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An island in the sun

The Tropico series of island management sims has been going for a while now and shows no signs of running out of steam. Although this fourth entry in the franchise has lost some of its predecessors' appeal, it remains a fun alternative to SimCity and the like. This one is very similar to Tropico 3, perhaps too similar for series veterans, and once again sees the player taking the role of a dictator on an island in the sun. The main goal of the game is simply to keep your island and its people happy, and it's your job to look after pretty much everything, from building roads and houses, to producing food and even to international politics. The whole thing is played out in humorous fashion but that doesn't prevent the game from including a lot of depth and options, with a 20 mission campaign as well as a free mode where you can just do what you want. Additions here include a new trading system, some new buildings and disasters, as well as requests from other countries which add in some further choices and which have dramatic effects on your fortunes. For the most part, Tropico 4 is a fun game. It doesn't take itself too seriously but has plenty to get your teeth into, and building up your island is pretty compelling stuff. The visuals are nice and bright while there a lots of options to play around with and different possibilities to try out. There are some glitches and bugs that might get in your way of a good time, while it really is a bit too similar to the other games to wholeheartedly recommend if you have played the series before. However, it remains a nice bit of fun.