|System: Wii, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Keen Games / Blue Byte||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 23, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Whether cultivating the land or adventuring at sea, your advisors guide you every step of the way to the point where youll want to throttle them before things are over. The handholding is incessant throughout the entire story mode, making it feel like a glorified tutorial. Its helpful to have direction in moments of confusion, but being constantly reminded of what to do, how to do it, and where to go every 30 seconds eventually becomes tiresome as you get used to how everything works.
That said, the gameplay is very satisfying and enjoyable, even though the watchful advisors never let you out of their sight for more than a minute. Another nagging quibble crops up in the form of a curious vagueness in regards to certain crucial resources. For example, you never really know exactly how much food you have at any given moment; youre only informed when theres note enough to feed your citizens because they freak out. This nebulousness carries over into several other resources something that might easily go unnoticed by newer players but is bound to bother RTS city building veterans.
All of the characters personalities are enhanced by good voice work done in mostly-believable accents. Aside from the repetitiveness of certain instructions that quickly devolve into irritating mantras, the audio dialogue in Dawn of Discovery saves the storybook-style cutscenes from being too simple and otherwise enhances the vividly-drawn character design that carries over into the pleasant look of the island countryside.
A much tougher continuous play mode nicely balances out the training wheels saddled onto the story mode. Additionally, a second player can direct a pointer around the map, place decorative bushes, and make fireworks shoot out from rooftops, but calling this limited interaction a two-player mode is a joke. Dawn of Discoverys flaws are generally minor ones that wont cause much of an issue for players attracted to the civilization simulation genre for the first time by the games all-ages friendly presentation. Looking past the concessions made to streamline the series for the Wii, the particular flavor of economy management this game provides is one youll want to keep going back for.
CCC Staff Contributor