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Product Description

Tropico is the newest management strategy with a twist -- you're the dictator of a tiny Caribbean isalnd and must build it into an economic power Eight great scenarios plus a game-generation tool to keep the game moving Can you turn your island into a paradise, or will you be ousted in a bloody coup?

Tropico gives you the reigns of a banana republic, letting you shape the island nation in practically any way you like. Whether you've always wanted to create an utopian paradise or a ruthless dictatorship, Tropico will go anywhere your imagination leads. The game offers an unprecedented amount of political detail, as the island's various factions always scrutinize your actions. Focus on a strong military and you risk angering the intellectuals. Build a robust industrial economy and you'll please the Americans while risking alienating the communists and environmentalists. Every decision comes with consequences, and if you anger a faction or the population too much they will attempt to oust you from the island.

Tropico differs from most "sim" games in the level of long-term planning it demands. Money is relatively easy to come by, but can be spent in a staggering number of ways. The fact that structures are not placed on the map immediately after buying them makes planning even more important. Construction workers only put up one or two buildings at a time, and they have to flatten the ground beneath the structure before they can even get started. Once something is built it must be staffed--usually with educated workers--and the process takes time. After all that, it takes even more time for the building to become productive. Farmers must plant, raise, and harvest their crops. Industrial buildings like the cigar factory must get raw materials from the farms, then spend time processing them. Finished products must be hauled to a dock, where dockworkers slowly load the goods into freighters, and you finally get paid. Years can pass between the time something is built and the time it becomes profitable.

Fun and challenging as Tropico is, there is a little trouble in paradise. The game's manual has practically no hard information, and it's left mostly up to the player to figure how everything in the game interrelates. The interface is another problem, as it takes up a lot of space on the screen and what little information it provides is scattered all over the place. Experience with the game will let players overcome most of its shortcomings, and Tropico is definitely a game worth playing. --T. Byrl Baker


  • Lush graphics designed to look great at multiple resolutions
  • An absolutely perfect soundtrack
  • Open-ended gameplay
  • It's difficult to tell how to appease all the political factions
  • Interface could be better

As the newly installed dictator of an obscure Caribbean island, you will need to build a path of progress for a nation mired in poverty, civil unrest, and infighting. Oh, and uhh... you'll also need to stash a few million in your Swiss bank account just in case you need to take early retirement.

Tropico takes the addictive building-oriented gameplay of such hits as SimCity 3000 and Railroad Tycoon II, combines it with a healthy dose of Latin American political intrigue, and bundles it up in an easy-to-learn, hard-to-master, utterly addictive package.

Tropico is first and foremost a builder. Tropico provides more than 100 structures to build, from hotels and spas for tourists; to banana groves, sugar plantations, and copper mines for food and basic exports; to rum distilleries and cigar factories for basic industry. Industry, mining, agriculture, or tourism--you choose to shape the economy to your vision. And don't let your lust for yanqui dollars overcome your concern for the plight of your people (or they'll overcome your palace guards and teach you a lesson in mob justice). As a precaution against such unpleasantness, may we suggest building the secret police headquarters to ferret out and reeducate your misinformed dissidents?

Your island's inhabitants are fleshed-out individuals, most of whom support you as their leader (at least initially). They go about their daily business striving for happiness under your enlightened rule. They have homes, jobs, and identities, and they like being safe, well-fed, employed, and spiritually enriched. Plan your growth well and you'll have plenty of money with which to buy your people's favor.

Plan your growth poorly, and, well, there's always martial law.

  • Start out small, building a few cities, planting sugar cane, and building support amongst the people
  • Create factories, mines, and add to your bank account as the people improve their lot
  • Build what you need to attract tourists
  • Use your position to bribe and trick the leaderrs, to keep yourself in power & add money to your pockets
  • Keep the people happy, or risk a rebellion or uprising

Customer Reviews:

  • Tropico, Why it's that ...Good
    An Island. Your the Dictator, Heaven? For me yes. Tropico takes place on an Island and you have to control the lives of the Inhabitants of Tropico (yeah thats the name of the Island). First they like you then you have to keep your people happy by giving them jobs, housing and healthcare. Entertainment and money are all part of the parcel. The best bit is where YOU chose the kind of dictator YOU want to be. I like the Womanising Alchoholic trained by the KGB myself. Your rise to power and everthing is included. Immigrants may come to your Island and you can chuck em' or keep em'. It's up to you. This is one of the best games I have played on. And I have played on many. My rating is 90%....more info
  • Could have been more, and sends a bad message
    This is a great game as far as sim games go. You build your city and try to prosper. That's pretty straight forward, and pretty much is what this game is reduced to. There is a huge underlying foundation to this, with each citizen of the island having a unique personality with hopes, desires and political agendas. However, they don't really do much that would affect the game as a whole. The elections are a nice use of this, but I feel that the designers could have done more to show off what I think was the coolest aspect of their game.

    The fact that there is no multiplayer is also somewhat irksome. I could definately see two rival nations sharing an island and competing for resources. This would also have allowed the Cold War scenario to have a more direct effect on the game.

