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on March 22, 2016
Love this game. You are given an island to work with. The island type changes with each scenario. There are 20 levels (scenarios) that you go through. Each scenario takes a few hours. You are given goals as you go along the level that proceed down a story-line. You choose how to make money (there are mines, factories, farming), and how to care for your citizens to keep a high happiness rating (different housing, medical care, entertainment, churches, etc.). I like that there are goals so it's not just open-ended (though you can do a sandbox mode), and that there is freedom to choose how to run the island. Love this game.
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A city-sim of sorts where you run your own island republic, "Tropico 4" unfortunately takes far too much from its predecessor and ends up feeling more like an expansion than a new game.

Tropico is a city-building sim series; what sets it apart from games like Sim City is the fact that the cities in question are built on volatile Caribbean islands, complete with revolutions and political entanglements. Tropico 4 continues that trend, but its most obvious problem is that a huge amount of its content is recycled from Tropico 3 - not just core gameplay concepts, but the majority of its design and graphic elements. There are a few things that the game adds, but not quite enough to justify its release as a whole separate game.

In general, Tropico centers around two things: keeping the economy running, and keeping people happy. In those regards Tropico 4 is pretty much the same as Tropico 3, with most of the same buildings and facilities. There's a few new token structures, such as a ministry building where skilled professionals can help mitigate costs and improve productivity, or various entertainment buildings like shopping malls and art museums. However, for the most part, none of these new buildings really add any new gameplay - they just sort of add more to the existing systems.

One new part of the game is the increased foreign relations system. In Tropico 3, foreign relations were with either the USA or the USSR, and determined foreign aid money and/or the likelihood of an invasion. In Tropico 4, three new entities have been added to the mix (the EU, China, and the Middle East), and the five political groups also determine import and export prices. Each nation is tied to certain goods, so if you're producing or importing a lot of goods of a certain type, it helps to keep the appropriate nation happy.

Another new feature is small side-missions. These are generally offered by the island's various political factions, or in some cases outside factions, and generally offer improved faction relations in exchange for completing a task. The communist faction might ask you to build more houses, the intellectual faction might ask you to build a high school, a foreign nation might ask you to export some types of goods, and so on. These offer some short-term goals to shoot for as you play the game without significantly distracting from the main gameplay.

The graphics are one of the most questionable new elements of the game; a new cartoonish graphical filter has been overlayed on otherwise-serious Tropico 3 graphics, creating a kind of weird, out-of-place look. I wouldn't mind a cartoony look if the whole game had been done like that, but introducing a new aesthetic (and a new interface) is kind of weird when it's not taken all the way. So much stuff is recycled from Tropico 3 in terms of graphics that it's strange they didn't just make it an expansion.

However, the game itself is fairly solid (again, mostly because it copied from Tropico 3). If viewed on its own merits, Tropico 4 is a great game; if viewed as an expansion, there's not much point to it. If you don't own T3, then T4 is a fine product since it has everything T3 has and more. If you own Tropico 3, there's no way Tropico 4 is worth the full cost of upgrading.

With that in mind, I give Tropico 4 a 7/10.
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on July 26, 2014
I was looking for a SimCity style game and started reading reviews. I played the original Tropico on Xbox briefly once and liked it. It also had a lot of good reviews compared to SimCity and many of the other strategic building games. Tropico 4 had better reviews than Tropico 5, so I opted to download this one. I love it!! I love the humor, the art, & the strategy involved. I've had to pause the game several times to seek answers from other players online, but that's okay because it means it's not overly easy to play. I like a little challenge. I prefer to make it a quicker game, so I use the construction & money cheats :) hehehe Fine by me since I'm having fun anyway & I don't have all the time in the world to waste on video games.
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on January 23, 2012
This is a great game for those of us who like to build things without having to go to war with everyone else. Although there are rebels in this game that you have to deal with, you do not have to start a war with your neighbors to get points or get a victory. There are 20 some challenges to keep you occupied, and they do keep you occupied, each level has it's own conditions for winning plus a lot of challenges, for lack of a better word, in the game to keep you on your toes. The challenges are all economic and political and you make your own choices.
You start with a little island somewhere in the Caribbean, you are the supreme authority, but you have a trusted adviser that occasionally gives you suggestions. There are also some other characters that give occasional input. How you rule is your choice, with an iron fist, or relaxed and somewhere in between. Your start by building an economic base, later you will make political decisions based on what results you want. There are also a number of natural disasters that can ruin your economy if you are not properly prepared for them. There are so many possibilities with this game you could go on playing endlessly.
You get to choose which dictator you are from a list of at least twenty known names or you can create your own. They all have three important traits, usually one is negative, like alcoholic or gamble, but they can all be used to your advantage.
I love this game after having played the original Tropico and the demo for Tropico 3 I couldn't resist buying this game and I wasn't disappointed. Downloaded through Kalypso Media, I have not had any problems with gameplay. If you are looking for a civilisation builder this is one to consider.
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on April 3, 2012
I've played every version of Tropico that has come out. The additions they have added to this game have made the game much more enjoyable. I have really appreciated the different challenges that pop up throughout a game, which you can select to do or not to do. All of them have consequences, or rewards attached. That element alone, which guides the game along, has made each new challenge exciting. I also like that they have added other countries which you also have the choice to appease, or not. I've been having a lot of fun playing this new version, which I purchased in December of 2011.
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on September 30, 2014
Tropico is a slow moving game but is completely addictive. You can easily blow a few hours without realizing it just watching your little guys scurry around and trying to get everyone off their butts into a job. I wish the menus were a little more intuitive and it were easier to navigate, but if you're into the SIMCITY type games you'll love this.
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on February 18, 2013
This is hands down the best city builder out, as was Tropico 3. Please disregard the low scores from people that have improperly set up their computers as they really shouldn't be reviewing the "product". They were not capable of making this game run and shouldn't be reviewing it. It is frustrating to purchase a product that does not work for you. Unfortunately with computers it is difficult to tell where the conflict is on your setup, and when you aren't sure to point fingers. With that being said there was injustice done to the scoring of this game. If you run a fresh OS install with the recommended requirements it will run just fine. In fact it will run much better than fine. If you have an outdated system you'll likely be shocked how well Tropico is running.

I've always been confused by Sim City and never hit that stride where it was a lot of fun. I have always been a Civilization fan, but when the last release V fell through I stumbled upon Tropico 3. The game filled that void with the variety and attention to detail. As you dig deeper into this game it is dumbfounding that so much thought went into the decisions that were made. It's easy to just look at the eye candy and overlook the micro managers dream that is burried underneath. What seperates this game from others is replayability. I've never grown tired of playing it.

What's the difference between Tropico 3 and Tropico 4? More stuff, a lot more stuff, and a whole bunch more stuff. If you aren't familiar with Tropico you could easily grab a copy of Tropico 3 to keep you engrossed for the next year. You only need to reach for Tropico 4 if you want more. It is essentially the same game if you strip off the extras. However, who doesn't want more stuff if they love the game?

This is one of those rare situations where you want to say if it is not broken do not fix it. Look how they fixed Civ V. It's so fixed that even Sid Meir doesn't like it.
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on May 20, 2012
This game IS basically Tropico 3. Don't expect any giant leap forward in terms of gameplay or graphics, its just not there. The good news for me at least? I really enjoyed Tropico 3 so this is just more fun for me and since I wasn't expecting a giant leap forward having read other reviews here and having paid only like $15 for it, I was pretty happy to get a whole pot full of additional challenges and fun. Its possible that this game would have worked better as an expansion pack to Tropico 3 since it is basically the same game with a few tweaks and a few additional options.

Pretty much everything is the same, sure some of the interfaces are a little different and I'm pretty sure the music is too though its hard to tell. There's a few new buildings to play with and a few other new things. If you're looking for a new or updated experience or the next step in the evolution of Tropico, you won't find it here. On the other hand, if you really like the Tropico series and want more of the same, then this is a great game for that.
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on December 27, 2012
The first Tropico I bought was Tropico 2, the graphics werent what I expected but they did go along with what they had the year the game was made. I was looking for this game but with better graphics, and Tropic 4 was it. The game runs smoothly, the graphics are crisp and clear, plus this game is very authentic. What I mean is that this game has Spanish music, the characters in the game speak Spanish when you click on them, and this game also exhibits the natural sources that someone would find in Spanish countries. For instance, Sugar Cane farms, Coffee Bean farms, Gold, Oil, things like that. Its a fun game, and I call it the Spanish version of SimCity lol Its a great game with hours of fun. I would recommend this to any gamer that likes building city games like SimCity.
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on November 3, 2012
I bought Tropico 4 having never played a Tropico in the past but found the premiss of the game interesting from reading reviews on multiple gaming websites a blogs.

