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Friday, December 8, 2000

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Tropico Impressions, Images
1:24 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our partner Gamecenter has posted their impressions of Tropico, a sim of third-world dictatorship under construction by Pop Top. While this game is still six or so months from completion, Gamecenter was quite impressed in what they saw, and this mini-preview lists many details which set this sim apart from other empire-builder titles.

The preview also includes nine new screen shots of the game, which is looking quite gorgeous indeed. Based on a modified version of the Railroad Tycoon II engine, the game will support resolutions up to 1600x1200 and support multiple levels of zoom, from the island-at-a-glance to street level.

One interesting aspect of this game is Pop Top's effort to give the citizens a true 'face' -- unlike the nameless, mindless citizens of other empire builders, the citizens in Tropico have very strong personalities and a huge effect on gameplay:

One unique feature of Tropico is that the citizens' reactions to their surroundings is based on what they see--or don't see. For instance, if a religiously devout citizen's path to work takes her past a casino every day, she's going to think unfavorably of your rule--even if it's the only casino on the whole island. Or you can have your military sneak up on locals and assassinate them in the jungle left and right; but if no one sees you do it, it's like it didn't happen. However, if you push the locals too far, they will eventually decide to put an end to your tyrannical rule. One night a handful of citizens may sneak off into the palm trees, and you will know that a revolution is starting somewhere. Perhaps the most interesting and far-reaching part of Tropico is the fact that time truly passes. People--who will all have unique names--are born, grow up, live their lives, and die. They build families and mourn the deaths of loved ones. You will be able to watch generation after generation grow and prosper under your rule if you treat them well. If you want to play the soft and benevolent dictator, your citizens will graciously work for you as you lead them through lives of peace and happiness. But where's the fun in that?
We couldn't imagine life as a dictator without a few assassination attempts. In any case, Tropico will be released for the Mac and PC mid-2001. Be sure and read the rest of the preview, and check out the screen shots as well. Tropico will be published by Gathering of Developers.

Tropico Impressions, Images at Gamecenter
PopTop Software
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• Tropico Impressions, Images1:24 PM
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