Another good ol' fashion sim game. This particular game however has a different story to it. This game was not produced by a particular company. It was designed by one individual (Phil Steinmeyer) on his own time at his home. Once he had the game almost completed it was time to try and find a company to pick the game up and distribute it. The game was finally picked and developed by Pop Top Software and boy did they make a good investment. The game went up for sim of the year. I am not sure if this game won any particular awards but, it had my vote for sim game of the year.
You are appointed El' Presidente of your own tropical island. As president you will complete control of the islands development. This being from what type of buildings to build, where to place them, what to charge for services (this being your sims or visitors to your island), the laws on the island, what type of food will be grown, and more. You will not however have any control over your residents (sims). You will be able to determine what type of jobs and what type of fun they can have but, you will not be able to just pick one up and drop him off where you see fit. This means you better plan your island well. If you don't you will have the great opportunity of having to deal with uprisings and maybe even be overthrown.
The game has many different difficulty settings you must pick before you start. What size island you wish to run, how accessible will food be, what the land type of your island will be, how much resources will be in your island, and more. You will also be able to choose how you wish to win the game. Or even if you ever what your game to end. Adding to this difficulty you will be able to set up your own personality. This is rather in-depth and will make certain areas of running your island easier and others more difficult. If you ever wanted to run an island as one that is partial to marshal law, has a huge gambling problem, steals from the citizens, and is a great liar then this is the game for you. The settings right off the bat are endless.
The game play, as any other sim game, is rather in-depth. When you start your new island you are only given your home and some shacks that your citizens live in. Of course, they are not going to be happy living in these shacks. You will need to build a construction office right off the bat to give some of your citizens jobs and these jobs will be building other buildings. Then you can build better housing for your people.
You will have a variety of things to build on your island. Building that give work will be needed such as farms, lumber mills, mines, canneries, etc.. You will also need some entertainment for your people so night clubs, pubs, restaurants, casinos, and more can be built. Since you are on an island out in the middle of nowhere you will need to get yourself defense for your citizens. Such as polices stations, guard stations, and armories. If you are not a good ruler you will need these to help fend off your own people as they try and over through you. My personal favorite part of building in Tropico is the tourist attractions. Get a large chunk of your island, make it a tourist area, and bring in the people for the cash. You will have such choices as luxury hotels, pools, beach sites, spas, scenic outlook, and more. If you can get a good amount of tourists to visit your island on a regular basis you are all set. Last but not least, you will need the basics also. Schools, colleges, churches, hospitals, radio stations, tv stations, and more. There are quite of few different buildings to choose from but, not a ridicules amount where you just have building every 2 inches from each other trying to get at least one of each building on your island. A lot of these building will have upgrades you can spend some of your cash on to get the more out of them. The buildings the game has and how they are used is a great in Tropico.
Not only will you be choosing where each building goes and how your island develops but, you will also need to implicate what laws to have in force and when to use them. You will have 31 laws and actions to choose from. These will range from having your island under martial law, praising the USA or Russia to improve trade with them. You can choose to have an anti- litter Ordinance in affect to bribing or executing one of your civilians. These are fun to play with and will affect your overall standings with your people in different ways. You will just need to play with them and see which ones work best with your island.
There are many options throughout the game that will take you some time to master. This game does have the all important option of speeding up or slowing down the game pace. Unfortunately this is my biggest complaint about the game, the game pace being way to slow, but at least you can speed it up. You will find yourself on the fastest speed most of the time. Especially at the beginning of the game. The complete outlay of the game play will take some time to get it all down and remember where everything is but, when you do it is a snap. The controls are easy it will just take time remember what each button on your screen does.
Your Sims (citizens)
You will be able to interact better with your people in Tropico than most traditional sim style games. Each person will have a display (once clicked on) that will tell you there overall happiness, if they are hungry, need medical attention, and more. It will also show you things such as where they live, what job they have, and some background. Since you won't have thousands of sims running around your island (500 is the max) the game can go into more detail with each one. This part of the game a lone will take a few hours of your time as you click on your people and ask them was'up.
The graphics are solid. Not completely proportioned to scale with your people and the buildings but, you would be scrolling forever to get from one side of the island to the other if it was. Everything looks real and the color scheme is nice. You won't find yourself rubbing your eyes after 30 or so minutes of playing due to bright or non matching color schemes. You can zoom in and watch an individual walking around or you can zoom out and see your island from the clouds above.
The music played throughout the game is not bad but, you will find yourself reaching for your stereo or T.V. button with any extended playing time. As in the game itself, not a lot of sound here worth mentioning. I was overall unhappy with the sound throughout the game of Tropico but, this is something easily overlooked if the game itself is fun enough. Tropico is fun enough.
This game will not be finished overnight and will take a lot of patience and time to complete. This can be determined at the beginning of the game if you choose easy to get to goals of course. The game play on an overall scale is very well put together. If there was just another speed button on the pace of the game it would be a five star game in my book. The game will remind you, if you played Sim City, when you would start the game, place where to build everything, and walk away from the computer for about an hour. Then come back and everything is completed with more money in your account. I just lost some interest (especially at the start of a new game) with waiting for long periods of times for my building to be finished. This is not something that completely ruins the game you may not think the pace is to slow. It may be a 5 star game in your book if you don't mind the slower paced sim games.
Operating System Windows 9x/ME/NT4
RAM: 32 MB
Disk Space: 82o MB
I recommend this game to anyone.
Thank you for your time!
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