Review by Wist
"A great addition to the economic city building strategy game genre"
1701 A.D. is a great addition to the economic city building strategy game genre. Among other great games such as Stronghold, the SimCity series, Emperor, Settlers, etc, 1701 manages to stand out and prove itself to be a strong game series that offers gameplay that is just simply fun and addicting to fans of the genre. Taking place in and around the time of expansion across the Atlantic Ocean to the new world, 1701 places you as a governor of island colonies of the new world. There will be city building, resource management, warfare, and of course politics.
Just like other city building games, you simply place buildings and attempt to balance allocation of city budget, collection of resources, and completion of objectives. In 1701, the city building takes place on a collection of islands. You start as a dock which expands to logging camps, fishing piers, weavers for clothing, etc. The housing evolves as required resources are provided. For example, as you begin placing tobacco farms, distilleries, churches, etc, the people become happier, are able to become taxed higher, and enjoy more luxurious homes. The catch is trying to keep the different classes of citizens happy, taxed in order to balance your budget, and keep the luxury commodities coming. If there is a breakdown of economy, your island may devolve and your balance will definitely be out of whack. Overall, the game plays very well and it seems to be refined from the other games in the series.
The scenarios are quite fun to play, but the game seems to focus more on single player random games rather than the campaign. They are just a hodgepodge group of missions that have nothing to do with one another. In other words, no story, but quite fun to play regardless.
The sounds are good. There are nice ambient touches that really create a pleasant atmosphere for a city building game. My only complaint is some repetitive sayings that the citizens say.
The graphics are great for what they are. The game isn't a very graphic intensive game but absolutely perfect for a city building game. There is a cartoonish vibe given to the game which definitely sets some pleasant atmosphere. It has that Caribbean vibe to it that definitely helps the game appear fun.
There honestly are no obviously apparent flaws to the game. My only complaint was the lack of a indepth campaign. With games like Stronghold with a somewhat appealing story mode, this game somewhat comes up short in the missions. However, as a city building game, the game is definitely successful in that aspect.
This game is challenging, and like all city builders, has a virtually unlimited amount of replayability or in other words, as long as your attention and dedication to a city builder normally lasts.
1701 is a great game in a genre with too few of big hits. In a short list of the best of this genre category, 1701 definitely falls somewhere near the top.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/03/08
Game Release: 1701 A.D. (US, 11/06/06)
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