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Thursday, February 14, 2002

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First Tropico Expansion Review
9:22 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Gaming web site GameSpot has posted the first review of the expansion to last year's banana republic-building hit, Tropico, which was brought to the Mac by MacSoft. The expansion, titled Tropico: Paradise Island, will also be published by MacSoft and is due this summer.

In case you are unfamiliar with this game's unique spin on the traditional sim/builder genre, Tropico lets players take on the role of "El Presidente" in their own tropical island paradise. What players do with that role is entirely up to them: play the benevolent despot and shower your people with generosity, or give Castro a good name by being the ruthless dictator that you've always wanted to be. Either way, your job is to build up your little island, raise an army, feed your people, and fill your Swiss bank account.

The expansion brings many additional features to Tropico, such as the option to build an army base, which makes establishing a strong military much easier than before. As would be expected, there are also several bugs addressed in the expansion, which should improve the gameplay experience.

The GameSpot review is generally very positive, praising the expansion's gameplay tweaks and bug fixes, while lamenting a few much needed but still missing features. Here's an excerpt:

Tropico: Paradise Island adds a number of welcome new features to the original. There are more types of hotels and attractions and even more types of tourists. But Paradise Island also fills in some gaps from the original game by introducing new edicts, buildings, music (another hour of excellent songs from Daniel Indart and Latin Music Specialists), and Presidente backgrounds and traits. Moreover, it fixes some minor problems and includes a slew of new and improved scenarios.

Paradise Island is a worthwhile purchase simply for its surface improvements to the core game. Building construction is noticeably faster, and canceling buildings now refunds the full price. Plus, more buildings can be rotated, and support graphs are shown before you must decide whether or not to hold elections. It doesn't fix all of them — roads are still next to useless, and you'll still have people taking yearlong vacations from their jobs. But if nothing else, Paradise Island is a great patch.

The complete review contains much more of interest, all of which should be applicable to the forthcoming Mac version. Follow the links below to read the review and to find out more about this outstanding game.

IMG Review: Tropico
GameSpot: Tropico: Paradise Island Review
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

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