    Finally there is something that no one has mentioned as far as I know, and this is the stereotypes that this game works so hard to propagate. It tells us, from the advisor's accent, to the music, to the people's thoughts and the rundown brick interface, that the people of the caribbean are naturally less intelligent, honest, hardworking, and independent than us. It tells us that a dictatorship is the natural government of such people and portrays an Aunt Jemima/ Tio Pepe view of Latinos in general. For shame....more info

  • Creative, intelligent, and most of all FUN
    This game can really be summed up in one word: FUN. Because of what others have said about this being a shallow game, I think this deserves a real explanation. I played the game for the first couple of hours, and it kept me really interested, even kept me up past midnight the first night of playing the game. I was a little disappointed at the time, and thought I had perhaps spent too much on such a shallow game. I went back at it later the next evening, and was just taken immediately by the breadth and immersion that the game provides. I really felt "attached" to my island and its people as well as its ultimate development and pursuit of a capitalistic society. Tropico will provide you with hours upon hours of wonderful entertainment ... just give it time to grow on you!...more info
  • Tropico
    For those of you who enjoy games like SimCity, Tropico is perfect. This is a game that has a personality and is difficult to master. It will challenge you to manage your country's finances, your people's various needs, and hold you accountable for political ramifications for your decisions....more info
  • An Encahnting Game!!
    Tropico is better than any Sim City 3000, or anyother "Creat Your Own City Game." It's just like running your own little island...WHICH YOU ARE!......more info
  • At long last - a long overdue dictatorship simulation
    Tropico modestly bills itself as a "Caribbean simulation", but in reality, it is so, so much more. You play the role of the recently installed dictator of the obscure Caribbean island of Tropico in the year 1950. You can play the "hall of fame" dictators like Rafael Trujillo, Fidel Castro or Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, or create your own, choosing your past, rise to power, etc.

    Once installed, it is up to you to consolidate your power and placate your enemies. The political factions on the island will be heading to the hills to join a rebellion if you are unresponsive to their desires. Perhaps you will choose the path of the enlightened despot, buidling schools, hospitals and housing for your people. Perhaps you will rule as a tyrant, and have your enemies thrown in jail, chased off the island, or simply shot down in the streets. In either case, your military will always be watching for the opportunity to sieze power in a coup d'etat. To make things worse, you must carefully consider the Cold War considerations. Cozy up to closely to the Russians, and you'll have the Marines landing on your shores. And let's not forget your most important consideration - skimming the public funds into your Swiss bank account!

    The heart of Tropico is a building game, like Railroad Tycoon II or Sim City, however, for those with the patience, there's an even bigger game to be played keeping an eye on your enemies, and working to bribe or eliminate your enemies. There are plenty of scenarios, as well as a sandbox mode where you can simply play without fear of going broke.

    There are flaws, some of which are adequately fixed in the "Paradise Island" expansion pack and various patches from the PopTop software website: some buildings can take over 30 (!) years to build, for example, and you will find yourself wishing you could just plonk buildings down SimCity style.

    The graphics are of the 2D variety, but well done. And the music ... Tropico features authentic Caribbean merengues (in Spanish) by studio whiz Daniel Indart, and is easily the best videogame soundtrack I've *ever* heard. It complements the feel the developers are trying to immerse the player in. It's so good, in fact, I had to buy the CD.

    As previously noted, however, there's a great deal of depth waiting in store after you scratch the surface. It's the most fun you can have with meaningless medals and epaulets on....more info

  • Addicting Game!
    Tropico is a great sim game, that will make you loose track of time. You can change how hard the game is, which is my favorite part. (I set it to have a never ending supply of money). You are the new ruler of a Caribbean island. You must keep your people happy by building farms, homes, and providing them with entertainment. I love all the simulation games. The Sims, Sim Theme Park, Sim Hospital, and Tropico are in my top 4 list!...more info
  • I need more stars for this one
    This game was so awesome. I'm a huge fan of CIV and SIMCITY but I was getting a little bored of the same old thing. Tropico is just what I needed to revive my love for PC gaming. The theme is truly genius and graphics are great.

    What I like most about this is every game is truly different. Making the island a major tourist attraction is hard work but the money that comes rolling in is well worth it. The swiss bank account is a deliciously guilty pleasure when you are doing your best to be a "good" ruler. I love the cuban voice that says things like "el presidente, the people will be calling for an election next year"

    The only thing that is frustrating for me in this game is it is hard to get the people to go to high school and college for their education. Even though you might have plenty of teachers, the school will never get close to filling up... UNLIKE THE CHURCHES which need to constantly be built for your peoples religous needs.

    I LOVE THIS GAME and recommend it for anyone who loves Sims, CIV, Zeus, Pharoah, Ceasar III... etc....more info

  • A good game with a few flaws, albeit debilitating ones
    Sim City on an Island (hold on, didn't they make a Sim Island?? Oh nevermind). That's what it should be named. After reading the reviews here, I felt it would be worth my time and money to go out and buy a copy of Tropico. It is an enjoyable game, although frequently annoying.

    The premise, that you are a dictator on a Carribean island named Tropico, and that you and you alone, through wits or might, make it or break it by ruling your own banana republic. Promising, right? The developers actually manage to pull it off too...everything from the look of the buildings to the mood music in the background is just right. Having made more than a few visits to the Carribean in my military days tells me that the layout and operations of the island is surprisingly accurate too.

    Everything's not sunshine'll start off relying on crops to bring in the major portion of your income. Your money levels fluctuate very erratically though, so be prepared by saving an extra few thousand before making any big purchases (power plants, cigar factories, airstrips, etc.)...and since I'm no farmer, I've had thus far some mixed experiences with my crops, most notably with my tobacco and sugar farms...they make lots of money, *when* they're working, that is.

