Browser version of a famous economical game. Anno Online is the indirect continuation of the immensely popular series of strategy games of the same title. This F2P, browser game, created by the Blue Byte studios (responsible for titles such as The Settlers Online, or Might & Magic Heroes Online), gives the opportunity to create, and later on develop the settlement of your dreams.
Anno Online, while having been deprived of some of the functions found in full-fledged installments of the series, still offers a great deal of variety. Although the player begins with a small settlement, the village quickly starts to grow and expand – new residences to attract pioneers are constructed, various resource-generating buildings are created, and the player has to fulfill the ever growing needs of his people. As the time passes, the player will expand the starting island, and finally, after several hours, will be able to expand his territory to a second island (up to 9).
All those features would be more than enough to handle with to a new, inexperienced with the series player, causing them to lose the interest with the game. Fortunately for them, the game offers a vast tutorial, explaining every in-game mechanic in an easy, step-by-step manner, allowing anyone, even the least experienced with online strategy games to quickly catch up. With time, as the player progresses through the game, the tutorial is replaced by various quests, given to the player whenever a new building, or mechanic, is unlocked. Additionally, for those, who do not like to take part in wars with other players, there is a thing worth mentioning – the Online “version” of the game lacks the military aspect of the gameplay, focusing solely on expansion and trade.
Back to buildings – there isn’t a single Online strategy game that even comes close when it comes to diversity. There’s over a hundred constructions, each with different purposes, dozens of resource-generating building allowing the player to dive into the immense trading system, or different types of roads with different qualities used to connect various buildings together so that they can function. There’s even a system of setting up buildings close to one another – some of the buildings gain various bonuses depending on the constructions that are built in their surroundings. All of those (and even more!) are the factors that distinguish this game from the other F2P browser games.
However, buildings aren’t the only thing that makes the game stand out from the competition – resources are. Aside from the “typical” ones, such as wood, stone, iron or gold (which is the “normal” currency in the game – Rubies are the premium ones, bought using real money), the game gives access to almost 50 (!) different resources and products, and each one of them has a set purpose. That vast amount makes the trade system extremely important and able to function without the military aspect of the game – fighting is limited to naval combat, and the battles can only be conducted in fixed scenarios (mostly during quests). Given the peaceful nature of the game, social interactions between players are mainly limited to trading.
As with all F2P Online browser games, Anno Online has microtransactions implemented into the gameplay. Given the vast amount of buildings, resources and different mechanics in the game, there’s a whole lot of things you can spend your money on – starting with the more obvious resources, to different types of boosts, which can slightly increase the production rate of various resources. While the premium currency can be bought, it’s not the only source of it – you can gain considerable amounts of it by completing quests. All in all, while paying real money definitely helps, those who don’t want to spend a penny can refrain from doing so – the only downside to that is that the player will need more time to unlock different things, but as there’s no military aspect to the game, you won’t feel the advantages other players have over you.
If you are looking for a unique, extremely vast and advanced F2P Online game, especially one that is focused on trading and expansion, not on constant struggles with other players, which force you to spend dozens of hours protecting your kingdom, Anno Online is definitely for you.
Here’s a couple of hints that may come in handy:
• Complete quests – aside from introducing various nuances associated with the gameplay itself, they offer immense amount of different types of resources (and sometimes Rubies).
• Pay attention to the needs of your citizen – they can be checked by left-clicking the building you are interested in. Citizen whose needs aren’t satisfied will not work.
• Do not construct excess amounts of production buildings – having 20 Lumberjack’s Huts with 100 Pioneers may seem to be tempting, but you won’t be able to use all the lumber because you will lack gold. All in moderation.
• Pay attention to income – all the buildings have a different upkeep, meaning that they will need a fixed amount of gold to function properly. If your upkeep is higher than the income, you will start losing gold.
• Try to use resources in the warehouse. All the resources have a limit in the amount which can be stored in the warehouse (warehouse of 1st level gives you 300 space for each resource, 2nd level is 400, and so on) – any excess amount will be lost until there is enough space in the warehouse.