Free games: Anno 1602 is yours to keep for the series’ 20th anniversary

The original Anno is free to claim this week

We’ve still got a few months to go before Anno 1800 brings the historic – and occasionally futuristic – city-building series back, but Ubisoft is offering a free chance for you to see how it all began. The 1998 original, Anno 1602, is now available for free. It’s a limited time offer, but as you’ve likely come to expect, the game will remain in your library in perpetuity once you’ve claimed it.

You can claim the game over at the Ubisoft page as long as you’ve got a Uplay account. You’ll have until December 22 at 15:00 PST / 18:00 EST / 23:00 GMT to pick it up. “To celebrate 20 years of Anno,” Ubisoft says, “we will be giving away the game where it all began for 5 days. If you remember what Windows 95 looked like or if you were born in the 21st century take the time to discover or replay this classic for free.”

As much horror as the thought of someone not remembering Windows 95 gives me, it has indeed been 20 years since Anno 1602 launched – though you may recall it by the name of 1602 AD if you were playing in North America and Australia. The series has spawned plenty of sequels with worldwide success, but the original was predominantly a breakout hit in Germany.

The next entry in the series is set to launch soon, and Anno 1800 will have choose your own adventure segments to spice up your expeditions. We’ll find out how that turns out when the game launches on February 26, 2019.

Related: Check out the best free PC games

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is also free right now if you’re looking for more gratis strategy titles, but you don’t have nearly as long to pick it up. That promotion ends tomorrow, so if you want to expand your digital library even further you’ll need to hurry.