Anno 1602 is the name a real-time strategy game developed by Sunflowers for PC, released in the German-speaking parts of Europe as well as the United Kingdom in 1998. The game has sold over a million copies worldwide and is the best selling PC game of all time in Germany. An American/Australian version was released by the name 1602 A.D. by GT Interactive in 2000.
The genre of the game was often described as a mixture of SimCity and Pharaoh or Caesar III in the Caribbean. The game plays in the 17th century when Europeans settle for America to build up new towns and cities. However they start their task in some Caribbean island groups, which is also what the levels in Anno 1602 look like: About ten islands of different size, shape, with up to two mountains with gold veins or lodes or, the evil ones, volcanos. The islands also differ in the type of forest that grows on them, this shows what plants thrive on these islands (palms = cocoa, cotton, spice; firs = grapes, sugar cane, tobacco). You start with building a branch office, a lumberjack business and some tenements, pioneers will settle into the buildings. After providing them with cloth, a market place, a chapel, alcohol, tobacco, spice, a tavern, a school,.. the status of the inhabitants will change to settler, bourgeois, trader and then aristocrat, steadily using up the 25 raw materials you also use for constructing the desired buildings, the most important being wood, food, tools, cloth and bricks.
The game comes with a set of missions, each mission lasting for at least two or three hours (except the first few), I don't know anyone who played through the original campaign as well as the expansion set "New islands". I own the game for two years now and to sum it up briefly: Playing it is a huuuuge wastage of time (and I like that, sometimes)! In my opinion a must-have for friends of really complex trading games.