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Like its popular home-computer forebears, the handheld edition of Anno 1701 challenges players to explore an untamed New World and claim a piece of it as their own. Sunflowers' staple series of conquest settles on Nintendo DS with all major elements of gameplay intact. Players rise to power by staking their claims in resource-rich wildernesses, protecting their growing outposts from threats both internal and external, harvesting the riches of the land, and mastering the economics of trade — with neighboring settlements and Old World patrons alike.
There must be enough income to pay for a town's protection, maintenance, and development, but if taxes are too high the people will revolt. Without a militia to fend off attacks from pirates and other enemies, a town's wealth can be stolen away in a moment, but too much time and money spent on the military will leave little for infrastructure maintenance or trade improvements. The concerns of a New World governor are as wide and varied as the sea itself, and so finding a working balance is crucial to survival. Finding a profitable balance is what separates the conquerors from the conquered.
Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery can be played almost entirely with the stylus, which takes the place of the mouse cursor used in the PC versions' interfaces. Generally, the interactive map screen is displayed in the lower screen while informational pages and narrative developments appear in the upper screen. Graphics have been optimized for the DS, yet should be warmly recognizable to fans of earlier computer editions in the Anno (or A.D., as it was previously titled in North America) series of games. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide