2 Pirate Cove
Developed by Frog City
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Released - Out Now
Price : £29.99
not often when I'm given a sequel to review that I'm still playing
the original game. Tropico was a great game that I honestly think
didn't get the credit it deserved. The sheer amount of strategies
that were possible in the game went over most reviewers heads and
even after all this time I'm still finding different ways of playing
the game. Anyway the bottom line is that is deserved a sequel and
now we have one. Tropico 2 Pirate Cove has been developed by Frog
City, not the original developers PopTop Software. Of course a change
of developers is usually bad news but this time it isn't. Frog City
are the brilliant developers responsible for the Imperialism series
and Trade Empires, another underrated game. If anyone could make
Tropico 2 a success, other than PopTop, it was Frog City.
the title suggests this time around you are in charge of pirates
and not a banana republic. It's still a Caribbean Island where you
rule but instead of smoking fat cigars and playing the US off against
the Russians it's time to shiver your timbers and set sail in search
of captives and gold. Whilst the game might have made a significant
shift in theme, the nature of the game will, for the most part,
be instantly familiar to fans of the original Tropico. That's not
to say this is simply Tropico in a Pirate guise though and whilst
many aspects of the gameplay might have remained the same there
are some key differences.
Tropico 2 you play as the Pirate King. You still have to maintain
a small tropical island and look after the welfare of its population
but this time your wealth will come from pirate activities rather
than simply exporting goods. Of course being a bunch of Pirates
though, people don't just turn up to work on your island (well actually
some do) and part of your duties is to send out a ship to capture
some. Keeping the captives happy enough to remain on your island
is no easy task and you'll have to make sure they are supplied with
all the amenities they desire. Should you capture wealthy captives
then you'll be able to ransom them to collect extra gold. You can
instruct your pirate ships to Cruise, Raid and Kidnap. You can even
order them to kidnap specifically trained individuals that will
unlock new building types. Of course this is going to cost a lot
of gold so making sure your islands supply of gold is plentiful
and constant is always a must. It is also worth mentioning that
ships must be well staffed and stocked before it will leave to begin
Tropico you always had the threat of losing an election that would
effectively end the game. You had a number of years between each
election though so you had time to win over the populace of your
island. Tropico 2 also offers the risk of losing your position if
you don't give your people what they want. There isn't any breathing
space here though and if you should fail to please the ipeople then
you face a strong chance of mutiny and if it's successful it will
be game over. The different factions you have to contend with this
time are English, French, Spanish, Gentry, Literati, Gunners and
Hedonists. Just like in Tropico it's not going to be easy pleasing
all these factions. Just as in Tropico a variety of edicts can be
issued to aid you in pleasing these factions.
game offers a campaign, scenarios, tutorial and a sandbox mode where
you can create a game with the parameters of your own choosing.
The tutorial, in all fairness, isn't needed as the majority of the
campaign is created as a tutorial and does a very nice job of teaching
you the ropes. The scenarios are self-contained adventures, some
of which are based upon real and fictitious pirates. There are scenarios
to suit all abilities and for me they are the highlight of the game.
Tropico 2, like Tropico, is a single player game only which is a
little bit of a disappointment because it could have been a lot
of fun as a multiplayer game but nevertheless the quality of the
single player game cushions this disappointment rather well.
the game looks very similar to Tropico in many ways. The terrain
graphics are identical which isn't necessarily bad news as Tropico
was one of the best-looking strategy games out there when it was
released. The new pirate characters look equally as impressive as
the characters from Tropico. The new pirate buildings are also impressive,
even on the closest of zooms. The ships look decidedly jaggy, which
seems odd when compared to the rest of the graphics in the game.
The interface has been smartened up somewhat in Tropico 2 but it
will still be instantly familiar to players of the original game.
2 is fine for deaf gamers. All the messages and information are
given in text. The Almanac (I think that's what it was called) has
been replaced by the logbook but it's essentially the same thing.
This logbook enables you to assess how successful you are as a pirate
king as it gives you all the information you need to successfully
maintain your island. The only speech that isn't given in text is
the verbal comments that your islanders come out with when you click
on them. This is only usually a brief comment and doesn't really
do anything except add a little bit more of a piratey nature to
the game. It's also worth mentioning that the manual is actually
rather informative and covers the essentials of the gameplay.
2 Pirate Cove is a successful sequel to Tropico. Some things could
be better but these are usually quirks of the interface such as
the inability to ransom all of your wealthy captives with one click.
Despite the game focusing on pirates this time around it still retains
the Tropico feel and humour and should definitely appeal to fans
of the original game.
Game Rating: 9.0/10
great sequel to a great game. Frog City have created a hugely enjoyable
game in Tropico 2.
No problems at all for deaf gamers.