    My only foray into tourism resulted in countless thousands of dollars lost while slob tourists depreciated the value of the land, regardless of whatever action I took to prevent otherwise. I set up nice bars, restaurants and hotel on thier end of the island, only to see them move to the other end of the island to congregate with the locals in the slum bar. I've been to those bars in the thanks, I'll stick with the nice hotel ones. ;)

    Education of your citizens if critical. After a while, filling certain jobs in whatever industry you want to make (you'll need a slew of High School educated people for most) is of incredible importance. In every game I build a High School to address this problem, but after a few citizens graduate, they have this crazy pattern of simply applying as a teacher at the same high school and staying there, thus depriving the industry that I educated them for of thier knowledge. Pretty soon you have a High School with 10 teachers and 2 students, and you still can't run your Cigar Factory because only one HS educated worker even works there, no matter how much money I pay them. This holds true also for the Church you build. Expect one foreign priest to show up. Also expect there to be only 3 parishioners to regularly attend church. It doesn't matter how many priest spots are filled, only 3-4 people will ever attend there. This after all manner of ruckus and complaint about not having a Church from my citizens.

    Logging brings in a heap of cash, as does mining, but the problem is that you have to put the things so close to your settlements...if the workers spend all thier time walking there, they'll usually arrive, chop once on a tree, yawn, and then head back the 1 mile to goto bed. All this is not bad, however...this game demands a good head for planning and urban development, as the developers have wisely programmed into the game building delays. Know *exactly* where it is you want to put that apartment building, because it's going to take a while to build it.

    A wide variety of dictator personalities is given at the beginning of the game for you to choose from, everything from Fidel Castro to Eva Peron. Still, I would have liked to custom build my own dictator, with my own name. The custom options are all great, no complaints there...your island can be customized to death with options ranging from making it mountainous/flat, to large/small, to deciding how many trees will be on it. The economy can be customized as well, making it either harsh or easy depending on your level of expertise. Be forewarned though that another critical omission in the game is the lack of ability to modify your tax rates.

    Tropico is a good game, and if you've ever played Sim City, you'll get the basic premise of it quickly. It does have good replay value because the base design of it is rock solid, but the few flaws that I pointed out, as well as a few others, are simply too big to overcome. My suggestion...wait until it's in the bargain bin... before you purchase....more info

    This game is awesome. If you like Simcity3000, or any games like that, you will love this game. It has so many options and every person has there own opinions on things. You can see what kind of job every person has, where they live how much they make per month, how happy they are, you can view there family tree, and check there age. They will grow old an eventually die. Your island needs soldiers for numerous reasons, so build up your military. There can be Coup de etats, where your army can turn on you. Your army will split up into two groups, the ones who like you, adn the ones who hate you. They will than fight. If your people dislike you enough they will turn to rebels, and when the rebellion is strong enough they will attaack your army. This is one of the best games out there, and it has unlimited options, even the cows have opinions on things! So if you liked the SimCities or games like those, definately buy this game....more info
  • Just Like Home...
    I love it. As a native of Puerto Rico, I saw many places and Individuals from my childhood in this game. The man who did the graphics most be a Hispanic or spends most of the time in the tropics. The male farmer looks like my grandfather! Even the Denim shirt that he always used! There are papaya and banana trees on my mother's house that are just like the ones in the game. So I play it all the time. It's is worth the money....more info
  • Addicting
    Extreamly Addictive Game that made my play for hours and hours after I layed my eyes on it. Though, it becomes dull afterwords, but is a good addiction if you have no life....more info
    A mix between simcity 3000 and the sims. A great game. Its fun - entertaining - and doesn't require a high-end system. A well-balanced game that you build homes, factories, power plants, etc. I recommend this game to anyone who likes Simcity 3000. This game is like Simcity 3000 or Unlimited but it is more entertaining in my mind....more info
  • tons of fun
    this is such a fun game, the music, the variety, all is great! the scenarios are very challenging and some are downright hard and frustrating when the people vote you off the island! i only wish they gave you more hints on how to win some of the scenaeios or to satisfy people's complaints, but i guess then it wouldn't be so challenging, huh? can't wait to get the expansion pack!...more info
  • Great Game
    This game is a great game for people who like to be in control of other people...people who like this game and like controlling people would like the Sims too. Tropico is really fun in many ways...maybe it had a couple flaws...but otherwise it was a must buy....more info
  • A Pleasant Surprise
    This game was what I would refer to as a "sleeper". It didnt get alot of hype, and not alot of people know of its existance. I saw a review on it at a games demo website. I downloaded the demo and immediatly fell in love. I ordered it right away and I am not sorry at all. This game has given me and my teenagers alot of hours of fun. Its different everytime you play it, because you set the island up. The only thing I didnt like about this game was the fact that you could not turn the buildings around, face them in different directions, but with the Tropico "Paradise Island" Expansion pack, I understand this limit is gone. There are scenarios included, but I like freeform better. The developers even included some secret codes to help you cheat if you are so inclined :) Anyhow, this game is one of the best Ive played, so I gave it 5 stars....more info
  • Would not install with Windows ME
    Thought I would really have fun with the game because the package looked and sounded so nice. BUT COULD NOT GET THE GAME TO INSTALL. I'm using Windows ME and the game would go to 50% install - then crash. Could not de-install using "ADD/Remove Programs". Had to go into C Drive and delete it from there. Still unable to remove Tropico game title from "register" file. Real disappointing. And that very little piece of paper(4x4)for "install problems" is a joke....more info
  • Not bad, but not great either
    You are el Presidente, dictator of a small island nation. You have your faults your strengths, and an island to govern. Better get started.

