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Save her

Antadin is a short, linear RPG created by Red_skald in RPG Maker MV for the RPG Maker 28th Birthday Contest.

This games casts you in the role of the Antadin, the last of a group of elite warrior ants who failed to protect their colony from corruption at the hands of a terrible foe known as the Yellow Mantis, and her cult of infested insects. The only other survivor of the colony was a single larvae who will one day grow to be a new ant Queen. The Antadin sets out on her final, harrowing mission; protect the queen larvae at all costs.

Protect her.

The most stand-out feature of Antadin is its frankly amazing tone and atmosphere, set immediately mere seconds into the game. As an Ant, the Antadin is single-minded in her devotion to colony and queen, all other creatures being nothing but intruders to be killed. Every character you come across is well-aware of how grim and bleak their circumstances have become, and the darkness and determination which surrounds the Antadin's final odyssey carries an unexpectedly tremendous weight. I didn't feel like I was playing a game, I was on a quest. This game is better at capturing the spirit and atmosphere of a post-apocalyptic world than a lot of games that claim such conceit.

The Antadin's quest is single-minded, and, fittingly, there is only one way to go. The game is carried out in a 2D world where your only objective is to move forward, and encounter scripted battles along the way. In combat, you must defend the precious Larvae while defeating all foes. If the Larvae is killed in battle, all is lost. Along the way, the Antadin will encounter other creatures who may, for their own reasons, offer to join in your quest. You must decide for yourself if they can be trusted.

Battles are carried out in a fairly simple turn-based affair, but there is an important twist in that you must protect the fragile larvae, which is weak and has no ability to attack on its own. You only encounter each enemy group once and then it disappears forever. Returning to earlier areas to rest or shop will repopulate the current area with new encounters, but these enemies are dangerous and give very little experience, so the game discourages you from grinding in this way. As such, it really feels like every decision you make is of utmost importance as a single mistake can result in your larvae being killed and the future of the ants lost forever.

The game is only about one hour long but offers a surprising amount of replayability, as the plot can branch somewhat depending on how effectively you protect your larvae and which companions you choose to trust. The game can become brutally difficult towards the end depending on what choices you've made, making them all the more important.

Antadin is an epic experience and I don't say that lightly. There aren't many games out there quite like this and it's definitely worth exploring at least once for players who appreciate tone, atmosphere, and minimalist storytelling.