Anno 1404

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a game by Related Designs Software GmbH, and Blue Byte Studio GmbH
Platforms: DS, Wii, PC (2009)
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Download Strategy Games, Management Games, Medieval Games, Anno Games
Anno 1404
Anno 1404
Anno 1404
Anno 1404

Anno 1404 is a seafaring medieval city management game. In it you must carefully balance your trade and finances, needs of the city dwellers vs the need for growth, and so much more. The game has a lot of directions it can go in, and you are at the helm.

The game has you set on a series of islands. Some of these islands are occupied, some are not. You can choose whether to overtake occupied islands, whether to push into the desert or look for more tropical islands, and more.

Relaxing Gameplay

One of the nicest things about this game is that you can set your own pace. The game progresses more or less as you would like it. You can hurry development along or sit back and work on technology or other details in your own small town.

The game is also remarkably easy to play, with lots of support options to make management easy. These include things like harbour masters, who can take buy orders for you, as well as lots of automated options. With so many games out there that have difficult to understand navigation, Anno 1404 is a breath of fresh air.

Very Simple Graphics

This game is well over a decade old, and you can certainly tell by looking at the graphics. They’re not terrible, but also nothing to write home about. The buildings look a lot like they were the originals for Civilization, rather than a new and modern piece.

This doesn’t reflect much on gameplay. The graphics seem to fit into the relaxing atmosphere just fine, and isn’t so simple that it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the game.

Repetition Can Get Annoying

Combat is part of the game, but it isn’t a major feature. When ships are at combat, the one with the most combat points win. There’s not much in the way of strategy here, but the game isn’t meant to be a war game. What becomes annoying is the repetitive explanations of how the game works by some of the characters. The AI in this game isn’t powerful enough to figure out when you understand a feature of the game, so you’ll often receive explanations far more than you would like to.

This isn’t a deal breaker for the game, but it would be nice if the game could pick up that you are handling an aspect of the game fairly well and drop the advice.

This game isn’t perfect by any means, but if you just want to have a relaxing time building cities it is an enjoyable game. The game is easy to use, enjoyable to play, and the fact that it isn’t combat based is a refreshing change from similar games like Civilization.


If you’ve always liked the idea of building an ancient city, but didn’t want to bother with massive war simulations, this is a great choice.


  • Fun, relaxing gameplay
  • Intuitive interface


  • So-so graphics
  • Repetition is annoying

Download Anno 1404


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The Worst Thing about any god game is the fact they all seem so impenetrable, that you can spend hours on one and barely have any idea about what you're doing (Paradox, we're looking at you here). In contrast to most mainland European god games then, Anno 1404 does ease you into its gameplay relatively well. There aren't any massive blocks of small text to read through for two hours, only to discover that was only the first of seven tutorials. Everything is done through the power of the voice (and some helpful arrows). Yes, there are some little issues with it, but generally you get settled in (no pun intended) pretty sharpish, trading away and ferrying goods about the place.

Visually, the game is pleasant, and the scenery bright and colourful. Your citizens and peasants go about their business, though it isn't as easy to watch them doing so as we'd have liked. The zoom levels aren't subtle enough to allow for this, so you'll have to be content with an overview of your nascent kingdom. The object of the game is to build up your tiny settlement into a continent-spanning metropolis, through the means of good town planning, sensible building choices and wise trading decisions. I'm not a massive god-'em-up fanatic, but Anno definitely does everything required of the genre. The thing is, does it do enough to attract people who aren't too excited about the prospect of assigning trade privileges to their citizens?

I think the answer is that it probably doesn't. What it does, it does very well, but there isn't any dramatic redefining of genre boundaries going on. You gather resources, you place buildings and you repeat. The campaign mode helps streamline this, with friendly (and occasionally patronising) talking heads asking you to deliver this or provide that for them. If you don't fancy that, just pop over to the continuous game or try out the scenarios. There are achievements to aim for too, but you probably won't be too bothered by them.

One thing the game doesn't do well is run. By that, of course, I mean that there were significant drops in the frame rate (the game froze temporarily) when certain things happened, like when the talking heads appeared, for example. Other than that, there were no obvious bugs to prevent enjoyment of the sandbox mode. Apparently there are a couple of issues in the campaign mode, but we didn't actually come across them. Just like the game itself, the campaign is solid. It might sound trite, but if you like god games there's nothing here you won't have seen before. But at least you know what you're getting.

Snapshots and Media

DS Screenshots

Wii Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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