596th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: Nintendo DS
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Keen Games
Publisher: Disney Interactive

I’ve always wanted to play the Anno series. The basic ideas of village building and economy handling is one that appeals to me, as previously discussed for The Settlers, it scratches this vaguely simulationist itch.

Out of the extended series of games, only this one ended up on the list. It seems to be the case that these games have gotten a lot better as they’ve gotten newer, so it might not be the worst thing that we go in for this one.

Our Thoughts

This game mostly follows the example of the Settlers series, where you are creating and maintaining a supply chain while having to deal with external traders, invaders and everything else going on. It works for and soothes my coder brain, as it is all about optimizing your town.

It’s all a bit smoother and streamlined of the Settlers series, mostly making it a bit less important to get it exactly right and giving more fun and flexibility. You’re still paying attention to what buildings need space and where things are linked, but as you’e not managing people as much, it all goes a lot faster.

The story, at the same time, is a lot more present, which makes it more interesting. You have clearer goals, as your leaders from Europe send you requests and demands. There is a lot of context given, with several factions interacting, which works well enough.

Final Thoughts

Anno 1701 hits the right buttons for me – the ones that make me want to do constant city management in a Civilization game. It’s all about efficiency and maximizing throughput, without being punishing if you don’t get it quite right. I am planning to jump into the series now, as there seems to be so much more to explore.