From the first moment you see it, it’s clear that Commander: Conquest of the Americas is intended to succeed last year’s East India Company. Nitro Games has created a game similar in mechanics, narrower in scope, and improved in graphics—making for a smoother and hopefully less tedious gameplay experience.
The most major difference is the establishment of colonies. Rather than playing as a company which runs goods between existing cities, players run a colonial-era government—establishing and growing settlements in the new world. The fleets move people and goods between Europe and the New World, but the map itself covers only the northern coasts of South America and the east coast of North America, forcing the player to keep a tighter focus on the goal of colonization.
Each settlement grows its influence as colonists are added to its population, and as its influence grows, so does its access to the natural resources around it. Those resources can be traded raw, or moved around the colonies to be refined in a process of three to five steps depending on the resource. For example: gold can be refined from nuggets to bars, which can be traded or refined into jewelry first. Hide, in contrast, can potentially go through up to five stages, and can branch into either fur or leather goods at the player’s discretion. The detail of these aspects of the economic system is a bit deeper than East India Company.
Of course, Conquest of the Americas still has naval battles (no land battles, unfortunately), and while they still seem a bit slow, the control of the ships has been streamlined. With the increased number of ships in each battle (up to 15 per side), it can start to get pretty hectic keeping track of the battle once the distance between the fleets has closed.
Overall, it looks like Nitro has really listened to the critical responces they recieved after East India Company, and have strived to make Conquest a far superior game, while maintaining the great naval feel.