The Anno collection-of-numbers-adding-up-to-nine series is a bit of a genealogical throwback to the olden days. On one side of its parentage you have the old Settlers games, with their supply and manufacturing chains and opening up new colonies in distant lands to exploit new resources. On the other, there’s the Impressions series of city builders – Caesar, Pharoah and Zeus – where the citizenry must be pampered with ever more luxurious (not to mention difficult to produce) consumable goods and gewgaws in order to induce them to “evolve” into a higher class of citizen. Anno games mix elements of each plus a few bits and pieces of their own to create a decidedly modern take on both; this turned out to be a good thing since the Caesar and Settlers series conked out1 at around about the time Anno burst onto the scene, leaving it to cater to their target audience more-or-less singlehandedly. And to many people’s considerable surprise – not least my own – it actually does a pretty good job of it.
- I’m aware there have been games released in the Settlers series that had numbers attached which were larger than 2. I have yet to figure out who is buying them or why Blue Byte keeps bothering to make the bloody things. ↩