
places, and to peeking at a walkthrough here and there.
I also initially failed to find one or two additional locations, not
apparent visually and the hotspot being one that I missed. Unlike some
games you can’t reveal all hotspots, so careful exploration is
warranted. You can get a “hint” by clicking on Florantine, but the
only time I tried it gave me the answer so I didn’t ask again. I
preferred to try and decipher the bubbles.
I am always prepared to acknowledge that one person’s stuckness is
another person’s obviousness, but having got to the end I did think it
was aimless a bit too often, and the puzzle solves a touch more opaque
than necessary. There is also a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing, which
pads out the game playtime.
There are Steam achievements if you like those sorts of things and I
had unlocked 7 of 13 when I finished. The “stinky” achievement was
either my high or my low point, depending on your point of view. Save to
your heart's content. The inventory pops into view when you move the
cursor to the top of the screen, and using and combining items is
straightforward. An item that can be used in the game world will glow
when “placed” correctly.
One final grumblement – there is a solve early on that had me
almost running for the magnifying glass. Even when I knew what to do,
getting the game to do it proved troublesome. Perhaps that was just me.
But it remains delightful throughout, Florantine being the centre of
attention. He is engaging and a worthy main character, and his quest is
only just beginning. I can’t imagine you won’t enjoy spending time
There is humour in the game – I laughed at loud at the last
cutscene – and an overall good sense of fun. There is a lot of promise
in this first chapter, and if the next chapter tightens up the gameplay,
this could be really rather good.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz