With Doomdark wondering where it all went wrong, we salute the Lords of Midnight goodbye and turn to our next game in the Your Sinclair Top 100. It appears our luck is coming in fours not threes this time, for arriving at No.#14 is Ant Attack from Quicksilva.
Ant Attack crawled onto our machine in 1983, given to us by the very smart chap Sandy White and his close friend Angela Sutherland. At 23 years old, Sandy had devised a soft-solid (patent pending) 3D game on the ZX Spectrum, but due to a lack of understand of how the games market worked he’d sent a video tape – of the gameplay – to a videoplayer-less Sinclair Research. It wasn’t until an excited phone to Quicksilva, followed by another videotape sent (checking first they had a player) that he then found himself on a plane to Southampton to sign a contract and in turn receiving his first cheque.
Within the City on Antescher populated by huge, roaming Ants all had laid quiet and the citizens of the world knew not to enter and nobody did, that was until an ancient race of an unknown origin emerged and wandered into said city. With no other help coming it’s down to you to make your way into this deadly, walled off city and to rescue these strange, ancient people.
I’m a huge fan of Ant Attack and have been for many years. Sandy White’s classic is a perfect slice of ZX Spectrum gaming and upon its release truly blew the socks off critics and gamers alike. Still to this day, the look of Ant Attack is extremely impressive though I will concede that age has begun to creep in, though the gameplay is still there in bucketloads. Newcomers to the game however may find a wee bit of difficulty acclimatising themselves with the keys, but give them time and you’ll soon be running through Antescher without a problem.
I do have one sore point with Ant Attack and it’s really not Sandy White’s fault, this is more a fault of the gaming generation. Quite a few people like to hail Ant Attack as the game that started the Survival Horror genre and I’d like to responded with you’re all wrong, I believe this falls to 3D Monster Maze on the ZX81 originally released in 1981.
Another great thing that came along with Ant Attack is David Rowe’s artwork which is truly fantastic; he also completed another fantastic piece for Zombie Zombie, as well as numerous other games and also many pieces the Knightmare TV Series. You can check out more of his artwork here.