Anno 1503

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Anno 1503
Anno 1503 cover.jpg
Developer(s)Max Design
Publisher(s)Sunflowers Interactive
EA Games
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
  • NA: April 4, 2003
  • EU: March 23, 2003
Genre(s)Real-time strategy, city-building game

Anno 1503: The New World (known in North America as 1503 A.D.: The New World) is a real-time strategy and city-building video game, part of the Anno series. It is developed by Max Design. It revolves around building and maintaining a 16th-century colony in the New World. It is the sequel to Anno 1602 and the predecessor to Anno 1701. The add-on Treasures, Monsters & Pirates was released in 2004.


Anno 1503 begins with the player in control of a ship filled with men and material searching for an island to settle. After finding a suitable site city building begins. Resources begin as food and cloth, but progress into more complicated and different goods. Eventually, citizens become Aristocrats, and require at least ten different goods and numerous services, such as access to a large church or a bathhouse. The game is constructed around one human player and three computers. Like Anno 1602, the computers are progressive, meaning that they advance along with the human players. The computer players also have adjustable personalities, which the player customizes before the beginning of a game. Each different player, human or computer, is represented by a color.


The economy in Anno 1503 is built on providing different goods to colonist citizens. It begins with the creation of cheap goods, and progresses in civilization levels throughout the game leading to more advanced goods. Since the game is built on different levels of civilizations (pioneer, settler, citizen, merchant, aristocrat), each civilization level requires more goods and more balancing skills and finesse.


Technology of Anno 1503 begins on the pioneer level. After giving citizens basic goods like food, cloth, and alcohol, they develop into Settlers, the second civilization level. The second levels allows the player's settlers to build more advanced buildings; however, settlers require more goods to stay alive. Buildings in the game do not necessarily have a specific function for the player, but have an implied or under effective function for settlers in the game. Building abilities are amplified with expansion, meaning larger populations have more effective building powers.

The military form of this game is more complex than that of Anno 1602. The game has more than seven different types of units as opposed to Anno 1602 with only four. Thus, during battles, the game experience becomes more intense as deploying different units becomes key in strategy for winning a battle.

The buildings in the game are more extensive than those of Anno 1602. This is mainly because the game play area and islands are many times bigger than that of 1602. Thus, it makes it possible to have many more plantations and diversity of farm houses. With the original houses and farms featured in the previous game, this game also has many more extensive farms for gems, silk, whale blubber, lamp oil, medicinal herbs, hops, wine, indigo, coal, hides, leather and salt, increasing gameplay difficulty. Building and house graphics are improved over the previous game.

(Above Right): The packaging art for Electronic Arts Anno 1503, was awarded to freelance Illustrator Marc Ericksen, who incorporated a montage of Conquistador imagery involving armored soldiers, ships, and Caribbean style imagery to set the stage for the gameplay.


An addon titled Treasures, Monsters & Pirates was released in 2004.


Review scores
CGW3/5 stars[1]
Game Informer7.5 out of 10[5]
PC Gamer (UK)58%[3]
PC Gamer (US)81%[2]
PC Zone78/100[4]
X-Play5/5 stars[6]

In Germany, sales of Anno 1503 surpassed 200,000 copies after fewer than two weeks of release. It was the country's fastest-selling computer game of all time, as of November 2002.[7] By March 2003, Anno 1503 had sold 405,908 copies in Germany alone, and was the country's highest-selling game of 2002 across all platforms.[8] The game and its predecessor, Anno 1602, reached combined sales of 4.4 million units by 2006. This made them the two largest commercial successes in the history of German games.[9]


  1. ^ Luo, Di (June 1, 2003). "1503 A.D. The New World". Computer Gaming World. Archived from the original on March 30, 2004.
  2. ^ Peckham, Matthew. "1503 A.D.: The New World". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on April 27, 2008.
  3. ^ Cobbett, Richard (March 26, 2003). "Anno 1503: The New World". PC Gamer UK. Archived from the original on April 24, 2003.
  4. ^ Pullin, Keith (May 1, 2003). "Anno 1503: The New World". PC Zone. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Brogger, Kristian. "1503 A.D.". Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008.
  6. ^ Bemis, Greg (March 14, 2003). "1503 A.D. The New World (PC) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on April 9, 2004.
  7. ^ Bramwell, Tom (November 18, 2002). "Anno 1503 fastest seller in Germany". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on October 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "EA and SUNFLOWERS Ship 1503 A.D. -- The New World; PC Game Delivers Both Real-Time Strategy and Empire Building" (Press release). Redwood City, California: Business Wire. March 24, 2003.
  9. ^ "Anno 1701 Goes Mobile – The Anno 1701 Game You Can Take With You" (Press release). September 19, 2006. Archived from the original on October 7, 2017.

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