-Gameplay and Story-

Basically, you take the role of "El Presidente" who is the active ruler of the fictional Caribbean island nation named Tropico. You are able to create your character, dress him/her in a plethora of political, military, or casual garb, and even give a bit of a background story to your character through pre-set options.

For example, I named my little El Presidente after myself than gave him a nice tuxedo and red military-style beret as well as a Trotsky-like goatee. After I was finished with my character's visuals, an in game window prompted me to chose my background story. I set myself to have been a Leftist Author before I took power in Tropico by being elected as a Socialist.

One that was done I had to set some personality traits for my character. I chose Diplomatic, Patriotic, and Well-Traveled.

Note that there are literally dozens of options to chose from to make your dictator just the way you want him to be. Also note that if you do not want to make your own character, you can chose a pre-made avatar. The funny thing about the pre-made avatars is that they look and are named after real world leaders. For instance, there is a young Fidel Castro in there as well as a Mahatma Gandhi and I think I may have seen a Vladimir Lenin somewhere in the mix.

After your done with your character you are put right into the game. I would suggest playing the tutorial before starting the story missions or going into sandbox mode if you have never played a Tropico in the past.

From what I can tell, there are two main ways to play this game, Campaign and Sandbox. In campaign, you have to complete missions and tasks that are given to you by your governmental advisers in attempt to achieve your final goal of making Tropico the best place on Earth. There are 20 missions in total, each of which took me about 45 minutes to 3 hours to complete.

In Sandbox mode, there is no story or rules to follow. You simply create your Sandbox island and start ruling it, making political or economic decisions, listening to the many factions of the island and trying to make them happy as well as trying to establish strong foreign ties to nations like the United States, the Soviet Union, the European Union, and more. I personally prefer Sandbox over Campaign mode because of the freedom to do whatever you'd like to you island nation without mission restrictions.

-DLC and Addon Content-

There are also many DLCs and Addons for Tropico which you can chose to buy and install for your game. These range from the "Modern Times" DLC which bring more modern architecture, industry, and such into the game but also more modern problems to deal with such as terrorism, to "Pirate Heaven" DLC which basically gives you the option to make a pirate state, or a modern day Tortuga of sorts.

I have personally yet to buy any DLCs or Addons but know that I surely will in the near future becuase of how much I loved the vanilla version of this game

-Performance and Visuals-

Tropico 4 is not the most graphically intense game out there. With that said, it still is a very nice looking game that runs fairly well on any average modern PC. I have installed this game onto my home computer as well as my work computer (We have a LOT of down time) and I can ensure you that on both, this game works fine.

Here are my home computer's specs for those of you wondering:

Dell XPS 8300
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS
Intel Core i5-2300 CPU @ 2.80Gz
AMD Radeon HD 6450 dedicated graphics
1 TB Hard Drive, 6 GB RAM

I run Tropico 4 on mostly High settings with a few Mediums here and there at about 55+ FPS

My work computer specs are:

HP P7-1254
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS
AMD A6-3620 APU @ 2.20Gz
AMD Radeon HD integrated graphics
1 TB Hard Drive, 8 GB RAM

I run Tropico 4 at about 45 to 55 FPS on mostly medium with a few Highs here and there.

Over all, Medium settings on this game look just fine. Anything over is just eye candy and isn't really much in the way of visual improvement. I'd say as along as your computer has Windows 7 in it, this game should not be a problem frame rate wise nor a problem visually.


If you're a person that is interested in government, foreign affairs, or politics, this is a game for you. If you're a person who is interested in city/nation management games, look into Tropico. If you're a person who loves slower paced strategy games, Tropico is perfect. Though many people say Tropico 4 is nothing more than Tropico 3.25, the unique missions in Tropico 4 as well as the 3 new foreign nations to deal with and the overall visual and performance quality of this game is definitely worth a pretty penny.

I thoroughly enjoy this game and still am enjoying this game and also am excited for any new installments into this series.
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