Hands On With Tropico Mac (beta)
1:54 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story
Yesterday IMG's Tom Bridge received a beta of Tropico for the Mac. Since we've already published a preview of Tropico, we figured we'd bypass doing another preview and instead have Tom write up a little news piece on his experiences with the beta (can you tell it's a slow news day?). Here's Tom's thoughts:
When my copy of the Tropico beta arrived via FedEx yesterday, I was ecstatic. I ripped open the envelope to hold in my hot little hands a freshly burned CD, courtesy of the great folks over at PopTop Software. The version of Tropico I received included both a Carbonized version of the code for native use inside OS X, and a "regular" version for use under MacOS 7 through 9. The install process was relatively painless, if only available under Classic on OS X. The game itself remains mostly unchanged from the PC beta IMG tested in April.Well, there ya have it. If you want to learn more about Tropico, be sure to check out the Tropico preview posted from a few months ago! Tropico will be published in by MacSoft and is expected to be released sometime in July.
Now on to the gameplay. This is definitely beta software, and there are all sorts of kinks to be worked out still, but for the most part, play inside OS 9 is seamless. I played several games out to their 50 year limit last night in OS 9 without a problem. The real trick is OS X. While the code is carbonized, there are still some very large bugs in the game, mainly just the tutorial works at the moment. I've had a lot of problems getting the game to be stable inside the OS X environment. However, this is still beta code. Overall, discounting OS X, I was pleased with the gameplay. It's very smooth on my G4 450/MP and only uses about 50MB of RAM at peak. However, once you get a large population, it takes a lot more juice to keep track of each and every Tropican, and so that take a bit of time.
Now included with the game is a 9 chapter manual on how Tropico functions, complete with detail about the individual factions on the island and what each structure does, which comes in mighty handy if you're just getting used to the economy of Tropico. It will likely come in printed form with the final game, but the HTML version that was on my CD was just fine.
Tropico is certainly not without a killer sense of humor. Included in this version is the Credits and Outtakes. Which, in addition to giving cred to the programmers and other folks who worked on this game, shows some of the Tropicans doing things that are just hilarious. Anytime you see Generalissimo doing the Paso Doble, you've just got to laugh. It's those little touches within Tropico that make it such a great game. Now if they can just get the bugs out of the Carbon code, I'll be a real happy man.
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