The mechanics of the game is quite complex. There are various external factors the player has to interact with. The game is a rough simulation of how to rule a small country in the caribbean. The game’s goal to see how long your country and reputation lasts, while maintaining order and stability in the country. The look and feel of the game responds well to how the player should go about playing the game. The game set-up allows the player to control their resources and control the type of tenants they want. After the player chooses the island they want the landscape and graphics are rendered well with a lot of detail. The game has no general plot, it basically gives you ultimate freedom on how you want to run your island. The controls on where to build and what areas you want to dig or setup any building or factory is represented on a grid structure that color codes what type of area is good for a specific resource or location. The amount of data and statistics that the game engine runs on is amazing. Every aspect of an island has been broken down into segments that can be manipulated in the game. Playing through and understanding what my island can do was a little difficult to grasp all at once when the game started. I had to keep track of how to maintain my long term based on the island gives me. I could see my horizon of intent increasing with more options. Building relationships with international figures was a good addition to either increase your profit and also build an alliance. As long as the player completes the mini challenge or quest
Once the game starts and you begin to build from your resources the mechanics of the game kick in. I had a island that was rich in bauxite and some iron, so I capitalized on the minerals as a natural resource to create weapons and build more factories. I figured I would want to make as much money as possible. The options in the games are bound to the island and what you can do as a dictator or ruler. The game started to get fun when the satisfaction levels of the people were measured. The more factories I build destroying vegetation, I could a spike in ecologist that were against it. Generally, trying to make money and keeping the people happy was interesting to juggle. I found that powering the cities and homes were an important factor in running an effective country. The main interests came from electricity and roads. Having the people react and in different ways was interesting to see develop over time. Any major factory or decision I made for political reasons, there was always a faction of people that were against it. I tried to balance the the overall public relation and tried not to go past 50% of disagreement among the people.
The cultural aspect of the game isn’t so much as a dictator themed game, but just a world building simulator game. The “culture” of the game stems from a long line of world building simulator games like sims, rollercoaster tycoon, civilization, rome, etc. Tropico has the same feel to it when playing. There major and minor occurrences that happen during the game, and based on the player’s own cultural influence, they can run a country like North Korea or like a capitalist society. The Game makes you start off as a lowly dictator that could turn into a major economic power if played correctly. The game although might seem a little too similar to civilization or other world building simulator games. I don’t really see a die hard following of Tropico, unlike Starcraft or Sims. The cultural impact of the game, is something that might be unique to a small demographic of players. The game however captures the response of citizens quite well and keeps the dictator in check of their decisions. If the people are not happy they can have a coup or revolt and overthrow the player. The reaction of people in the game creates a special unique culture within the game. The game can be used as a historical demonstration when dictators lose control of their country or island. The game has nice message behind the ways to win and lose. I like how the “happiness” and overall satisfaction of people is a constant theme the game revolves around after a certain time. There are always people that will not like the decision I made, but I have to come to terms with it to attain larger goal that will eventually lower the people’s disagreement. Much like in reality, there is a latency effect. The plan won’t take action immediately, but overtime and with accumulation of money or resources, the plan will work.