Tropico 3


There’s a genre seriously lacking in the Xbox 360’s software catalogue and that’s naked alligator mud wresting. I’m joking of course – it’s topless glamour model stairlift racing. But seriously, it’s the simulation genre, with the little-known A Train HX and Civilization Revolution being the best of a small bunch. We can now add Tropico 3 – the first console version in a series of previously PC-only sims – to that list too. I think publishers Kalypso should have dropped the ‘3’ at the end though – it might alienate people, which would be a bad thing considering this is jolly good stuff.

Instead of seeing “Press Any Button to Play” on the title screen you’re presented with the words “Press Any Button to Rule” which sums up the idea behind Tropico 3 perfectly. This is your chance to become an El Presidente of a chain of “banana republic” islands and it’s your choice as to how you rule them. You can be a tyrant, forcing your people to live in shacks and work in farms and then sit back and reap in the cash or turn the island into a tourist resort with hotels, sandy beaches and tacky gift shops. There are different factions to keep happy and also the chance to form relations with the US and the USSR. Doing so opens up more options, like being able to let the Russians test nuclear missiles on your shores in return for a hefty cash injection into your Swiss bank account.

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