17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Tropico - Mac (CD-ROM)Let me start by saying something about technical aspects. I run this game on a 233 MHz G3 with 160 MB RAM - well above the minimum system requirements - and it is still fairly slow. In other words, if you are interested in Tropico, you should probably want to adhere to TopPop's recomendation of at least 256 MB and a 400 MHz processor.
The game itself is quite engaging, although I would rate it slightly lower than Age of Empires or even Ceasar 3. However, there are some very special aspects of the game that make it worthwhile and that one should be aware of: In most games of this kind you attempt to strike a delicate balance between your population's needs and your need as a ruler to make a buck. At some point, you probably get bored with this and you hit the "save" button and start to wreck havoc - just to see what happens - and you see your skillfully created world disintegrate.
Not so with Tropico: So what if you don't provide enough food, if you supress religion, or don't build nice houses? And what about the fact that you are an ugly alcoholic? (these are actual choices in the game!) If somebody complains, you simply bribe them (with money from your Swiss bank account, perhaps) or, an all-time classic, you put a contract out on their head. Fear that your people will topple you from your seat of power? No, no, not while your in the driver's seat: You won't have regular elections and if you do need to have one to appease your people, you will simply rig it. You have your TV and radio statios broadcast such interesting shows as "The Government, your Friend" and "El Presidente, All Day." Plus, you still have your special-ops police, well armed palace guards, and an excellent military. So, there is no need to worry...
You see, if you aproach this game from the usual perspective of doing good in order to stay in power, you will only have half the fun. This is your chance to be corrupt and fill your own koffers without regard for anyone else. This is what makes this game so challenging - you need to overcome the urge to be a good ruler and realize that it's okay to be mean!