    I like Tropico, it's a different approach on a city building game. You can set your own scenarios, with strengths and weaknesses, favors, time limit, money and other things that make it so you never have to play the same scenario twice. You can also play one of the pre-defined scenarios, but there are only a few, and most of them are rated hard, which doesn't make them all that appealing to the beginner.

    I didn't mind the game, but after a while it got to be old, you didn't know what you needed to do to make your various factions happy, and I never figured out what relations with the US and Russia were meant to do. It really struck me as a way to play Fidel Castro in Cuba, but with different shaped islands. The novelty wore off after a couple weeks, and I went in search of a new game. If you tire of a game quickly, I don't' suggest this game....more info

  • They are making an add on!
    Cant wait for the add-on coming in January. This game is cool just wish the game play graphics were a little better....more info
  • Hey, Mon!
    Tropico is an incredibly intriguing, all-around great game. I pre-ordered Tropico at the same time as I got the Diablo II expansion pack. When Tropico finally came, I installed it and haven't gone back to Diablo II yet.

    You start the game by taking control of an island in the Caribbean Sea as "El Presidente" in 1950. Either starting from scratch or choosing a pre-built scenario like in Sim City, you build it up with apartments and tenements, farms and mines, and about 50 other buildings. At the same time, you have to try and appease the communist and capitalist factions on the island, as well as 4 others. If you don't, protesters and rebels might pop up, and U.S. gunboats could even threaten an invasion. Or, you could simply lose the next election, unless, of course, you "re-interpret the ballots".

    Tropico has a fairly large learning curve, but there's a good tutorial, the first one in a game I've liked, and an advisor will give you tips as the game progresses. You can just go in and mess around, or look at incredibly detailed charts and check out each individual named character with specific traits and feelings as you become more comfortable with the game. Also, there is no instant gratification for getting money; if you build a farm, for example, you don't get paid until the planted crops grow, are harvested, and carried to the dock. This involves a lot of strategy, and you might spend a year or two in the hole until the tobacco gets sold, and you pop up to $30,000 immediately. The music is also perfect, a great island mix that really sets the mood.

    Unfortunately, I can only give it 4 stars, because there are some fairly important things that need to be fixed in a patch. Buildings can't be rotated, bulldozing things isn't instantaneous, I haven't found a way to delete saved games in the program, and a couple other aspects detract from the game. However, they don't cause any major problems, and Tropico remains one of my favorite games that will probably keep me occupied all the way until Civ 3 comes out. Definitely pick this game up, it's well worth your time and money....more info

  • Taken Over My Small Game Collection
    I just started playing this challenging game. Just when you think you've figured it out...the population boots you off the island. So many factors to take into consideration. Not the type of game a beginner could breeze threw easily.
    It would be cool to have El Presidente survey the island and people. It could increase the morale of the populace, while adding an element of fear for the leaders safety. With armed gaurds from the palace and advisers scurrying around him/her at every turn makes it that much more realistic.
    You can probably tell i'm still trying to master the random maps before I jump into a set scenario. I'm not even going to look at them untill I feel comfortable with the intricacies of this game. Enough said...just BUY THE GAME!...more info
  • It's okay
    tropico is a good game. it has some good qualities and some bad ones. the good, it is a fun game with a great idea. the only problems is that no matter how hard try to make the game it is still pretty easy. and there is some fun parts in the game. like the advisor when he says something. thats good. but the bad parts, its too easy. the interface is totally messed up. it will take u like at least 4 or more games to get used to it. and after the novalty of it wears off, it gets really boring....more info
  • Another game that is impresses early but quickly wears off..
    If you compare the first week that you own Tropico with any other game, it rates high. A creative portrayal of your typical island dictatorship, not many software companies make a strategy/planning game that is also mixed with fun gameplay. (An example is your presidential advisor congratulating you when you have accumulated a large bank account in Switzerland.)

    The problem with Tropico is that the game quickly becomes boring. When rating a game, no matter how astounded I am at first with the creative gaming concept, impressive graphics, etc. - I feel there are many PC games that just aren't worth the price that we as consumers pays when you consider how limited the time is that the game remains interesting.

    The game adapts some elements of Sim City with more emphasis on political strategy. This in itself gives the game a unique appeal because not many strategy games give the user an opportunity to have a free-hand with the imaginary nation's politics. Another difference between this and Sim City (besides the fact that it is more of a South American island culture) is that because of your island's limited size Tropico is more animated and detailed. You can track the residents of your city as they make their daily rounds and look at their family, living conditions, politics, etc.

    If you're a gamer that enjoys planning games (Something in the mold of Sim City, Rollercoaster Tycoon and/or Railroad Tycoon.) you'll definitely be more inclined to enjoy this game. While I am a fan of these types of games I felt that Tropico didn't offer enough variety to make it last long. The scenarios included are slightly interesting but Sim City 3000 is a game in the same genre that is more entertaining. There is a downloadable demo available on the internet. I would suggest you give the demo a try before purchasing the software and keep in mind that the format of the demo is the same as the full game with the exception that they have not allowed a few buildings type to be completed in the demo....more info

  • Very Impressive
    The only thing I regret here is not buying this game sooner. I passed over it several times while gameshopping, and settled on other games with which I quickly bored or found myself less than satisfied. I'm not sure why other reviewers found it too hard to follow, because the tutorial combined with the quickstart guide in the manual made it playable right out of the box. Instant gratification ends there however, since the games approach to city-building and management is more realistic. Buildings don't just appear. They take time to be built. You have to priofitize what you want built and when. Land takes time to be leveled. Crops take time to grow and be delivered to the docks. However, all of this makes for VERY rich gameplay. Besides the scenarios, the option of open-ended play, combined with all the variables offered when a new game is started creates nearly endless possibilities and hours of enjoyable and diverse gameplay.

