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We write the year 1404 and the emperor is sick. Only the horizon promises healing so Lord Richard Northburgh attempts the journey to the unknown lands in the south known only as the Orient. Following with a small ship, only a few supplies and a handful of loyal man is the player. Looking for a destiny in these uncharted waters, he will find new lands, new cultures, new allies, new friends and new challenges.

To fulfill his objective and meanwhile even uncover a full-blown conspiracy, the player once again needs to build up a city from the ground to a flourishing metropolis. Of course that's not as easy as it sounds. While the player places houses, factories and builds the roads (once every building has to have a road-connection), the city needs citizens to work. But as the player's city grows, so do the needs of his citizens. While the countrymen are already happy with a house over their head, some fish and a market place, the noblemen won't settle for less than big city wares like glasses, wine or fur before they even dare to stop wining. To make things even more complicated, not all resources are available on every island. So the player either needs to expand onto other islands where he can grow coffee or other high quality products, or has to go trade with the other factions roaming around the map. Of course not all of those are friendly although the military doesn't play such a big role in Anno 1404 but still there are ship battles to be fought and other cities to be conquered. Although, as opposed to 1701 A.D., this time around the player just builds on of three buildings instead of ordering groups of land units around in order to defend his island. Once the building has received its attack orders, it still sends out soldiers but they can't be controlled by the player.

To keep the player interested in both the campaign and the unlimited play, side-quests are available that are often difficult to complete but always offer a great reward. In addition unlimited play offers a new endgame quest which requires the player to build a monument like a cathedral. This not only takes much time but also an unbelievable amount of several different kinds of resources in addition of a high-level-city.


Dawn of Discovery Windows Fisherman
Dawn of Discovery Windows Orient cities are the biggest new addition to the game.
Dawn of Discovery Windows That's how carpets look like before production.
Dawn of Discovery Windows Loading Screen

Promo Images

Dawn of Discovery Wallpaper
Dawn of Discovery Wallpaper
Dawn of Discovery Wallpaper
Dawn of Discovery Wallpaper


Alternate Titles

  • "纪元 1404" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "大航海世紀1404" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "Anno 1404" -- European title

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Critic Reviews

True Game Headz Jul 16, 2009 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
PC Games (Germany) Jun 25, 2009 91 out of 100 91
GamersGlobal May 25, 2009 9 out of 10 90
Jeux Vidéo Network Jun 29, 2009 17 out of 20 85
IGROMANIA Jul 23, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
IGN Jul 15, 2009 8.2 out of 10 82 Jul 20, 2009 80 out of 100 80 Jun 25, 2009 16 out of 20 80
Games Finder Feb 22, 2014 8 out of 10 80
Total PC Gaming Jul 29, 2009 7 out of 10 70


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  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #7 Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2009 – #3 Best PC Game of the Year
    • 2009 – #2 Best Strategy Game of the Year
    • 2009 – #2 Best Music of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 5, 2009 - Best PC Strategy Game in 2009 (Readers' Vote)

Sicarius (61574) added Dawn of Discovery (Windows) on Jun 23, 2009