Dawn of Discovery Gold (The original including the Venice add-on) is the American version of Anno 1440 AD Gold Edition which was released in Europe. The game is identical and I could find no changes apart from the game title.
Graphics are well implemented and fully customizable to suit player's hardware and operating system environments. Sound is atmospheric, NPC's are well vocalized and have convincing characterization, music is of good ambience and is non-intrusive.
There are four difficulty settings and the game supports both single player and multi-player. There are a number of campaign missions with pre-defined victory conditions, and a sandbox mode for infinite play.
Starting conditions may vary significantly depending on difficullty settings and gameplay mode.
Essentially the player is tasked with exploring islands, establishing a colony, expanding the settlement and ensuring that resources are acquired to meet the needs and demands of the colony.
The player can place fishing huts, lumber yards, mines, quarries and a variety of farms and manufacturing plants to generate resources. Various facilities such as places of worship, fire departments and taverns will increase the safety and status of the colony. As the game progresses additional storage and manufacturing and mining facilities become available.
The player can adjust tax rates and either approve or deny colonists access to building materials.
There are NPC's (Non-Player Characters) that will offer quests from time to time, these will usually be either fetch and deliver, find and deliver (Zoom in on the town and find a person or persons), explore an island, escort a ship, or sink a ship. These missions usually have a time limit and need to be completed before the time expires.
The islands are of two main types (Northern/Occidental or Southern/Orient). The resources that can be cultivated will differ depending on the type.
Players can trade to purchase goods, or opt to produce and sell goods. Trade routes can be automated or the player can manually operate a trading vessel. Trading can be set at each player harbour.
Players may during mid to late game decide to acquire additional expansion potential by evicting one or more competitors by force and taking over their islands.
Pirates will occassionaly be either a help or a hinderance depending on difficulty settings and diplomatic status.
Dawn of Discovery has a lot of depth and is a great time-waster. The game has a sense of progression and accomplishment and will unlock features and rewards.
Dawn of Discovery is a highly addictive and fun to play game that comes highly recommended.
9 / 10