pits you as the newly installed dictator of an obscure Caribbean island, where you
must create a life of prosperity and happiness for your people. Build farms to feed
them, tenements to house them, pubs to lift their spirits, and churches to save their
souls. You can follow a socialist path of factories, mines, logging and fishing,
or chase capitalist dollars by building resorts to lure Yanqui tourists. Success
will bring the praise of your people along with a fat Swiss bank account. Failure
may lead to your ouster. Macsoft's port of PopTop's Tropico: Mucho Macho Edition
is more game than you could imagine for such a low price. At under twenty dollars
you get the original Tropico, plus the expansion pack Paradise Island.
- Mac OS 9.1 or OS
X v10.1.5 or higher
- 350MHz G3/G4 processor
- 128MB RAM
- Monitor with support
for 800x600 at thousands of colors
- 400MB hard drive
- 16MB video card required
for OpenGL mode
Retail Price: $19.95 at MacSoft.com
Street Price: $17.99 at Amazon.com
Rating: Teen (suggestive themes and violence)
Official Website: tropico.godgames.com
How do you know if your people are happy? Well you can see the overall happiness
of the population or drill down to the individual level and see their thoughts and
what areas they are satisfied with and those that are bothering them. You also have
full time access to a very comprehensive almanac that graph tons of information and
allows easy access to finely granulated statistics. From time to time your advisor
provides a few friendly words of advice, but frankly I'd fire the guy if the game
would only allow me to and hire the advisory team from the Civilization game! That
said, as you gain experience (aka, have been voted out less routinely), you'll have
plenty of information on how to run your little island paradise.
Running your island means setting labor rates for various jobs, planning what industries
need to go where and determining what sort of housing schooling and entertainment
to buildÖ all the while working to keep the budget at least balanced (mainly so you
can line your pockets with that excess cash and keep feeding you secret Swiss bank
account the game allows you to set up!). There are several game play speeds that
allow you slow time passing so that you can attend to the details without worry.
After a brief tutorial you are pretty much on your own to keep track of buildings,
taxes, salaries, rents, industries, education, labor recruitment, et al. The concept
of the game is simple: keep your citizens happy or afraid enough to keep you in office.
However, making it past a few elections in a modestly hard game is tough. Replay
value is high as almost every important aspect of you and your people is a variable,
controllable at each game's set up. If you decide to customize your character, you
can either modify existing profiles or create an all new leader with positive and
negative characteristics complete with background details of your rise to power.
For instance, if you chose to have attended a religious school, some of your church
going people will be happy, but the communists will not be! I personally would have
been content to trade off some of that control to have more help with early games.
An adequate strategy manual is included on one of the installation disks which should
be considered to be required reading after playing around a bit. If the developers
are at work on another edition, I would prefer an online help function that can be
accessed from within the game, rather than an external e-manual.
Other than the learning hurdle, you should find your self smiling again and again
as you enjoy the lush detail of close in views of your buildings and their settings,
as well as peeking into the lives of individual citizens on your island. Of course,
as you zoom out, this detail is less obvious, but I found the overall effect very
pleasing, and the game interface easy to learn and use.
Tropico Mucho Macho includes the original Tropico, the Paradise Island expansion
pack, 12 all-new scenarios, the Brady Games strategy guide and interesting movie
clips of the development staff and their game concept and development. During the
month I played Tropico, I was not able to make a decent dent in any of the harder
scenarios, indicating to me that this is a game that I will continue to come back
to for a long time.
Not crucial to the game play, but an area that required great attention by the developers,
is the great background music and sounds. Unlike most other game's monotonous music,
I never turned off the sound when playing. For instance when you zoom to a detailed
view of a pub you even hear the glasses clinking through the music.
Presuming you have won all your elections, you are awarded a score at the end of
the game, based on factors like the population's happiness (good wages at a good
job and able to go home to a nice house or apartment). Was there enough electricity
to operate the luxury hotel or is that electrical plant producing so much pollution
that it is driving away the tourists? Your scores are then adjusted for that particular
games level of difficulty and then posted against your previous game standings.
You learn fairly quickly that although the game says you rule, it really should say
your people rule.
Tropico Mucho Mucho is an improved and extended Tropico. Basically, it's a must have
for every real time strategy or simulation fan - and at just under $20 it IS a must
have! Tropico's wonderful twist with its theme of becoming a 1950's Presidente of
a small island nation in the Caribbean is that you are not a god. You can influence,
indeed bribe or even eliminate a citizen, but your people have free will and will
vote you out (ending the game) if you do not keep them happy. I highly recommend
- Game play interesting
and wide variety of replay options
- Nice light sense
- Wonderful graphics
- Need for a more comprehensive
advisor function to ease the initial learning hurdles
- Online help function
1/2 out of 5 Mice