On the ECTS show floor, Sunflowers is proudly showing off the improved graphics in Anno 1503. This strategy game lets players settle and manage a 16th-century European colony on an uncharted tropical island. The gameplay stays relatively unchanged in the sequel, as it still focuses primarily on trading and diplomacy rather than combat. Though the game received a rather mixed reception in the US when it was released this spring, 1602 A.D. sold incredibly well in Europe.
The developers have improved the visual quality of the game in a number of ways. When the camera's zoomed in to its closest setting, it's easy to see how much higher the texture resolution is for buildings, trees, and terrain. The terrain now curves much more naturally and waves now roll and crash against the coastline of your colonial settlement. The 3D water looks quite good and the transparency effect really conveys the sense of clear Caribbean waters.
Sunflowers will release the game in Europe in the first half of 2001, and the US version should follow shortly.