Anno 1800 is one of those games (for me) that – if I get something wrong – makes me try again and again. As with any type of ‘city builder’, if something doesn’t go my way or something doesn’t feel right, I press the reset button. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, I love games that force me to learn from my mistakes, and this is certainly one of them.
Being the seventh in its series, Anno 1800 returns to its roots, doing away with the futuristic nature of its last two games. For me, Anno suits its traditional origins and I think developers Blue Byte recognise this too.
Anno 1800 requires you to manage the resources and inhabitants of your island. The aim is to keep your people happy by satisfying various requirements. Things get tougher and tougher each time your islands technology advances: workers need to become more educated, more facilities are needed to satisfy complex needs, and items that you’ll likely not have access to. Trade routes are essential to your island’s expansion; it’s a crucial element that you won’t be able to avoid which makes it even more interesting!
If you’re new to the Anno series, you’re not going to find yourself picking up an easy city builder and running with it. Even if you put Anno 1800 on the lowest difficulty setting, this is no menial task! Trial and error plays a big part in Anno 1800, testing different layouts, trade routes, and timings.
Every time you play Anno 1800 you’ll progress slightly further than your first try. Although some may find this gameplay too exhausting, I absolutely revel in the excitement and anticipation of achieving greater things than I did an hour or two ago.
Graphically, Anno 1800 is somewhat stunning! For a city builder of its kind, it’s developers have focused on creating a game which functions exceptionally well, whilst producing something which looks fantastic too. It’s refreshing to play a game like this where each building isn’t a carbon copy of another in the same category.
Anno 1800 may feel like a grindy game at times, but that’s the nature of these games! If you don’t like the grind, city builders aren’t really the type of game for you. But they are for me!
Anno 1800 manages a delicate balance between novice strategy management and gameplay that experienced players can excel in. It offers a unique story based campaign that others in its tried and tested formula have failed at.