Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Video Game Review: Tropico 5

Yes, it's another game review! Tropico 5 is, at it's core, a city-building sim game. There are technology research functions and a fairly deep political system. Well, as far as I know. I'll admit, the last time I played a sim game, it was Sim City 2000. Unless Civilization Revolution counts as a sim game.

So, yes, I'm not the most experienced player when it comes to these particular games. However, since all reviews are opinion anyway, I'll share my thoughts.

First of, I like this game. Not because it's a sim, and not because of the setting or the research, or the goals that can be set for victory. I like it because of the economic functions. Running budgets and managing numbers is oddly fun for me.*

I haven't completed a full play through, yet, either in campaign or sandbox mode (campaign is a "storyline" that pits players against specific scenarios throughout each era in which the game takes place while sandbox is, as implied, simply free-play). I don't KNOW if the game is satisfying to complete. But I DO know that I'm getting a LOT of play for my time. And it does consume a decent amount of time, especially for someone who can't dedicate a ton of hours each do to gaming.

The different methods for managing budgets, politics, and citizen is a real challenge, especially if the player decides to run simply on ideals. I found that, early on, if I want to not lose (get voted out), I either have to buy off protestors and/or voters, change the laws to restrict who can vote, or send in the military. That's if I want to run it the EASY way. The challenges of running it NOT as a dictatorship is a lot of fun, though.

Do I recommend this game? Well, I like it. And because my rating scale is based on how much I find enjoyment/entertainment (and the occasional challenge), I'll give it 3.5 out of 5. It's currently free for PS Plus subscribers on the PS4. If you're interested, check it out.

Giles isn't a dictator. Running a free society is a lot of work, though, so he'll sit behind his computer, play a few games, and then dive into writing when he wants a world to "work out" the way he wants. Even when it doesn't.

*Managing budgets is only fun when nothing is at stake. Only pretend money. So games, simulations, theoretical projects. When REAL money gets involved, all the fun goes away and is replaced with panic, desperation, and a strong desire to hire someone else to do the work.

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