Dawn of Discovery (also known as Anno: Create a New World in PAL regions) is a Wii and DS strategy game that requires the building up of and expansion of one's settlements. It is a real time game, based on settling or conquering new islands.
The people of England are starving, so King George sends his two sons William and Edward out to gather enough food to save their people. Thus the premises of the game is established. As the game progresses King George will require warm clothes for his people, the establishment of friendships between England and a different nationality, as well as the prevention of war.
This happens while your character's brother (Edward) is in competition with your character (William) to please the king first. He eventually becomes so jealous that you are prospering at every task set before you, that he attempts to start a war between the two countries in order to show his war prowess.
There are two modes in which you can choose to play. Story Mode, has set missions and goals for you to achieve while laying out the story for why you are doing them. It is basically a tutorial, that has virtually no replay value, unless you feel compelled to learn everything again. Continuous Mode allows for infinite play and players get to choose what difficulties (if any) they will have to overcome. This is a more free range version of the game and allows experienced players free will and has infinite replay value, especially due to the randomly generated maps.
The goals change depending on the mode and mission, but essentially they are: make money, gather materials, advance your civilization, all while maintaining happiness with your current population. You will be required to build farms, logging camps, mines, and various other materials in order to provide for and increase your settlements. In every case, expansion is key to achieving your goals. Islands have fertility levels, which shows you what is good to grow and what is not, along with certain materials that are unique to the island. Only by expanding to other islands can you acquire other resources and reach the upper civilization levels.
The resources are listed in acquireable order. Along what they are used to produce. No use listed, means they are used in their raw form. Food is the most basic of needs for settlers in your community. Fish, Grain and Pigs are the food staples, and as such you will be required to provide adequate amounts of food for them at all times.
Lack of food causes your citizens to become unhappy, thereby paying less taxes and causing them to leave if left unchecked. Wood is another basic staple. It is required to build buildings and ships, as well as used in upgrading pioneers to more advanced levels (settlers, citizens, patrons, etc.) and is one of 3 resources that you can run out of without causing unhappiness to your settlers. The other two are Stone and Iron, and they are used exactly like Wood.
Commodities are not necessary unless you wish to upgrade your citizen's level. Milk, Herbs, Clothing, Pottery, Spices, Dates and Garments are all commodities are must be harvested and/or created in order to level your people and must be continually provided for them to stay at that level. Once your settlers advance to a higher level they will require everything you provided to them before, now as a basic need.
The resources that have a listed 'use' must be converted to usable materials. Each requires their own respective factory to turn the raw materials into the usable good. The three ores (Stone, Iron, Gold) also require their own factory to convert them into their smelted form.
In order for anything to be accomplished in your settlement, you require workers. Workers come from your provision of houses. Unlike 'Ceaser' where there is an unemployment rate, you are allowed to build as many houses as you like, assuming you have enough space, food, and any other requirements the houses might need. The limit however is placed on what you
are allowed to build and consequently cannot build more advanced structures until your people have reached the appropriate level. In each respective level you will be required to provide the building along with certain goods, to your houses. The buildings have a range of influence that can been seen when you hover your pointer over them, any houses within the range of influence get the benefit of that structure. So placement of houses and buildings is key to minimize cost and to avoid building multiples of the same structure.
In addition to buildings that help your houses increase in level there are four buildings that prevent your houses from falling apart. They are the Fire Station, Rat Catcher, Hospital, and Barracks. Each of those edifices, with the exception of the Barracks, must be placed to provide it's sphere of influence to your houses. The Barracks generates soldiers which you can place in different buildings to secure your island from invasion or which can be sent to conquer other islands.