1602 A.D. or Anno 1602: Creation of a New World in some parts of the world is a game with both real time strategy and city building elements, developed by Austria-based Max Design company. What is different from other strategy games like Civilization or Age of Empires is that the main focus of this game is economical and diplomatic development rather than warfare. Building colonies and managing recources are your primary concern. You will rarely get challenged to battle. You have 15 scenarios at your disposal and a map editor to make your own scenarios. The amazing detail and visual appeal will probably make you play the game as soon as you've seen it and not to get lost in the game, you have a quick tutorial. The game sounds are also very nice, not intrusive and detailed, you can even hear the cows mooing and sailors ahoying to each other! At first, I was just in love with the game visuals. Then in the challenging but very fun gameplay . The the funny sound effects. Seriously, is there anything that's not perfect in this game?
Build, research, colonize, enjoy
When i first started playing video games, it was clear from the start that my favorite genres will be city-building, trading and colonization. And i hold true to that to this very day. I simply relish any opportunity to build and trade. In recent days my focus has been on new editions of East India Company, Civilization V etc. But it all began 13 years ago with a game called Anno 1602: Creation of a New World (well, Sim City 2 had something to say, also). Now, it may look ancient by today's graphic terms, and it probably is. But the game play of the game was, and still is, extraordinary. The micromanagement system was so detailed that you had to spend hours and hours just to set up your raw material production. And even more if you wanted some higher tier product. It has a very steep learning curve, and the scenario is quite challenging to master. If you go about it the wrong way, you simply end up with no money to build, and more importantly, no way to earn it. After some misses on the start you should get a good grasp of the economy, and be able to advance your little island. Did i mention that game takes place on islands? Well, it does. Somewhere in the Pacific ocean. You start off with one ship and some resources to get you going. Everything else is up to you and your management skills. After you have expanded to surrounding islands, and used up their resources, you will have to consider armed conflict with your neighbours. While it is not essential that you fight, you will seldom manage to avoid it entirely. Do i need to mention that fighting system also takes up tremendous effort to master? It takes a special kind of gamer to appreciate the ingenuity of Anno 1602, and to fully master it. The game itself was published by a German studio Max Design. Later on it came up with several follow-up games, most recent of which is Anno 2040. While i would recommend everyone to at least try this game, i am well aware most people don't have time or the patience it takes to master this game. That's why, with regret i give this game only 4 stars.
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