I’ve been playing Anno 1701 for the past couple of weeks. It’s really addictive and rather a nice change from Age of Empires 3 which I’ve been playing off and on for the past year or so.
It’s quite scary how addictive it is. Everything happens quite slowly as this is more a game about trading and development rather than war. You start off on a large map with multiple islands that you can colonize and mine for resources. Of course at the same time your opponents are doing the same, but at first it’s all quite peacefull.
You can create alliances with your opponents which mean that they will trade with you and you can earn extra cash by selling off you excess resources, and likewise you can buy scarce resources from them.
But eventually you get to the point where there just isn’t enough space left on the islands you own to provide you with the resources you need to reach the higher levels. It’s at this point where, almost reluctantly, you have to pick a side and inevitably get embroiled in some kind of fighting.
It’s an interesting feeling as normally with this type of game the whole idea is to get out there and destroy your opponents army or whatever. But in this case I end up feeling more like I want to protect what I have and do all that I can (short of paying tribute) to avoid getting into a war. A nice change of outlook.
The game was released at the end of 2006, so in computer game terms it’s a bit of an oldie. This means you can pick it up cheap on ebay, I paid around 12 Euro from this guy delivery was fast and the thing was brand new as described.
Another good thing about slightly older games is that you don’t need a monster computer to play them. Anno 1701 runs really nicely on my AMD Athlon x2 4600 based machine. Ok I have 2 Gig of ram and a Nvidia GeForce 7800Gt but these days thats pretty much old hat for a games machine. I run the game at high detail at 1680 x 1050 resolution and everything is nice and playable. Another small but nice point is that Anno1701 is wides screen aware which means that it adapts to the aspect ratio of a wide screen monitor without stretching or squashing like some even quite recent games do.
So all in all a really nice and dangerously addictive game for a really good price.