Note: This review includes the Paradise Island expansion pack
This game has an interesting premise, become the leader of a self sustaining island society. In Tropico, you lead the people in any matter you wish. First, when you begin a new game you have to set the basic parameters of your island, including size, water coverage and starting population. These and other adjustments will dictate your difficulty rating. (If you choose to play a scoring game) After, you can start customizing your leader. You will choose your picture, and set different attributes which will add or remove bonuses that will affect your gameplay.
Now since the game was released way back in 2001, the graphics aren't anything to get excited about. The soundtrack features a lot of tropical, latin and relaxing music. It's just the kind of music that really puts you at ease. As for the gameplay, it is really deep and intricate, all your actions or inactions will affect your island in some way. There are limitless ways to run your island. You can build a tourism mecca and rule your island with an iron fist or create social paradise. There are many buildings to choose from which each have a role in your island. Since this is a political simulation it can be difficult to understand for some beginners. The gameplay allows for a lot of variations and you can set the pace you want. You can set goals to achieve for a scoring game or set an open-ended game. In addition, you can play one of the many scenarios, which can give you a more linear gameplay experience. This game is highly addicting, hours can pass by without you realizing it.
This game is a true gem that any collector of simulation games should experience once.