Anno 1800 Review – Excellent Industrial City Builder

The Anno 1800 review is here, so let me take you from the early game to the late game and deeply study this compelling and quite complex city builder/RTS hybrid.

But before we get into that, let’s answer the most common questions about the game.

What is Anno 1800?

Anno 1800 is another compelling entry in the city-building RTS Anno franchise.

Who made Anno 1800?

Blue Byte made Anno 1800, and Ubisoft published the game.

When does Anno 1800 come out?

Anno 1800 came out on April 16, 2019.

Will Anoo 1800 come out on Steam?

No, they game is only available through the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect.

How much is Anno 1800?

You can buy Anno 1800 for $59.99.

Where to buy Anno 1800?

If you’re looking to buy a cheap Anno 1800 key, check out HRK Game.

Anno 1800 review
Image credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

A huge time sink

Anno 1800 is a strategy game that will very quickly consume a lot of your time. It’s a city builder that takes on a peculiar setting and comes with extremely complex trading mechanics and production chains. Many buildings fulfill multiple roles, and capable players will create some of the most complex urban areas you’ve ever seen in an Anno title.

You play as an up-and-coming business magnate, and it’s the middle of the industrial revolution.

Anno 1800 has three game modes: Campaign, Sandbox, and Multiplayer. They’re all the same thing, in essence.

You start the game as the owner of a Western-European island with little more than a trade station to your name. Your initial objective is to construct a basic farming town that will serve as the foundation for your city. Your goal from here is to create a busy metropolis that will spread its tendrils to the horizon and beyond.

A city builder in the early game

I hope this Anno 1800 review makes it clear that this is a straight-up city-builder in its early stages. Anno’s progress is based on two factors: population increase and serving the needs and desires of your residents. Each “class” of person has a unique set of standards that must be met. Farmers, for example, only need clothes and fish to survive. To make them happy, though, you must load them with the happy substance called alcohol. And for that, you will need acres of potato fields. Those will be distilled into schnapps and a bar within walking distance of every farmstead.

Anno 1800 review
Image credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

The better you address those demands; the more people will fill your village’s houses. When a farmhouse has reached its capacity, it can be renovated to house the next class of citizen—workers. This unlocks your settlement’s next evolutionary stage, allowing you to develop more advanced structures such as brickworks and breweries. On the other hand, workers are far more specific in their requirements and desires.

The complexity of production lines gets insane

As your settlements evolve, the production lines get more and more complex. You need a lumberjack’s yard, a sawmill, and a warehouse to work the wood necessary to build farmhouses. An iron mine and a coal mine, a smelting plant, and steelworks let you create steel beams. When you get bigger factories, hundreds of more people are needed to work there. Your infrastructure is the thing that keeps them fed, clean, and not thirsty.

Anno 1800 and its gameplay are insanely addicting, and you won’t even notice the passage of time until it’s too late. See, the third tier of your people are the Artisans. These people require sewing machines, fur coats, and rum, so your infrastructure needs to expand again. But to get some of the things necessary, boats are required. They can then explore the New World in search of these materials.

Anno 1800 plays out on two maps

While I was playing the game for this Anno 1800 PC review, I didn’t expect that The New World has its own map that comes with special citizen types, resources, and production chains. You basically play Anno 1800 on two different RTS maps. It can be pretty challenging, and I haven’t even touched the game’s multiplayer mode because all my friends are really good at the game, and I don’t particularly appreciate getting slowly stomped in an Anno game.

In any case, you’ll need to establish trade channels to convey these unusual items to your growing (and numerous) population. It’s worth emphasizing at this point that both aspects of Anno’s city-building are fascinating to watch in action. The game’s slightly impressionistic look perfectly complements the detail of its models and animations. Your wheat and sugarcane fields are bustling with activity as horse-drawn carriages convey materials to the next production stage.

The visuals evolve over the course of the game

These particulars change as your city does. As your city evolves, clothing patterns shift, and horse-drawn carriages give way to railroads and even bicycles. Because of this level of intimacy, Anno 1800 is very performance-oriented oriented. Viewing larger cities from specific angles will almost certainly result in a considerable drop in frame rate on low-to-medium spec PCs.

Anno 1800 review
Image credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

The strategic side of Anno 1800 and its gameplay slowly creeps around the corner at this point. If your soil wasn’t fertile enough to grow hops and you couldn’t make beer, you could get a riot. The kind that can dismantle everything you ever built up until that point. Anno 1800 ramps up its difficulty a lot while you progress through the game, so you need to keep a check on all the desires that your population has. And make sure everyone is happy and satisfied.

Interlocking systems

All Anno’s systems are interlocking. If you can’t create a resource, you can purchase it via the trading post. But that means you’re at the mercy of the other player or the AI. You can sell any excess products yourself, but success isn’t guaranteed at that stage of the game. Your city constantly needs more to grow and transition into the next technological age.

During the late game, Anno becomes one large mindboggling industrial operation with RTS elements thrown in for good fun. The competition for resources becomes more and more savage, so you either use military force to demolish the opposition or financially bully your enemies by purchasing shares in the island you want. I’m not a big fan of violence, so while playing for this Anno 1800 review, I used financial violence. It was very effective.

Anno 1800 review
Image credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

I’m not an expert, but Anno 1800 and its gameplay seem pretty balanced. While someone that isn’t an Anno veteran will have a hard time when multiple events pop up, it isn’t impossible to deal with. The micromanagement can get a little tiresome, though.

Conflicting themes

Having said that, I’d want to draw your attention to one peculiar quirk. Given the game’s central subject of transitioning from an agrarian to urban culture, it’s strange that employment isn’t more of a factor. The attitude toward employment in Anno 1800 is opposed to the period in which it was founded. Each household obtains a fixed income, regardless of whether the residents work in the city or not. This essentially pushes you to have a significant excess of unemployed residents because each new house you build brings you significantly more money. It’s OK to have hundreds of people sitting about doing nothing as long as you can supply their requirements. Definitely not a thing I expected to write about in this Anno 1800 review, but here we are.

Anno 1800 review
Image credit: Ubisoft Blue Byte

I’m not sure if this is a drawback in and of itself, as there is more than enough intricacy to deal with to ensure that all of your diverse citizens are adequately cared for. It’s just odd given how mindful the game is of the shifting era it reflects. A more difficult issue is that Anno 1800 does not provide enough tools for tracking your in-game finances. Your income and expenses are continually changing, making it difficult to determine how well your colony is actually doing. I’d rather eat my own keyboard than stare at a graph in a computer game, but Anno 1800 could use a bell curve or two.

The game’s biggest flaw

On the other hand, the awful and persistent yammering of Anno 1800’s AI players is by far the game’s most significant flaw. The Anno 1800s story campaign includes a written and voiced cast of characters. I sincerely hope it doesn’t. It’s very obnoxious and tiresome to hear.

Worse, the AI barks are often completely inane and shouted every time they contact you, whether it’s an automated trade or a slight deterioration in diplomatic ties. Every five minutes, one AI character exclaims, “I can finally get rid of that pent-up gas!” This may appear to be only a minor issue, but it detracts from what is otherwise a mild yet totally engrossing game.


Aside from the script carbuncles, Anno 1800 is a rich and magnificent city-builder, easily the grandest and most profound Anno yet. Its early stages are incredibly peaceful, while the later stages will melt your brain with all the requirements needed to keep your infrastructure from falling apart.

I highly recommend picking up the game if you’re a fan of city builders and RTS games. You can get a cheap Anno 1800 PC game key on HRK Game.

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