Back in May, Ubisoft announced that the popular city-building strategy series ANNO was coming to the iPad in an original, built-for-touchscreen experience called ANNO: Build an Empire. Today, that game has soft-launched in the Canadian App Store. As with the other games in the ANNO series, you'll start off by colonizing an unihabited island, collecting resources and enticing people to live there. You'll need to balance all the city building and resource management to keep your inhabitants happy, and eventually, you'll be able to branch out and trade with neighboring islands and even control multiple islands of your own at the same time.

This is the first time that a full ANNO game has been released for iOS, though a spinoff called Dawn of Discovery - Harbor was released on the App Store way back in 2010. ANNO: Build an Empire is a free to play game and requires an internet connection to play, two things that are good to be aware of. An internet connection is self-explanatory, but I'll be interested to see how well (or poorly) the free to play system has been implemented. If you have access to a Canadian App Store account, you can grab ANNO: Build an Empire for free with the link below, and can find discussion of the game in our forums. When a date is announced for a worldwide launch, we'll let you know.

Canadian App Store Link: ANNO: Build an Empire, Free (iPad Only)

  • HansKaosu

    wooo sweet. i will buy it when its releases world wide

    • the_rebel14

      Man! Your on a roll. You've commented first on nearly every article today!

      • Pagan Fox

        Too much time on their hands.....hence the excitement for this game!
        Looking forward to this.

      • barbarajwebster

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        computer . She has been fired for 7 months but last month her paycheck was
        $15495 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit the site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • lordyokomoto

    Great another great game about to be destroyed by IAPs ..
    With it being free and and internet conx only ....
    Timers from hell I presume

  • Auxilare

    This is off my list now. Since it is a free to play now, there's no chance this will be good anymore. Another great potential ruined by greed...

    • KeKhan

      Another review ruined by a snap judgement and bad attitude

      • nomstar

        Eh can you blame him for being pessimistic? 90% or more of the FTP games in this genre follow the same model more or less. I love the Anno series, but everything I've read about this implementation just makes me disappointed as a fan.

      • Cheeseball

        First, online requirement, which is retarded for an Anno game that is aimed at the iPad, especially since a majority of iPad users have the WiFi-only models. Two, this:

  • nicodemus82

    Another series ruined by the crappy F2P model..

  • Keasar

    I admire you enthusiasm but given the fact that this is F2P 'and' Ubisoft there is sadly no chance on Earth, in the solar system or known universe that is will be even near the experience of the PC originals or for that matter good. Its another Dungeon Keeper in disguise.

    Here is my advice, save yourself from some headache and buy the original Anno games on PC instead (1440 and 2070 are excellent choices) and tell Ubisoft to make a proper, well-balanced game on iOS cause I would gladly pay 10 or 15 bucks for the true Anno experience on my ipad.

    • KeKhan

      I like the F2P model, and think it may even be superior, when done right.

  • vid_icarus

    Yeah... I'll downloaded this when it hits the US App Store, but I will be surprised if it stays on my iPad very long. I have to go with the consensus on this. Another great series will likely be marred by the F2P model.

    Some games really do it well, but I have little faith that Ubisoft knows what a good F2P model actually is.

  • Jeebus123

    Although I can understand everyone's skepticism on the FTP model of this game, let me put those fears to rest. I have been playing for around five hours now (straight) and have yet to encounter a timer. No buildings (as of yet) require any premium currency. I am thoroughly impressed with this game, and the model they have implemented. I can easily enjoy the game, and the only thing paying does is quicken the speed at which the game progresses. This is not to say the game progresses slowly - it's about the speed simcity moves at. Loving the game, and as long as nothing changes with the pay model, I will be playing this for a long time.

    • Keasar

      Then what's the catch? What is monetized?

    • SPM21Bucky

      No timer, but you can quicken the speed that the game progresses? Can you explain that a bit? Usually you have to wait for something to be built (in other games) and then you can pay a second currency to speed up the building, but that would be a timer....just curious as to what you're actually paying to speed up, thanks! (I haven't played games in this series before.)

  • Lochheart

    Free to pay, insta skip..

  • Seniku Moonjewel

    Another good game killed by timers and iap.