The city-builder Anno 1800 from Ubisoft is currently a free PC game as part of a promotion for the game’s console launch that also includes PC users. The promotion only applies to the Ubisoft Connect and Epic Games store editions, so if you want to take advantage of it, you’ll need to leave Steam.
Anno 1800, as the name suggests, puts you at the helm of a civilization during the dawn of the Industrial Age. That means there’s plenty of potential to dig into the technological innovations and rapid expansion of the era. You’ll want to take advantage of diplomacy, trade routes, and maybe even warfare to ensure your success at this pivotal point of history.
Those of you who prefer to play alone will find a story-driven campaign mode along with customisable sandbox options with the potential for distinct AI opponents and randomly generated maps to keep things fresh. There’s also options for online co-op or competitive play, if you want to test your skills alongside other real players.
Anno 1800 is free to play from March 16-23. You can play either through the Epic Games store, or directly via Ubisoft Connect. If you want to keep playing after that, the game is currently 75% off on all platforms (including Steam) through March 23, and your progress can be carried over from the free week.
If you do decide to jump in, our Anno 1800 DLC guide should help you work out which expansions to check out. We’ve also picked out some of the best Anno 1800 mods, along with more of the best city-building games on PC.