User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Tropico

MobyRank MobyScore
Macintosh
74
4.3
Windows
82
4.0
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Description

Tropico is a real-time strategy game that mixes elements of Sim City, the various Tycoon games, and even a little of the Sims into a city-building, managerial type game in a unique location.

You are the recently elected/installed/victorious (depending on how you achieved office) president of a small Caribbean island named Tropico. Before you lies a small community of people and a lush, rich island to improve or exploit at your will. You can become a benevolent ruler who brings this third world country into the realm of economic superpowers or you can be a ruthless dictator whose sole goal is to leech as much personal wealth as he can from the populace before they get the courage to rebel.

Using a modified engine from their previous game, Railroad Tycoon II, PopTop Software utilizes isometric graphics on a 3-D terrain to represent the island. Clouds float overhead, sometimes throwing lightning down, people walk from their homes to their chores, and hills and forests get leveled in the name of progress. All this happens at the user-specified speed and its the main user interface as players specify new construction, lay down edicts, and keep tabs on their citizens.

Each citizen is his or her own entity, with their own names, relationships to other citizens, wants and desires. Some feel the need to excel in studies, others seek religious enlightenment, some just want a good time. They even take political affiliations and work towards those ends. The citizens of Tropico do not blindly follow orders, they must be persuaded through meeting their desires, or just pure greed or terror. If you wished, you could follow the life of a citizen from childhood through his/her teenage years, through the course of several jobs, all the way to retirement and death.

A single-player only game, there are both set scenarios and random islands to play through, with various difficulty levels including a sandbox mode that allows you to play around without worrying about money or political ramifications.

Screenshots

Tropico Windows Aww, I lost again...
Tropico Windows When in doubt of the people's happiness, call Mardi Gras!
Tropico Windows Preaching to the corn. The local priest makes a trek through the fields before going to church to give a sermon.
Tropico Windows I can't lose! When elections come up, you can either ignore the peasants' cries or can manipulate the election. Or you can just assassinate your opponent.

Alternate Titles

  • "热带岛国" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Тропико" -- Russian spelling
  • "Banana Republic" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Fun, but nearly impossible! Windows Scott Monster (924)
It would have been better if there had been more scenarios to play on Windows James Walter (242)
Game Rating 71% Windows William Shawn McDonie (1092)
If there is a latin expression to translate "Doh" for a game. This would be it. Windows Indra is here (19792)

The Press Says

Gamer's Pulse Windows May 28, 2001 87 out of 100 87
4Players.de Windows May 01, 2001 87 out of 100 87
GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) Windows May 02, 2001 85 out of 100 85
PC Player (Germany) Windows May, 2001 81 out of 100 81
Thunderbolt Games Windows Oct 08, 2008 8 out of 10 80
macHOME Macintosh 2001 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Eurogamer.net (UK) Windows May 03, 2001 8 out of 10 80
Peliplaneetta.net Windows May 28, 2001 80 out of 100 80
Gamekult Windows May 02, 2001 8 out of 10 80
JeuxMac.com Macintosh Dec, 2001 3 out of 5 60

Forums

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Trivia

Cover

The European version of the cover has a Castro-ish dictator standing on the island.

Designer diary

Tropico designer Phil Steinmeyer contributed a running series of articles to Computer Games magazine throughout the game's development. His topics ranged from play balance to determining and managing system requirements. He even mentioned designing the box and the reasons for the general/no general versions.

Dictators

The game comes with a collection of biographical sketches of (in)famous world leaders such as Fidel Castro and Eva Peron.

Lou Bega

Lou Bega, a German musician and songwriter, appears as playable dictator. He also contributed a song which is exclusive to the German version.

Title

The game was meant to be named Banana Republic, but it had to be changed to Tropico since there is a clothes brand named Banana Republic.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2002 (Issue #213) – Best Music of the Year
Information also contributed by ClydeFrog, Jiguryo and Scott Monster.

Related Web Sites

  • Official Webpage (Mac) (The official product page for the Mac version of Tropico on the publisher's website, which provides a profile of the game, as well as ordering information, among other such details.)
  • Tropico (Official game website)
Contributed to by Jeanne (75601) and Ray Soderlund (3498)