    My advice? If you come across Tropico, especially in the bargain bin, grab it. You won't be sorry....more info

  • Your country awaits, El Presidente...!

    I rarely have time to play games so when I do, I'm very picky about what games I choose and I tend to shy away from games that I know will draw me in. Well, Tropico is the temptation I couldn't resist. And let me tell you: this has got to be one of the coolest games I've ever played!

    You play El Presidente of a Caribbean island -- you pick your good and bad character traits and even how you came to power. Ever wanted to lead a military coup? No problem.

    As El Presidente you have complete control of your island. Well, almost. About the only thing you can't control directly are your citizens, who have minds of their own. can influence them. And, if they become a threat, you can just have them imprisoned or executed. Don't like the Intellectuals challenging you? No problem, El Presidente; you can just have a book-burning party and virtually wipe out the Intellectual faction. Tired of elections? No problem, refuse to have them. Or, better yet, accept one and then rig the election. Or, just knock off your opponent or declare martial law. After all, El Presidente, you are in charge, yes?

    The first time I played the game, I started with the tutorial and decided I'd be a capitalist, pro-American, peace-loving benevolent leader -- and I lasted about 37 years. My people loved me!

    The next time I played, I tried the same approach but wasn't so popular. So, I refused to hold elections. My people hated me. I had a coup attempt by a faction of my military within the first 5-10 years: I only had two soldiers, so it was funny watching the traitor and the loyalist running around the streets shooting at each other. Luckily for me, the traitor was killed. Unfortunately, he was one of my few educated citizens and I really needed him.

    I could go on forever about the things you can do in this game -- er, simulation -- but when I say you can do anything, I pretty much mean it. If you've ever thought you can run a country (or would like to try it), here's your chance. Ever want to be a ruthless dictator? Ah -- here's your chance. You'll be forced to deal with various factions (Capitalists, Communists, Intellectuals, Environmentalists, Religious, etc) and learn to appease them (or eliminate them) in order to remain in power. Educated workers are important, but aren't as easy to control either. After all, educated people are harder to fool -- and they won't be content to work menial jobs. Tourism is a cash cow, but tourists are picky and sometimes up the crime rate. Getting an idea of just how involved this game is?

    One of the coolest features of the game is that you can zoom right down to individual citizens and watch them go about their lives -- much like the Sims. You can bring up everything there is to know about them -- family, allegiances, concerns, job, age, education, etc, etc. These are your constituents (if you allow them to vote). At the least, they are your source of income. Actually, they are also threats to your power, because if you make them mad they may just arm themselves, and attempt to overthrow your government (better increase your military and police presence, eh?).

    So that's that. Stop reading this review and go buy the game already. The replayability is very high because you have a choice of pre-defined scenarios or endless random maps with different goals, character traits, etc. It's a definite great value for your money. The only downside is that once your reign comes to an end, you'll realize that several hours have passed by while you were glued to your computer and you won't be able to rely on servants to bring you your dinner....more info

  • Not as good as I had hoped
    When i bought this game, I was hoping it would be more entertaining than it turned out to be. ...[the] game ... is extremely confusing with all the political mumbo-jumbo, and crop raising, etc. I am 13 and I thought this would be a fun strategy game, but I was VERY wrong. Sure there are a few perks to it, but not too many that I can think of. .......more info
  • best strategy game in some time, but still a bit lacking...
    Civilization ruined it for all of us. The breadth, width and complexity of the Civilization series has yet to be matched in a strategy game. So maybe I'll never give another strategy game five stars because Civ spoiled me. Tropico, though, comes close as you can get.

    The interface will look familiar to fans of Railroad Tycoon II, so much so that it's kinda creepy. Half the time I started hearing train whistles and banjo music. But the comparisons end there. Tropico puts you on an island as dictator to reek as much or as little havoc as possible. The basics are all here for you to provide: food, shelter, trade, military; but the micromanagement is almost nil. Your computerized peons do the work for you! Your job is to set wages, rent and build, build, build. One of the best things about Tropico is (like the only good part of Black and White) it doesn't make value judgements based on whether you're capitalist or communist, intellectual or religious, etc. It just passes judgement on whether you're a good one or not.

    The down side is the lack of military involvement, unless you decide to be a complete jerk to your constituents. Also, the maximum reign for score-keeping is 70 years (although you can continue on or start in sandbox mode and just build), and there are no scientific or industrial improvements during that time. In other words, the buildings you can build at the beginning are it.

