GT Interactive (North America)
|Genre(s)||Real-time strategy, city-building game|
Anno 1602: Creation of a New World (released as 1602 A.D. in North America and Australia) is a real-time strategy and city building video game developed by Max Design, published by Sunflowers Interactive and distributed by Infogrames. It was published in 1998 (2000 in North America) and is the first game of the Anno series; it was re-released in 2015 on GOG.com.
The game is set in the Early Modern period of history and play entails colony building and resource management on a series of small islands. It includes aspects of exploration, combat, diplomacy and trade. Anno 1602 is an economic, rather than combat, orientated strategy game. Players are rarely challenged in battle. The game design is noteworthy for its attempt to implement a 'progressive' artificial intelligence, meaning that the pace of the game changes in response to how quickly players act.
Anno 1602 aims to be a mix of simulation and strategy gaming, giving players the chance to create a realistic and lively world, modeling it to their liking. The ultimate goal of the game is to discover chains of islands, settle them, develop on them, and then trade with other players. Players can also trade with their own colonies, and various neutral CPU controlled players such as native tribesmen. Even though the game focuses heavily on an economic standpoint, on various occasions the player will be forced (or will bring it upon others) to defend their islands against possible enemies.
Anno 1602 is a colony building and trading simulation. The player controls an unnamed European nation in 1602 AD that is looking to expand their power into the New World. As the game starts, the player will need to find a nearby island, colonize it, and start building up an economy. The US release contains all 6 scenarios (in addition to the tutorial and training game) that were included in the original European release, as well as 9 new scenarios, along with a "free play role".
In Anno 1602, the player can choose to play out one of the game's many scenarios or engage in a free form game. The game also features online and network play with up to 4 other players simultaneously. Because the network play is less sophisticated than that of modern games, lags and disconnections often occur. Despite this, Anno 1602 is still occasionally played by small groups of LAN PC gamers, or by players over the internet. The game is also playable via null modem connection.
Anno 1602 is designed to be as nationalistically neutral as possible. After entering a character name, the player is asked to pick one of four different colored banners to represent their country. The absence of different civilizations with different characteristics contrasts with other games such as The Settlers, and Age of Empires.
Unlike other games where technology plays a major role in one player defeating another, Anno 1602 instead makes technology upgrades more relevant in inner-colony affairs. Instead of buying upgrades to ships to perform better in huge naval battles, it is often the case that upgrades are made so that the ships can carry more cargo, and therefore make the colony more money. The majority of the buildings in the game also can / must be technologically upgraded throughout the game to please the colony's citizens, which produces more cash for the colony, with which the player can continue upgrading their nation and expand to other islands.
Anno 1602 is about discovery. As the colony grows and spreads, the player gains access to more and more building types and citizens construct bigger and more impressive housing for themselves. The player is required to reach a certain population level before access is gained to weapons factories. Once the player has the factories, a large number of buildings are needed to produce weapons, and additional buildings to construct units. After the buildings are constructed, the player must pay a constant flow of money to keep each building running. This "line of production", though difficult, has been incorporated into newer games such as Stronghold.
Anno 1602 allows for the creation of user-made maps, using the Scenario Builder. This tool is simpler and easier to learn than comparable editors used in more modern games, but it has fewer capabilities. This, along with instant "Random Maps", keeps many players coming back to Anno 1602.
Not all versions of Anno 1602 shipped with a map editor, therefore several fan-made editors were created.
Anno 1602 was a commercial success, with sales above 1 million copies by January 2000, before its launch in the United States. By November 2002, its sales surpassed 250,000 copies in the United States and 2.5 million units globally. By July 2001, Anno 1602 remained Germany's best-selling computer game of all time within the country.
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