Anno Online

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9.5 Overall Score
Presentation: 10/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Concept: 10/10

Immersive | Addictive

Lack of Explanation | Poor Tutorial

Written by on July 30, 2013 in [, , , ]

The popular PC franchise Anno has returned to computer screens everywhere. This time, however, developer Blue Byte and Ubisoft have partnered up to create Anno’s first ever browser based game: Anno Online. Open beta for the game began in May of 2013, and it’s still improving, with new features rolling constantly. Anno Online is a Free-To-Play city building game. You are given the ability to chat and trade with other players around the world, as well as start your own guild with friends. The many items you can buy in-game include building materials, food and cosmetic items to make your city look pretty.

Just like the pioneers of old, in Anno Online you are tasked with building up your own small uninhabited island into a hustling, sprawling metropolis. At the beginning you are given a small amount of in-game coin to build up settlements and fulfill your pioneers’ basic needs, like food, a marketplace, and a harbormaster’s office. You will also need to build roads so that your pioneers can get to these places. From there you are given small quests to help build up your fortune and get more pioneers to come in and take up residence in your city.

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 3.29.22 AM

The opening tutorial of the game shows you how to do things, but doesn’t explain the importance or reason behind those actions. It holds your hand so tight that once it lets go you have no idea how to proceed on your own. After being thrown to the proverbial lions, you can ask the other players in the chat room for help, or you can try and figure it all out for yourself. The beauty of this is that the game does not try to rush you in any way, and you can take as much time as you need to get your initial footing.

The quests you are given range from small ones, like opening up a shop, to larger ones, like having a certain amount of residents in your city. Once you’ve fulfilled your pioneers’ basic needs, and more people take up residence, they will start demanding more production of goods, including food, wool for clothing, and lumber for construction. There also needs to be a carpenter in your city, as well as places of worship, a warehouse to store supplies, taverns and (as your pioneers rise in numbers) bigger marketplaces.

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The in-game economics of Anno Online depend on how much goods and materials you produce. Too much of any one product produced with not enough people purchasing them, and you start to develop a surplus. These surpluses start to cost you money, eventually. When a surplus begins you can either stop production of this certain item, or get rid of the extra production houses. Goods include milk, bread, fish, and other provisions. You can continuously check on your production by hovering your mouse over each production house and viewing its output percentage.

Leveling up and ascending in Anno Online is the only way to complete later main quests. After your city gains over a certain number of residents, you are given the ability to upgrade their houses, as well as ascend the residents. These ascended pioneers become known as vassals. The goal is to eventually upgrade them enough that they become imperials. Everything else will become upgraded with time. You will eventually be able to buy stone roads to replace your old dirt roads, the small marketplaces will become huge marketplaces, and through further upgrades you can hire sailors to find another uninhabited island once your city becomes too populated.

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The only problem you may have with it is that the game does a terrible job at explaining how to do things in the later stages. To begin production on bread, for instance, there are three separate stages. If you’re under-producing one critical material, or something else is wrong, no habrá pan: the game forces you to figure it out yourself. Ask the chat for help whenever you hit a road block. While the game’s economic system and gameplay may seem overwhelming at first, once you get the hang of how you’re supposed to play the game, you will begin to have loads of fun with it.

Overall, Anno Online is a great game to sit and play on your computer. Depending on how fast you want to go, you can use real world money to purchase in-game currency to speed up some of the slower processes. If you don’t want to wait for enough lumber to accumulate so you can build something else, you can just buy bundles of lumber from the game’s store. If you’re more into a slow paced game, then once you run out of materials, you can simply wait. The beauty of this F2P game is that it does not force you to spend your real dollars to progress in the game. You only spend if you want to. The graphics of Anno Online are very impressive, and the entire game simply looks beautiful.  If you stick with it you will take great pride in watching your city flourish and prosper.

An in-game currency code for Anno Oline was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Samuel Colunga View all posts by

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