    Bottomline, Tropico is a good game well worth the initial price, but it's no Civilization!...more info

  • Tropico well worth the visit
    I hesitated on buying Tropico for several weeks, since I felt I was badly burned by my last game purchase, Black and White. Now, I wish I hadn't hesitated. Tropico is a really fun game that is both reasonably intuitive (at least at the basic level) and extremely fun. The graphics are beautiful and your sychophantic aide adds just the right amount of dry humor. (For instance, if you click on a dying citizen, he will say something like "Adios, muchachos." and if you get ousted from your island "I guess the people just don't recognize your genius, El Presidente." If you read your citizens minds like the good faschist dictator you are, they will think of things like "What this island really needs is a good train simulator.", which is a reference to PopTop's last hit Railroad Tycoon II.) Anyway, the game has charm. There are some minor quirks (i.e. even with the patch the airport takes forever to build. By the time you are ready for it it is probably too late to start building it. Also, some buildings can't be rotated and it would be nice to be able to name the various regions of the island yourself.) But overall it is a very fun and addictive game. If you think you might like this game you probably will. I fully anticpate that it will carry me through till Civ 3 is released....more info
  • A fun romp in a new sim world
    Tongue is planted firmly in cheek in this game. It rather reminded me of a funny 80s movie called Moon Over Paradour. You are a banana-republic leader who was just elected. You can choose a pre-plan scenario or design your own with a leader who has both positives and negatives, supporters and detractors. You have an advisor who warns El Presidente of potential problems or uprisings.

    You quickly find out that you can please some of the people some of the time, but almost NEVER all of the people. And everyone is so demanding! The communists want free housing and equality in job pay. The religious want plenty of churches. The military wants a police state. And would like to put a little of the building fun for a rainy day (in Switzerland)! And the nerve of these people--they want elections periodically! :-) Of course if you're running behind in the polls you can get a little help from friends to *ahem* assist in the counting.

    So while you're trying to attract tourism or banking and exporting goods, you've got people to provide housing (at a reasonable rent, of course) and feed your population. Also you need to educate your them so they can be employed in these industries and you don't have to import expensive help from overseas. And churches and clinics must also be built to keep your people healthy and fulfilled.

    The the game speed can be set from normal to fast. It's still a fairly slow paced game and basically a relaxing day on the beach. And the hours of play slip by. Eventually it does get old--this isn't like The Sims where you can look forward to adding new objects. I was somewhat surprised that there wasn't any calamities of nature, like hurricanes or earthquakes to spice up the game. But after some time away, I found myself going back to play it when I wanted something not so fast-paced. The music lends wonderful flavor, although it does make me hungry for some of our local Tex-Mex. No kidding!...more info

  • addictive
    I love this game. I don't even play during the week or I'm off to bed late and then late for work the next day. I like all the different scenarios and I can't ever seem to get everything done that I want before the time limit on my reign runs out. This is ok, since you can keep playing, or you can start over. Hours of fun!!!...more info
  • Become El Presidente
    Tropico is an excellent simulation game! This game allows you to build a backward tropical island of 35 people into a thriving nation of 300+ people. The AI is the best that I've ever encountered. The detail is excellent! You can see what each of the island inhabitants is thinking at any time....more info
  • thoughtfully made
    This is such a great game for those who love everything from SimCity to The Sims. On to Rollercoaster tycoon. I enjoy playing this game. The possibilities are endless. I'm sure any simulation lover will have hours of fun with this game. Right from the day I brought it home I loved it. I played it for hours straight. I've owned it a little while and continue to enjoy playing it for hours straight. I'm so happy that POPTOP is coming out with an expansion....more info
  • Average
    I've had this game for a while. I was very excited about the premise, being a dictator and all. I'm a big fan of the Civ-style godgames. But honestly. This game is boring. Sure the graphics are good. The concepts are interesting. You have a lot of control over what kind of dictator you'd be, etc. But I swear, you just end up doing things the same way. I've found that being an oppressive dictator, well, its just too pointless. It takes alot of time to figure out who to oppress, to actually find them, oppress them (jail them, assassinate, etc), and when its all said and done, you make more enemies than you eliminated. Its just easier to "play nice" and you are more successful. I found myself playing out the exact same games over and over and over again the exact same way... no matter what my island looked like, no matter the characteristics of my dictator. Always basically the same.

    Lots of pretty graphics and alot of player control... but still turns out to be a monotonous game. Still... not a horrible game, but not a spectatular one either. I'd say, when this game goes "on sale" it would be more worth the price... but at full price, I don't think I would buy it again if I had it to do over....more info

  • The Never Lasting
    You think and it also seem's like it will be a great game, but not. I have not seen such a bad game since Pokemon. You a president in a island which you build stuff. The game is very slow and you can only be in office for a certain time. I finished the game in 45min. I regret buying the game...more info
  • Great game with a few cons
    I love this game. Not the best i'e ever played of course, but definetly worth buying.
    In Tropico you play the role of a dictator for a remote island called Tropico. It's very challenging, as you have several political factions to please all at the same time (communists, capitalists, militarists, enviromentalists, intellectuals, religious something faction) and the enviromentalists are in my opinion, hard to please, especially when you have a casino (Gawd those things eat up SO MUCH POWER) and NEED the 10 power plants.
    I reccomend this game to fans of Age of Empires (hey, it's similar!) SimCity and it's sequels, or other games of this genre.
    However, there are slow spots. Sometimes I'd set the speed to max and read until my buildings finished.
    If you get this game, read the manual thoroughly, and...good luck :)...more info
  • I love It!
    I think that this game is excellent. It's unique game play idea (a dictator on an island) sold me when I saw it, when i got it home, i was more than pleased with all the small things that make the game great. also, as a fan of the sims games, i can say this is not that similar but you wont be disappointed if you buy it. what other game can you make someone a heretic from the church?...more info
    All I have to say about Tropico is:

    What a fun game! What fallen human being hasn't wanted to be a tin-pot dictator? If W can get himself appointed President of the United States, then surely each of us should get at least one tiny Caribbean Island.

