Dawn of Discovery – Harbor in Review – Sally’s harbour?

Dawn of Discovery is a relatively successful PC real-time city building title and as such the announcement that it will be coming to the iPhone a few months ago made the iPhone community hold its breath in anticipation. Dawn of Discovery – Harbor had briefly appeared on the AppStore on March 14 as yet another AppStore mishap, but was quickly pulled down. Nevertheless by the time you read this review the game should be available again. Was it worth the wait? Let’s find out! Feel free to discuss this review of Dawn of Discovery – Harbor in our forums.

On its way to the iPhone, Dawn of Discovery – Harbor morphed from a full blown real-time city building game to a simplistic time management game. And while I won’t debate whether this is good or bad — and leave that to the developer’s conscience — it fares surprisingly well. You are put in charge of a medieval harbour and have to make sure ships are unloaded/loaded in a timely manner, making as much profit as possible off of them.

Dawn of Discovery stays true to the very core of time-management games – you have a limited amount of docks where you can send the incoming ships to unload. As soon as they are done you have to provide them with the goods they are interested in to send them off on their merry way as soon as possible. The traders themselves come in up to 8 varieties, ranging in ship size (large ships can only be docked at large docks), patience and tip-readiness. The latter is probably one of the most important aspects of the game since trending to heavy tipsters quickly can yield high amounts of extra income.

As you progress through the game the goals become more aggressive. At the same time your harbour gets additional docks, though some are organized in such a manner that require thinking when using them, since they may block off other ones. To provide variety you will get 4 different harbours to control, each with a different set of goods, docks, layouts and trader characters. The only real downer is the fact that the harbour is automatically upgraded, which leaves an important aspect of time-management games out of the player’s hands.

Dawn of Discovery’s graphics look amazing. The ports and ships are beautifully rendered and are immediately recognizable. The music adds that extra little spice to make it a most enjoyable experience. And thankfully there are no performance issues on older iDevices. The interface shows the love and polish put into the game with all actions made easy and intuitive. You just tap-and-drag the ship icon to a free dock and tap-and-drag the goods to the ship waiting for them. Simple, easy, addictive.

Dawn of Discovery – Harbor is an excellent and beautiful time-mangement game set in a legendary Dawn of Discovery universe true to all of the canons of the genre. The only real issue – the lack of player-controlled harbour upgrades – is offset by the solid achievement system, varied traders and goods, and overall polished gameplay to make for an addictive time-waster. This is definitely the place to start for newcomers to the genre.

With this I declare Dawn of Discovery – Harbor officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Dawn of Discovery – Harbor Developer: Ubisoft
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 46.0 MB
  • Excellent graphics and music
  • Good variety of traders and goods
  • 4 environments to conquer
  • Achievements
  • No player-controlled harbor upgrades


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A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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