I stared at this title for months before finally deciding to purchase it. You may read other reviews for the details of gameplay, etc. I just want to list some pros and cons I have not seen others mention:
1. SENSE OF HISTORICAL SPACE. This game's not based on actual history, but there are certainly historical principles illustrated and the game is true to those principles. I also like that it is not futurized like most games. Your civilization stays historical, never reaching into a silly fantasy-future like some simulation games do.
2. NON-VIOLENT (mostly). As a parent of four young children, we've chosen to pass by the current trend of First Person Shooters to seek titles that resolve conflict without brutality or hate. While there is a military component to the game, it's very low-key and the plot introduces the military mechanics with an excellent lesson on the ethics of war. There's no blood. No dead bodies. Heck, you don't even view actual combat. A big negative for many; a huge positive for us.
3. SECOND PLAYER OPTION. So many reviews I've read on Amazon point out how children love to watch parents play games. They see it as interactive cartoons and love helping the grown-ups solve puzzles. Rare is the game that has a multiplayer option that allows children to interact without damaging the flow of the game for the playing adult. Many reviews here criticize the multi-player function, but the trick is not to think of it as cooperative but as subordinate. I can hand my kid a remote and she can have a real impact in the game by healing my villages of plague or fire and providing wind to make my ships faster and she can also build little miniature buildings all over the place that decorate the towns without draining resources needed to play the real game. It's an excellent balance for adults playing with very young children who cannot yet grasp such a game. My kids and I love it.
4. MODELS BASIC ECONOMICS AND LEADERSHIP. This is NOT an "eduware" title by any stretch, but it IS authentically educational. Most civilization-based games also provide this and may provide it better, but the complexity is kept at a very manageable level. I've played other historical simulations and felt overwhelmed by the micro-management they necessitate. Dawn of Discovery keeps that at bay sufficiently that my 10-year old can manage the game on his own.
5. WHIMSY. The game never completely takes itself seriously, adding subtle humorous touches here and there, like how your buildings wobble in response to motion before you actually place them or how the scary pirate has a grinning snake wrapped around his neck. Nice touches.
6. VOICE ACTING. SO few Wii games feature voice acting (much less good voice acting). This one does and it really adds to the depth. I especially appreciate the accurate accents.
1. SLIDE SHOW CUT SCENES. With so much detail for the voice-acting, why oh why did they not animate the cut scenes? While the hand-painted artwork for the cut scenes is well done, I feel like I'm watching a film strip projector back in 3rd grade. This took a lot of getting used to, and I've learned to not hate it, but it was a major disappointment (but does not detract at all from game-play; the game is itself is beautifully detailed and animated).
2. CAMERA CONTROL. The controls work fine for the most part. The zoom feature is especially crucial and fun. But so many times I wish I could view my buildings from the North or East or something! Without any pan function whatsoever in the game, we are stuck permanently viewing all the structures from the South facade. A rotate function alleviates this somewhat when you build, but a 360 degree panoramic control is sorely needed.
3. LOTS OF DO-OVERS. In the story version of the game, with every new chapter you must start your civilization from scratch. That's a total of seven complete do-overs, which, granted helps teach the mechanics of the game extremely well, but gets a bit frustrating after chapter six where you build up an enormous city that gets wiped out forever after one transitional cut-scene.
4. SAVE GLITCHES. On at least one occasion, I met the objective for a mission and the game failed to move forward. After being stuck for half an hour (with the game ceaselessly telling me to collect the treasure chest I'd already collected), I had to re-do the entire chapter. I recommend saving rather frequently, using a different save slot each time in case such glitches are common in other game-disks.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: For some inexplicable reason, Amazon is combining the Wii game and the PC game into one review site, giving this game WAY lower scores than if it were on its own. The two games share the same title but are quite different. Nearly ALL the negative reviews are for the PC version (which apparently has some flaw that only PC gamers understand). If you see a review complaining about DRM or limited installations, note that you ARE NOT reading a review for the Wii game.
(72 customers reviews )
Customers Rating=3.0 / 5.0
More Detail For Dawn of Discovery
- Explore the beautifully detailed world and discover new places to create your civilization
- Set up trade posts in the spice mines of the Orient and explore new trade routes to keep your nation growing
- Learn from other nearby cultures to expand your horizons and master the challenges of establishing a society
- Seamless user interface delivers multiple game play modes and faster player rewards for both long or short play sessions
- Exclusive multiplayer modes across platforms
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