Dawn of Discovery Review
Wii | DS
Dawn of Discovery box art
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 you’ll want to throttle them before things are over. The handholding is incessant throughout the entire story mode, making it feel like a glorified tutorial. It’s 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.

Dawn of Discovery screenshot

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; you’re only informed when there’s 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 Discovery’s flaws are generally minor ones that won’t cause much of an issue for players attracted to the civilization simulation genre for the first time by the game’s 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 you’ll want to keep going back for.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

Delightfully designed buildings and scenery match the strong characters.
The Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo make expansion effortless, thanks to a copy-paste building function, but jumping around between islands is a little unwieldy.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Pleasant voice work that grows grating the more it’s repeated.

Play Value
Hand-holding aside, the story mode is really enjoyable and prepares you for the rigors of continuous play.

Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Colonize islands and gather resources to save your homelands.
  • Manage citizens’ needs to increase their cultural level.
  • Build large cities with a broad assortment of resources at your disposal.
  • Travel the seas to hunt for sunken treasure maps, battle pirates, and locate new land to settle.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Dawn of Discovery screenshot - click to enlarge Dawn of Discovery screenshot - click to enlarge Dawn of Discovery screenshot - click to enlarge Dawn of Discovery screenshot - click to enlarge

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