When I first loaded up “O’Cells”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The description on its Greenlight page (link below) mentioned that it was a real-time strategy game that allowed you to manage your own anthill. Having fond memories of “SimAnt” for the SNES, I was anxious to give this game a field test. Before we get started with the preview, I’d like to thank Alexis Jouanneaux for including me in the Beta. As such, the game isn’t finished yet making the below content subject to change.
At the main menu, I was prompted to enter a username and password. Registration is free and only takes a few seconds, so I’m glad to see that the process was painless. At present, the game doesn’t save your login information, meaning you’ll have to enter your username and password every time you play. Hopefully this login info will be saved for the sake of convenience in a later build. I could start a new game and adjust a few game options (once in-game), but nothing fancy. There were menu options for tutorials, but none have been implemented yet.
Without a tutorial to guide me, I had to learn everything on the fly and I’m still not sure I understand everything. The game started out by centering the camera on my queen ant and I didn’t seem to be able to move her. I began playing with some of the icons in the upper left hand corner of the screen, which I discovered were key in helping me to progress. The population menu allowed me to set how many of a particular ant I wanted in my colony and the DNA shop menu seemed to act like a tech tree of sorts. There is an objectives button, though I was too busy trying not to get my queen killed to really explore it.
At present, there are four different kinds of ants you can “build”. Scouts look for food, harvesters gather food, guards are melee soldiers, and spitters are ranged soldiers. After adjusting numbers in the population menu, I saw that my queen began to lay eggs. After a short wait, these eggs hatched and the ants went about their business. I was able to select ants in an RTS fashion, but I found it odd that I had to deselect them in a radial menu before I could create another selection box.
Without a functional tutorial, there’s not much more I can provide based on my play experience. I will say however that I’m looking forward to seeing more of the game, once I figure out how to survive beyond three minutes of playing. Bugs swarmed my queen quickly and killed it, despite my best efforts. Simulators are probably my favorite kind of game and the market is starved for another “SimAnt”, meaning that I’ll be watching this game like a hawk over the next couple of months.
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:
You can view video play sessions of the Beta, here: