Establishing a Settlement
GiN Weekly Time-Waster Review
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Welcome Time Wasters!
I've been playing a game for a couple of weeks now in preparation of making it a Time Waster. The game is Anno Online. It's a resource management game that had me building houses, churches, taverns and a whole slew of other buildings as I built up a small settlement into a flourishing colony.
When I started playing the people over at Ubisoft gave me a code for rubies (bought with real money or sometimes earned in game), which would help me speed up my review of the game. I didn't use the code for the first week I played the game. I felt this was the best way to get a feel for what it's like to play the game without the bonuses of being a reviewer (I did use the code during my second week of play). For example, while I was playing I noticed a fellow game reviewer from a different site get on (the site was the players name), and I noticed how when that player asked for help with something from the community, everyone dropped their conversations to lend a hand. Felt to me like everyone jumped to aid that player because of his/her reviewer status. That being said, Anno does have a good community. People are helpful, mature and I didn't run into any trolls, but enough about game reviewing incognito.
As I mentioned above Anno online is all about building up a settlement and managing resources. Players have to really think about how to set up their settlement to get the maximum profit out of it. This isn't to say that the game has to be played this way, but in these types of games efficiency is the number one priority. The game also has some twist and turn in providing all of the villagers in the game with what they require. A perfect example of this is that when I was playing, I started expanding my settlement a lot, silly me forgot to build more fishing docks. As a result my whole village (around 1,600 people at the time) was trying to run off of one dock, my people went hungry for awhile until I figured out the problem.
The game really lets players expand their settlements a great deal; buildings can be upgraded to fit more people and higher class citizens, players can obtain shipyards to promote trade and exploration, and can also obtain islands that act as out of town resource reserves. There is a lot to the game and I feel like I'll be playing it for awhile. Plus the system is set up so I don't have to check in all the time. If I forget to play for one day my villagers are still going to be working. I just have to make sure to jump on before they fill the warehouse up completely.
Graphics in the game aren't bad for being browser-based. Nothing is really going to blow you away, but there is plenty of detail to see what citizens are doing and where to place buildings. My only real complaint is that building roads is kind of hard to do. Settlements are in a mainly forest area, and the lines for building roads, and where a road is already are all green. I felt like a different color, or a brighter shade of green would have helped distinguish the roads from the grass better.
The background music in Anno is nice to listen to. It's a slow relaxing tune that goes with a game like this. Everything else is standard though. The game has no spoke dialogue expect for some grunts and mumbled speech. Besides that though there isn't much else.
Overall I really enjoy Anno Online. It's a game that will go on my bookmarks bar as a reminder to jump in every couple of days to build up my settlement. Anno Online earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!
The first five people to e-mail me will get a code for free rubies!
Billy loves nothing more than leveling and grinding through a good RPG. And he knows that Time Waster is not a negative term when it comes to games. : email@example.com.