    This game features wonderful replay value, an awesome sound track and the best narrator around. Presidente...this is truly a fun game! From poor rural beginnings to your hopeful retirement with a massive Swiss bank account, Tropico is a blast.

    I highly recommend Tropico. There is almost no learning curve involved. Instead there are hours and hours of guaranteed fun....more info

  • caution
    this game relies heavily on a red-green scale for the placement of industries, farms, and the like.. .. colorblind people (like me) will find that frustrating.....more info
  • Excellent crash course in social economics
    You play the role of a banana republic dictator who has to try to stay in power while developing his island. There are two basic ways to go, either totalitarian oppression, which is very difficult with all the coup d'etats going on all the time, or a democratic goverment, which is only slightly less difficult as your population is not easily pleased. The game is very well tweaked, always leaving you in desperate need of cash to pay your "loyal" soldiers. The bad points, transportation of goods is inefficient, construction proceeds very slowly and in a limited range of the construction sites, and you have to figure the game out by yourself, as the manual does not even attempt to give hints. Some understanding of social economics is required to manage this game succesfully. On the other hand, it is the best educational simulation of social economics I've ever seen, and it's horribly addictive. Go and buy this, especially if you teach social economics....more info
    This is the best money investment that I have ever made. You can't tell your citizens what to do, but you can bribe then to do something, and if they protest, you can quitely Eliminate them. You have to build the housing, the entertainment and all the needed buildings for running a nation. You have immagration from all over the world, and you can have trade delagations with either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. You can ask you citizens if they're happy or upset and you can hold elections and order for your oppenent to be excuted if he/she is more popular than you. If you lose an election, you find yourself stuck in a lonely fishing with all you personal poscessions, and with you private secrectary. He then says in a very hispanic tone, "I guess your peolpe don't know a good ruler when they have one. By the way, how far is it to Florida?" It is a wonderful game. On a score of 1 to five and five being the best, I give this game a 12 and and a half. So long, future El Presidente....more info
  • I'm now ready for my own island
    A friend introduced me to Tropico about 5 months ago and I really haven't been able to stop playing or thinking about game strategy since. As sad as this may sound, this game has become such a part of my thinking that aspects of the game regularly find their way into my daily conversation. In fact after a visit to the Big Island on Hawaii, which although isn't a Carribean nation run by a dictator, has much of the same feel -- I found myself analyzing the tourist trade there to see if I was missing anything.

    There are quite a few quirks in the game and as some people said a lot of clicking. You do really have to study the nuances of how the game works. It's not too hard to pinpoint people and have them killed or bribed like someone else said, all you need to do is to pause the game. I have noticed at times that Tropico decides to boot me out of the game and I believe this is a video card issue (nVidia TNT2) or maybe something to do with Window's '98. I've tried the game on the same machine and Window's XP and haven't had any problems.

    Aside from some strange quirks I have to say Tropico has been one of a most enjoyable games I have ever played period. The music is extremely catchy and really sets the mood. The subject matter is excellent, especially after playing one of several different real life dictators in the game.

    On a special note, the expansion pack to this game is supposedly coming out in January 2002 and I absolutely cannot wait.

    Needless to say, I need to get out more....more info

  • Fun
    This game has so many options and choices and different ways to play it never gets old. It is ver creative and you can adjust the difficulty and even the goal of the game to suit your liking. An excellent simulation, the only problem is that the sequel from what I've heard has nothing to do with the original game...more info
  • Great Game
    This game is very good and very fun. You get to be the dictator of a small carribean island. You can play a regular game or a scenario. Just in a regular game, your goal is to build up the economy with and make money either with industries like cigar factories and canning factories, or raw materials like lumber mills, farms, mines, or fishing docks. You build all sorts of entertainment facilities from a sports complex to a pub. You can also build different kinds of residential buildings like apartments, or luxary homes. If you want to you can build up the tourist industry, make an airport, or a power plant. While your population relies on births inside the country, which occur very often, you also must rely on immigrants, which come in droves, if there's work.
    But thats only half of it. You must also please the different political factions so that they don't rebel, plan a coup, or demand an election and vote you off. You can bribe the faction leaders of appease the factions by doing what they want, ex: Build a church for the religious faction, or improve housing for all for the communist faction. The music of the game is great and helps add to the feel of the game. If you have ever wanted to play a game where you are a dictator, this is your chance....more info
  • The Tropico Demo
    I have not seen much of tropico, only played the demo, but it seems that the demo does not exclude much. There are only a few things you can't build (i.e cattle ranches, cathedrals, sports complexes and airports(therefore disabling some of the more interesting edicts)).
    The demo is set at 100% normal level, so it's not hard but not easy. One thing I find really exciting about Tropico is the high effect of your actions on the the political views of America, Russia, tourists and the islands inhabitants. The threat I faced was not high (that may have something to do with giving the people what they want) although the aspect of keeping competion down was very enthralling.
    The international factor of the game needs some polishing. For example, if you make an alliance with Russia, but you find American prospects better, you cannot expel the Russians, or get the Americans to come and help.
    One of my favourite things about the games I can't play, i.e. random maps, is that you can choose your own character. So you can choose Fidel Castro (current dictator of Cuba) and reflect your personal views of him or make him the absolute opposite of what he is. So Fidel Castro can become a religious zealot(which he isn't because he doesn't let anyone preach on cuba and other outlying island under control of Cuba) or a womanizer. This personallization makes the game easier or harder i.e. more interesting.

