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Tropico 3 Gold Edition Review for Mac

We take a closer look at Tropico 3 for Mac - head inside for our full review and verdict

Available from: Mac App Store

More information:

Minimum System Requirements: • OS X 10.6.8 • 2GB RAM with 256MB VRAM • 2.0GHz Processor

Most building simulation games focus solely on the industrial side of creating a community; this can result in you building the same city every time once you’ve worked out a recipe for success. Tropico 3, on the other hand, manages to broaden the focus, and bring in a political system that has such incredible depth that you may consider running for government when you’re finished with it.

The game starts with two simple tutorials to introduce you to the basics of the interface, including the powerful, and very useful Almanac. This book tracks every part of the your game, from the amount of money you’re making to how much the communists, environmentalists and other parties like you. You can see the overall happiness of your community, with a breakdown of what needs to be improved most, and which parties need pleasing. Every action you take has a series of repercussions that will continue to affect your country for a long time. If, for example, you open your borders up to get some more workers onto your island, nationalists certainly won’t be pleased. Close your borders and work will soon dry up.

You'll have to keep a track of plenty of aspects of your empire to survive

The game will force you to stay on top of a number of things at once, and makesure all sides are as balanced as possible. The tutorial doesn’t really cover everything you need to know, but the interface is well designed, and while you can speed up the action whenever you want, opening the Construction menu will pause the world while you work out what to build and where to put it.

The game world itself is brilliant, with beautiful beaches, gently swaying palm trees and stunning sunsets that look great thanks to the solid lighting engine. You can zoom right in to get a street-level view of the city and its people, or take a wider look at the whole picture. Either way everything is smooth, even on older Macs.

The depth of the game is huge, both in terms of how long you can spend perfecting one island and when it comes to the game modes. There are 15 story mode challenges to overcome, each with different objectives, along with sandbox modes, and a wide range of different leaders to play as, from Castro to Pinochet.

You can also create your own leader, with his own traits to alter the way a game plays.

There is so much to this game that it will quickly become addictive. Whether you’re a die-hard building sim fan, or a newcomer to the genre, it’s worth a go, because this is a fantastic example of how good it can be.