" You can never leave… you are stuck there for life with Ricardo Maltoban and that little Tattoo freak, and they won’t leave you alone, and the drums! Must find solace from the steel drums… this damn island is just so small, and I can’t get far enough away, and Tattoo is still yelling about 'da plane! da plane!' "
Title: Tropico by Gathering of Developers
Format: PC Real Time Strategy
Reviewing Monkey: Cornelius
The Hype: Live every monkey’s dream; rule your own island nation through feast and famine to become a true power in the Carribean League (it’s kind of like being a great state of France with rum and cigars). Pose as either a benevolent president, or a ruthless dictator to rally your rabble into a united people striving to fill your offshore bank account in time for retirement.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Status quo for RTS games. Nothing spectacular, but not too lacking either. With various zoom levels, this becomes a hard question to answer. At farther ranges the graphics are pretty, and most of the buildings and scenery are fairly well detailed. When zoomed in to the closest level however, objects tend to pixelize. It is really a moot point though, as the closest detail level is not very useful in game play. The best feature is watching the crops grow. The chief problem is the scenery can completely block the view of someone you are trying to find or a structure you are trying to build. The problem is especially apparent in the jungle where no matter how the camera is rotated there is never a clear view to be had. Someone at Pop Top spent a long time detailing the crop cycles of corn, bananas, tobacco and the like. In fact, if you are a farmer, or even a dork in 4-H (not you my precious monkeys-you are a different kind of dork) the only game to top this would be Sim Farm. 2.5 out of 5
Sound: Melodic steel drums, and the soft sweet sounds of the Mariachi. Ahhhh… The music does give you a sense of being on an island paradise, one you can never leave… you are stuck there for life with Ricardo Maltoban and that little Tattoo freak, and they won’t leave you alone, and the drums! Must find solace from the steel drums… this damn island is just so small, and I can’t get far enough away, and Tattoo is still yelling about "da plane! da plane!" 3 out of 5
Game Play: You can get all of the people
to like you some of the time, some of the people to like you all of the time,
but never can you get all of the people to like you all of the time. Insolent
bastards. The most amazing part of Tropico is the level of detail given to your
subjects. At any given time you can find out what an individual is thinking,
feeling, needing, what makes him happy, what she wants most in her life, where
they live, work, play and where they belong in society. It is not a game for
the anal retentive, as you can be lost in the detail for days, literally.
As master of your people’s destiny, you can choose to be a ruthless iron-fisted commie-pinko dictator or a tree hugging flower-powered person-motivator. Either way someone will hate you. The trick is to get enough of them to like you, then they will work, and make money, and you can skim off the top of their blood, sweat and tears and direct deposit in to a Swiss bank account. 4 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: The biggest problem with islands is just that, they’re islands. Not much you can do about it. Most the scenarios are fairly typical, and have to do with being the most profitable, or have the happiest citizens in a 25-50 year time frame. Once again we are limited to an island. 3 out of 5
Multiplayer: None available, though I don’t understand why not. At least you could compete against another wannabe Fidel to see who can rule the cigar trade. NA
Replayability: This is Tropico’s biggest drawback. With no multiplayer, and remember you are always on a island, a tiny, tiny island, you’ll run out of room faster than the French retreat. Once the island is filled with tenements, guard posts, and prisons full of political prisoners, there is nowhere left to build. The scenarios offer a game maybe two if you want to perfect it, but that is it. Otherwise, with a small selection of available buildings, limited resources and absolutely no freaking way to get off this damn island you’ll soon be off to other games to conquer something. PS There are some patches available now such as rebel yell (you are a rebel not a dictator), and new scenarios. 2 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: Best part: you are the story. Worst part: your story sucks. 3 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: Super simple control is one of the great features of Tropico. An intuitive interface makes signing your detractor’s death warrants a joy. The instructions are lacking, and it is left to each dictator to find out the true effect of a building or an edict on his people. Why this section wasn’t more detailed is a mystery. 3.5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: Pentium 200 and 32 megs of RAM although with the minimums it will be fairly jerky, there is a lot of thinking for the computer to do especially as you population grows 4 out of 5
|A good game that needs more variety to increase its longevity.|
The Good: All your power-tripping, rebellion-quashing, Caligulian fantasies come true.
The Bad: Can’t escape that damn Ricardo Maltoban and his evil midget… no way to leave island… can’t hold on much. longer….
The Overall Ugly: A fun game, but rather limited.
What it's Worth: If you’ve always wanted stand on the necks of poor Caribbean’s until they beg for mercy: 210 pesos. If not 180.