Those of you not living in the South East of England might not have noticed, but recently it's been real hot. Even living amongst the fresh sea breezes of Brighton I've been gradually sublimating into a rarefied cloud of grease over the last few days, so shuffling back into the airless Eurogamer offices after lunch on the beach, even when all I have to do when I get there is play games and write about them, has been pretty difficult. (Yeah, I know. Tough life.)
The point is that normally it's not that bad. With a desk fan running full blast in my face and Bertie's eternally sunny disposition warming my right flank, it's almost like being outside anyway. During my time with Anno 1404, however, these office-bound hours have proven especially difficult. Don't get me wrong, it's not because I haven't enjoyed the game, it's because of the water.
See, as pretty much everyone who's wandered past my desk this week will tell you, Anno's water is very, very pretty indeed. It looks cool, refreshing and thoroughly inviting - lapping gently upon the beautifully rendered beaches and cliffs of Anno's islands, swirling around my fleets of trade ships and sloshing against abandoned cargo and shipwrecked unfortunates. Considering that all of the game's territory consists of picturesque islands, surrounded by this tantalising liquid, playing it in the heat is absolute torture.