Tropico 3: How to Last Longer than Castro
Among gods eye view games, among the trendsetters were the first Sim City and later Sim City 3000, the Civilizations series, and The Sims, yet another fantastic creation by Will Wright.
And then there’s Tropico.
When the game first debuted back in the early part of the 2000s, I stayed up late countless nights trying to transform a sleepy backwater tropical island into a bustling tourist and trade zone. There were airports to build, various factions to satisfy, and the Cold War rivalry between the US and the USSR to exploit (as a patriot, I always went for military and economic ties with the good ol’ Stars and Stripes).
A few years later, the game devs released Tropico 2, this time with a pirate setting. You had to satisfy your men with grog and rum, send up ships to pillage and plunder, and keep the wenches left behind from fomenting a gender revolution of sorts and storming your fortress. Despite the adventurous setting, the game was essentially a modded version of the first Tropico.
Finally, a couple of years ago, they released Tropico 3. Now this was the game we all needed. Instead of a few graphical updates, the game received a massive overhaul. This time, you could walk along the streets of your proud city-state as beloved El Presidente.
So how do you maintain your grip on power in this latest iteration? Here are some tips.
Keeping the populace happy
Needless to say, 70% of your political and personal survival is dependent on the people. It’s not just a matter of handing out Justin Bieber concert tickets, free WoW accounts, or food stamps to satisfy the unwashed masses.
Make sure that you have basic needs like religion, entertainment and healthcare covered early on in the game.
As more money flows in, you can move up to quality housing, liberty, education and lower crime.
There are different factions demand messages, and the various radio announcements can give you a good idea of what your people currently need. So keep your ears open and act early.
When faced with a slump in ratings, you can issue edicts such as “Food for the People” and “Social Security” to boost morale. If things get out of hand, an immigration office set on “Love it or leave it” work mode can help send away undesirables.
Essential blue collar workers
Builders, dockworkers and teamsters are your basic building blocks. Make sure you have enough of them to keep projects on schedule. Raise the salary in the corresponding building if necessary.
Compared to the barefoot masses of the first game, Tropico’s citizens can now drive 50′s style cars, much like Cuba. Garages serve as entry points in the system, so make sure you have one the beginning and the end of the route you have planned. Note that a garage can become overloaded due to heavy traffic, especially in ports of entry and near urban centers. So lay them out accordingly.