This game from the creators of Railway Tycoon II, is probably the first true politics simulation ever made for the computer. It is most certainly the best. Tropico gives the player the option to be anyone from an extremely corrupt dictator to an honest, hard-working leader of your people. Being corrupt is fairly easy. Trying to play it on the level is extremely hard, even on the easiest of settings. Your populace is always whining about something or other. If you don't get it right you get booted out of office by the ballot box or by the gun.
Tropico is ostensibly a tin-pot dictator sim that allows you to take a small Caribbean island and do with it what thou whilst. The game allows so many choices as to be astonishing. Setting your island up before you begin play is a task in itself and one which requires at least a once over of the manual. To begin with, you decide what your island is like (a kind of real estate hunt) and what sort of place you want it to be, then you must decide who you will be what you are good at, bad at, and lastly, how exactly you got into power. Did you get there by fair or foul means, aided by your father, the CIA, the KGB or was it the rebels? It is possible to make the game endless. You select no "difficulty setting" and no parameters for winning, bar your survival. Can you beat Queen Victoria for years in power? Go on, give it a try and watch you life go by.
Once into the game, the interface is fairly similar to most sims of this kind and very similar to the afore-mentioned RRII. This makes sense since this game shares the engine of the railroad sim. Pop-Top have made the scrolling on this game much smoother than it was in RRII. There are no sudden jerks that will give those prone to motion sickness the heaves. The game runs smoothly and calmly, unlike your populace who rush around like ants. Speaking of ants, you may view your populace from above-the-clouds to practically in-their-face(s). I am convinced I saw one of my disenchanted campesinos giving me the finger a few days back. Speaking of campesinos, the game features a latin sound-track and a voice over from a Hispanic sounding man. Rather than the normal cheesy voice, the voice-over sounds genuine and adds to the mood of the game. As someone who speaks fluent Spanish, I found myself swearing in Spanish when my people got cantankerous.