ALL AROUND THE WORLD...
Christopher Columbus is probably one of our most famous travellers - and, no doubt if he were alive today, he could comfortably find his way to Mile End from central London on the Underground. The equivalent task of his age (the 15th Century) was to roam the seas, searching for uncharted lands and, well, chart them.
You had to be a hard person to brave the open seas, facing who knows what who knows where - especially since it was so easy to sail off the edge of the flat world.
As an intrepid explorer you have to find as many islands as you can, colonise them, set up trade routes and make as much money as possible, and the only real test is that you have to do it faster than your four adversaries, each of whom represent a nation other than your own.
As is expected with a game such as this, Discovery is icon controlled, and follows a reasonably logical path. First, build an armed exploratory ship and send out in the general direction of one of the eight man compass points.
When it has found land, settle, clear the grounds to produce timber, build small towns and set up trade routes, buying stock cheaply from one port and then sailing to another where you sell it at an extortionate price.
The gameplay is presented with a small scale map with lots of cute travellers doings cute things which are somewhat out of place with the serious nature of the rest of the package. When you build something, a comical building contractor with a suitably comical bowler hat comically marches up and down barking instructions through his comical megaphone.
You can scroll around the map, or at least as far as you have discovered, and this is where Impressions have tried something new. When you scroll towards the top of the screen, things come over the horizon at you, so you have the impression you are moving forwards rather than up.
As a strategy game, Discovery is fun, but there doesn't seem to be a lot to it. Once again, Impressions have gone a little over the top with their instructions, making the game seem far more complicated than it really is. It's nothing too serious, so it falls between two stools, but if you really want to give it a go, try playing it before reading the manual. It seems to make considerably more sense that way.