Tropico Paradise Island
by Take 2 Interactive
The theme of the expansion pack is tourism, that is not to say it has all been geared to the tourism element of the game but a great deal of the new buildings and characters are there to bolster the tourist element of Tropico. There's a nature preserve, duty free shop, tennis court, miniature golf course and many more buildings that are aimed squarely at your island's visitors. Of course you even have two new types of tourists that may visit your tropical paradise. There is the spring break tourist and the eco-tourist. The eco-tourist prefers sight seeing whilst the spring break tourist prefers to drink and occasionally become disorderly.
Several changes have been made to some of the gameplay mechanics in order to satisfy the few complaints that some avid Tropico fans had about the original game. Building construction, particularly that of the major buildings such as the airport and the larger hotels have been reduced. The airports in the original Tropico took ages to build and thankfully this painful slow process has been curbed somewhat. Your construction workers seem sharper too. I found that in previous games where I needed three construction offices to get the building up to speed, I can now get away with two construction offices and the workers seem more efficient.
are some other modifications to Tropico's gameplay. Random
events can now be included in either a random map game or scenario. These
random events include strikes, storms and export price fluctuations. The
frequency of these random event can be selected and they range from off
to 'Are you loco, Presidenté!?'. New Presidenté attributes
have also been added. Positive traits include athletic, well travelled
and sociable. Out
of these three additional positive traits both well travelled and sociable
have big bonuses for tourists which further highlights heavy emphasis
on tourism in the expansion pack. It is the same story with the new economic
edicts consisting of Spring Break Package and World Geographic Special.
Both these edicts give a massive boost to tourism. One new edict that
will really please your Tropicans is the social security edict. This edict
gives two thirds of your island's average wage to the retired and students
and makes your population respect you 5% more.
One of the niggles that some people had with the original Tropico was that you could not rotate the buildings when you were choosing to build them. What made this especially annoying is that on rotating the map it was obvious that the buildings had been lovingly drawn from all angles, unlike games like Caesar III where no matter how you revolved the map the building always looked the same. Paradise Island partially fixes this niggle. I say partially because not all the buildings can be rotated. Housing and churches for example can be rotated but the cathedral and the school are just two examples of buildings that you cannot rotate.
Over twenty new scenarios are included in Paradise Island. Unlike the original game, the expansion has some scenarios that are actually quite easy. The Back to the Skies scenario is an example of how easy some of these scenarios can be. This scenario begins with you having crash landed on an island and the idea is that you have to build an airport so that you can get off the island. To be honest it is very easy but the point I'm trying to make is that the original didn't have a scenario that the beginner could immediately do well with, so perhaps with the addition of a few easier scenarios the game will be more appealing to the beginner. Speaking of scenarios, the scenario selection menu has provided some selection filter buttons which help you pick the type of scenario you prefer. The scenario subdivisions are Paradise Island miscellaneous, Paradise Island military, List all scenarios, Original Tropico scenarios and Paradise Island tourism scenarios.
Our comments on Paradise Island's suitability for deaf gamers are exactly the same as for the original Tropico. The game is fine with only the occasional comment from your advisor not being given as text feedback. The game, through it's almanac, provides all the information you need to know. As before, the scenario objectives can be recalled at any time which is very important, especially if like me you occassionaly forget what your exact goals are.
Whilst it is fair to say that Breakaway games have been wise to beef up the tourist aspect of the game, it is a shame that other elements of Tropico were not improved. Only one new industry, the furniture factory, has been added and I personally would have liked to have seen more. I would have liked to have seen trade enhanced more with the ability to import goods as well as export. Finally a transportation system on your island would have been great. This is a Caribbean island, where are the knackered, multicoloured, Ford transit vans and the seventies Ford Cortina taxis? Imagine the increased efficiency of building a hotel on an isolated, distant patch of you island. Your construction workers would get there in no time if they could jump into a van and speed over to the site. As it stands they would have to walk over there work for two seconds then return home. It could even be a random event that the van with the workers would occasionally crash; it would increase the game's humour somewhat as well.
Overall Game Rating: 8.7/10 Fans of the original Tropico will enjoy this expansion. For me it doesn't offer everything it could do but it is clear that beefing up the tourism aspect of the game was almost the sole goal for the developers. I mentioned something's that could have been added and I'm sure that other Tropico fans have many more suggestions. It's obvious that Tropico has plenty more mileage in it and I hope that PopTop either make a sequel or give us another expansion pack that takes the game even further.
Deaf Gamers comment: Absolutely fine. As I said earlier the only thing missing for a deaf gamer is the occasional advice from your advisor and to be honest once you are even remotely familiar with the game his advice becomes redundant.