    So how can I summarize? You are the Governor of Tropico during the Cold war and are in the middle of the Carribean, too close to Russian forward bases and the American back line. The only people you have to satisfy are foreingers and the people. No pesky advisors. As soon as one group of foreigners is dissatisfied, they will attack, unless the other group is protecting you, and if the people are discontent, they'll run of and do battle with your soldiers (unless your soldiers are revolting!) 9 and 1/2 out of ten! That's good for a first release!...more info

  • Awsome!
    Ive been a simcity and roller coaster tycoon fan for years and I never liked any other game, until Tropico came out. I first saw it in my magizine and i was freaked about this game. I immediatly bought it and i lived up to my dreams. Swiss bank accounts,inqistion,propaganda,and the ability to control a hole island was a wonder i never thought possible. With a wonderful sound track and over 50 buildings this is a great game!...more info
  • A Fun Game
    There's isn't anything revolutionary in this game, but it's fun to play. The factions are well balanced along with the economy. The atomsphere to the game was excelent....more info
  • Too challanging for me to get into
    I am a lover of sim games. My favorite sim game is Ceasar. I played about 7 or 8 levels before I got bored. Roller Coaster Tycoon is another good one. It is challanging and has a lot of different scenarios and rides.
    One of the cool things about Tropico is its premise. Its got a cool soundtrack and the in-game tutorial really lets you get into the story line. The problem was, I spent over 8 hours of gameplay and couldn't succeed at anything. I tried several different strategies and even set the game to cheat modes (unlimeted budget with no elections)and I still couldn't make the citizens happy or even get an airport built.
    One thing that differentiates this game from Tycoon or Ceasar is that there are no level advances and I am not sure what the purpose of the game is. You may start over and choose a different scenario, but you don't progress to new "missions" or "challanges." This may be alright, however,because it seems impossible to win anyway. Another thing; islands are only so big and that causes challanges in and of itself.
    I would recommend this game to an economics or poli-sci major who is up to a real challange....more info
  • Awsome!
    Ive been a simcity and roller coaster tycoon fan for years and I never liked any other game, until Tropico came out. I first saw it in my magizine and i was freaked about this game. I imediatly bought it and i lived up to my dreams. Swiss bank accounts,inqistion,propaganda,and the ability to control a hole island was a wonder i never thought possible. With a wonderful sound track and over 50 buildings this is a great game!...more info
  • avoid this
    I feel I should post how much I hated this piece of junk here, since the other reviews seem to give the impression that it's a fantastic game and everybody will love it. I couldn't stand it and took it back a couple of days later. All the positive reviews below positively puzzle me, since engaged in a conversation about this game in the local EB, everybody else declared they had hated it too. So who's writing those reviews?

    The thing is too slow! It takes about 50 years to build a school. And the economics of the game don't make sense either -- you charge nothing for rent and pay everybody beaucoup bucks, and still everybody moves off your island and the birth rate decreases.

    Also, this game is not as funny as the programmers obviously believe. I agree with the reviewer below who said that the manual is much funnier than the actual game.

    Lastly, the graphics of the game are overcomplex, meaning that the game will be extremely fussy on most setups. This wouldn't be such a problem, but Tropico either has no tech support line, or they don't answer what they say is the support line, or they've done a fantastic job with hiding the contact information of the real tech support line. In other words, after a couple of days of trying, I couldn't get any help....more info
  • Tropico Rules
    Tropico is one of the most enjoyable games I've played in a while. The premise - playing the dictator of a banana republic - is just plain fun. The game looks really good, and has a great soundtrack.

    Tropico differentiates itself from other games in the genre in a couple of areas. One is obviously the setting. Another is that compared to other games (e.g. Pharaoh), it's easy to figure out what needs to be done to improve your country, which greatly reduces frustration. It does, however, require a great deal of advance planning, since buildings aren't built immediately, and even after they are built, you have to wait a while to have it attract employees, and even longer for the building to have an effect. The political game thus comes into play, since you have to be able to identify trends and identify problems early on.

    The game loses a star for a couple of reasons. One is that the middle of the game can get pretty slow, since you basically just sit around waiting for buildings to be take effect. I frequently found myself letting the game run and leaving the room. Another drawback is that the scenarios included with the game aren't that compelling, so I found myself almost always playing random maps.

    If you like games like SimCity, Caesar, and other city/empire building games, you'll like Tropico. If you're new to the genre, Tropico is a great place to start, since it's so much easier to learn than many of it's competitors....more info

  • Excellent...
    Tropico was a fun and enjoyable expirience for me. Basically this game is about a president(you) governing a small island nation.

    Graphics- The graphics in this game are a bit 3 years ago, but still are great. There is some slowdown but not enough to ruin the expirience. Rating:8.8

    Gameplay-Wonderful, its not like other sim managment games, heck, there are even politics and elections. Your goal is to last as presedent for a certain amount of years. Basically meaning don't loose an election, and well... don't get killed. Rating:10

    Sound- The advisor can get annoying after a while, but the other sound is great. You hear boats docking at the dock, the power plant, and there's some relaxing carribean music in the backround.Rating:10

    Overall- I enjoyed this game very much. It gave me a great fun and relaxing expirience. All I can say is, you will like it Overall:9.5...more info

  • Tropico
    Well, I can describe this game as one of the tourists describes my island on the game. A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here. This is a very entertaining and fun game for a while, but the novelty wears off too quickly. It's just not much fun after your first few games....more info


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