This is an expansion. It costs less than the original, and has less new stuff, and less total game time, so I can make the review shorter, too. Right?
Well, okay then. Tropico 3: Absolute Power (or T3AP as it is known to its friends) continues the adventures of El Presidente (you) as you rule
a series of banana republics. All of the old favorites are here: islands, farms, industries, exports, factions, edicts and the rest are back with some new friends.
Of course, since this is an expansion, you can expect more stuff. To start, the tutorial is expanded. One might think that an expansion is not the place for an expanded tutorial, but at least Haemimont Games has their hearts in the right place. The tutorial isn't even needed all that much. If you played the original there isn't all that much in the new game in terms of mechanics. The rest of this review will just assume you played the original, or at least are familiar with a few standard city builder mechanics. This will allow us to get right to the good stuff.
Your avatar is also in for more options. There are more costumes, and some new traits. This reviewer outfitted himself in a snazzy admiral's outfit with a sharp goatee and a parrot. Islanders appreciate a sense of style in their rulers.
In fact, they appreciate it so much a new faction has arisen, the Loyalists. Loyalists like you for who you are. They are confused and angered by elections – who would not like El Presidente? They want to see more recognition of your awesomeness in the form of holidays and monuments. They are where your groupies come from. They are like Tea Partiers when Republicans are in power – bad behavior is ok if it's you.
A new faction means more problems making everybody happy. To this end you are provided with more edicts. “Free Houses” (no housing charges rent) is especially useful to this end. A favorite for returning players will be “Shoot Juanito”. Not only does it permanently silence that annoying DJ, it also guarantees there will be no Rebels or Rebel attacks for 3 years. Turns out Juanito wasn't as harmless as everybody thought. On the down side, Betty Boom (the new DJ) is possibly even more annoying.
But Tropicans do not live by edicts alone. Sometimes they need buildings. Most of the new buildings are straightforward and operate much like ordinary buildings. For example, a Ferris Wheel employs workers and provides entertainment. The welcome Garbage Dump reduces pollution in an area. Other buildings such as Marinas and Wind Turbines work similarly.
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