I don’t know how the hell I didn’t know about Tropico 1/2/3 in the past, but I tried out the Tropico 4 demo earlier this morning. I probably spent 3 hours on it, and severely dreaded having an actual end to it (I’m just going to have to go play it again).
I’m a huge fan of Sim City, and Tropico is the closest thing I’ve played to Sim City since Sim City 4. Except you can straight up be a communist in Tropico (actually, it’s pretty encouraged to be one). You can choose to be whatever kind of leader you want. Military madman, Capitalist cheapskate, Communist, Fascist, etc. It’s an interesting spin on what I know of Sim City, being able to suppress my citizens through military might. Whilst they might not be happy, they work as I command or face death. Or, I can choose to let it all be open - market, voting, and general freedom. I can choose to ignore the beautiful landscape, or let it flourish so the Environmentalists don’t get on my ass. I can have good relations with the U.S., or the USSR. Or both (which is kinda tricky, but possible). If a certain civilian is getting on my nerves, or is starting riots, I can have them executed. Or bribe them to leave me alone. Or cause an “accident”, so other people don’t lose respect for me via an out-right assassination. So many intricacies are within the game, and it’s very appealing to me.
I suggest to anyone who hasn’t already played Tropico 4 and has a love for Sim City to give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.