Pin It
Favorite

'Tropico 3' 

This is truly sim paradise

click to enlarge art14887.jpg

My people are the best people in the world. They are the best people in the world because they love me, their el presidente. And it is only natural that they should love me. After all, it is I who first looked at this little undeveloped island and saw potential. Where bare plains sat, I saw lush farmland. Where empty beaches baked in the sun, I saw the spread of visiting sunbathers’ blankets.

I organized builders to construct tenements. I urged farmers to plant crops. Corn and papaya began to fill bellies. Immigrants arrived, and I set them planting tobacco and pineapple. I invested heavily in factories where my people could roll and can it all, and our shipping dock grew full of profitable, cheaply processed goods. On this island, the true holy trinity is Agriculture, Tourism and Industry.

Every sim/strategy game has a repetitive nature: Find the correct combination of factors and bring them into play as quickly as possible. But nothing on this island is as simple as gringo gamers think. Hurricanes blow. Rebellions arise. The workforce erodes as my people grow old, lose their incomes and move to shacks which end up cluttering the island right where the sightseeing yanquis want to stroll.… You can see that Tropico 3 isn’t exactly a day at the beach.

My people are simple islanders, but they are not simplistic. They follow their instincts with whimsical humanity. Unlike those other digital souls, the Sims, who can function like automata as long as all their needs are fulfilled, the Tropicans are restless and ever-changing. Satisfy one of their desires and they will develop a new one.

Before long, they tell me that my coal-driven power plants are polluting the air. They make indiscreet inquiries into my financial transactions with Switzerland. After a few years, they’re rejecting the local café because of its chintzy paper napkins and leaving the island for someplace where the local police are more sensitive. Fine, I say. Let them go. Let those lazy complainers find some other island. I don’t want them anyway. The only people who are good enough to be my people are the best people in the world.

THE GOOD: Lest you think my island paradise is all about ripping a profit from the earth and ripping off turistas, I would ask you to tune your ear to the sounds of Tropico 3. The intoxicating rhythms of Latin music fill the air. Oh, sure, the handful of tunes does grow familiar in such a long, cyclical game. But each one of them is a culturally spirited work of art — living and laughing, just like this island.

THE BAD: Back in the days of the original Tropico, it was easy to look at my people and see who was inciting the populace against me — they had little angry symbols above their heads. Now I must navigate my way through lists of citizens in various factions and assorted states of dissatisfaction, tracking their inner thoughts until I find evidence of dissent. Then, at least, it’s a simple button click to have them excommunicated or arrange for them to “disappear.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: Tropico 3 is sim paradise.

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Short Takes
  • Short Takes

    Masterful storytelling happens in a hurry for the Oscar-nominated short films
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Tough Issues
  • Tough Issues

    Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer provide a thoughtful meditation on race in Black or White
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Keep it Like a Secret
  • Keep it Like a Secret

    Little Accidents is an emotionally devastating look at how we handle death
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Broken Whistle feat. Kelly Irish Dancers

Broken Whistle feat. Kelly Irish Dancers @ Bing Crosby Theater

Sat., Jan. 31, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


Music


Tribute


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation