AntVentor was a surprise find for me at PAX East, and even though I’d never heard of it, I was immediately intrigued by it’s unique art style, a mix of hyper realistic environments and cartoony characters. Once I started playing the demo, I was enchanted by the humor and puzzles of this point-and-click adventure.
Having now played the whole game, I’m still amazed by the aesthetic and artistic direction, and the games funky sense of humor had me chuckling, but I was ultimately left hungry for more:
AntVentor is a point & click game about inventor ant and his adventures in photo-realistic macroworld
AntVentor’s visual style is unique, technically impressive and works really well. While the characters, interactable elements are drawn and animated in a cartoon, almost Pixar-esq style, the backgrounds and environments are rendered in an incredibly realistic way, to the point where I’m not sure they aren’t photographs, or made up of photographs. This isn’t a style that would work for every game, but I hope more developers consider it, because it’s very effect and engaging.
AntVentor uses basic point and click mechanics, and is subscribing to the standard point-and-click one solution philosophy, something I should learn to expect, but keep hoping will be innovated on and turned on it’s head. Only one set of interactions and items will solve your problems as Florentine the Inventor Ant, eager to repair his wood chipping machine so he can go back to day dreaming about traveling the world. Luckily, the story and characters are engaging, even if they are simple, and Florentine is animated and characterized beautifully. You’re able to see his thoughts from time to time, which act as the game’s hint system, but also timers, clues and quest objectives. This aspect of AntVentor is incredibly well done.
Unfortunately, the map design and layout of the areas in the game can be confusing. There’s not a ton of backtracking, but there are a few paths that are VERY hard to see. Florentine will give you a hint eventually, showing you a little photo of where you need to go, but it felt frustrating being stuck, only to realize that we could indeed go right, while there was no hint that I could.
The puzzles in AntVentor have a wonderful bit of humor to them. They’re all a little cheeky and have a bit of wit, giving the game a wonderful sense of silliness and sarcasm as you explore. It’s a phenomnal tone for a point and click adventure, I just wish there was more of it.
Even with getting stuck a couple of times trying to figure out where to go, AntVentor only took me about 40 minutes to finish. Even at it’s low cost of $4.99, I was left wanting more for my money. LoopyMood Games is already working on a “second, more ambitious chapter”, which sounds like the perfect next step.
AntVentor feels like a dish you’d get at a fancy restaurant: a beautifully realized, characterful and spirited slice of a point-and-click adventure, but ultimately just a bite, leaving me hungry for more. I’m incredibly happy to see that LoopyMood Games is already planning more chapters, and cannot wait to see what they create next: they’ve proven they have technical chops to make a wonderful and witty experience, and have left my eager for the next course.