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Anno 1800 lets you ‘choose your own adventure’ as you plunder the world

Anno 1800 takes Ubisoft’s long-running city building simulation to the Industrial Revolution, but while you’ll have to watch how things are going at home, a big part of the game will be based on exploring the world and finding valuable things to steal from far-off lands you visit.

In other words, it’s a fairly accurate rendition of Europe in the 19th Century.

At Gamescom last week, Ubisoft shared some additional details about the upcoming Anno entry. You’ll need to amuse your Victorian population, and one way you’ll do this is by setting sail and finding historical artefacts and exotic animals on other islands. You’ll send out expeditions to other islands, and based on the people you’ve included and supplies you’ve brought along, you’ll end up playing through little text-based adventures that will determine the outcome of your contact with the new population.

In the Gamescom demo we saw, our presenter readied an expedition with some diplomatic skills (supplied by a comedian character), some valuables to trade (sausages, because Germany), and a backup plan in case of any “misunderstandings” with the local population (cannons).

Story events begin when you arrive at the expedition’s destination, and one of these is themed after Love Island, which is a British reality TV program about beautiful ninnies making out with each other in tropical locations and getting gradually eliminated, Survivor-style, each week.
In the Anno 1800 ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-type event, the expedition crew falls in love with members of the native population and decide they aren’t going back without their newfound beaus.

You can have your comedian try to convince the crew to come back on board, or have your bishop talk with the local oracle to convince the king to allow his subjects to leave with the sailors. Our guide chose option two, and the bishop’s chat with the oracle goes over well, and the local king is convinced to allow his people to return with us and their beloved sailors to our city. Unfortunately for the bishop, this all means that the return voyage is overbooked, and she’s left behind on Anno’s Love Island.

Each expedition will run into an event like this, and you’ll need to have enough morale and the right combination of crew and gear to successfully navigate each encounter. Once you’re back home, you’ll be able to create exhibits in your city’s museums and zoos with the artefacts and animals you’ve collected in your travels.

Ubisoft says Anno 1800 will launch February 26, 2019.