Anno 1602 is an economic, rather than combat, orientated strategy game. Players are rarely challenged in battle. The game design is noteworthy for its attempt to implement a 'progressive' AI, meaning that the pace of the game changes in response to how quickly players act. The game is set in the Early Modern period of history and is based around colony building and resource management on a series of small islands. It includes aspects of exploration, combat, diplomacy and trade.