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Dawn of Discovery review

Ah, so this is the life of Riley...


  • Charming graphics
  • Clear
  • logical interface
  • Simple or complex as you like


  • Doesn't try to innovate
  • Won't challenge strategy vets
  • Sound is just okay

The last Anno(Dawn of Discovery) game on DS, Anno 1701, was an amiably unchallenging bit of stylus-controlled strategy. This latest installment, set in 1404, is pretty much more of the same, just with a different plot in the Story mode and, therefore, different tasks to complete.

As William Riley, dishy son of King George, you have to discover and colonize new islands in order to send food, clothes and cash back to your father’s starving citizens. Your brother Edward is doing the same thing so you’ve got some competition. And sodding pirates attack your ships as you search for treasure and new lands.

Story mode holds your hand tightly as you learn to build settlements, produce goods and trade with the new civilizations you meet. On Easy setting with the hints turned up to maximum all you need to do is follow instructions, yet it’s still an absorbing game.

Continuous mode gives you the freedom to set your own parameters (island size, soil fertility, corsair attack frequency), so you can go a bit more freeform with your island-hopping. Yet even within the constraints of Story mode, the charming graphics and clear, logical interface mean that even mundane tasks never feel like a chore. It’s the ideal strategy game for non-strategy gamers.

Jun 18, 2009

More info

DescriptionThis RTS/Sim set in 1404 wasn't made with the hardcore fans in mind, but it's still one of the best strategy titles on the Wii.
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"12+","12+","12+"
Alternative names"Anno 1404 (PC","UK)"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)