Tropico 2: Pirate Cove
People, who find it too hot outside these days, can now enjoy the virtual sun on their computer, brought to you by Tropico 2: Pirate Cove! While in number 1, we where able to play a little dictator on our own far off island, the sequel takes a jump back in time where you’ll be bombarded to Pirate King. Gold, cannons, women and beer, what more does a pirate need…
… and that’s exactly what it’s all about in tropico 2. When you play the campaigns, you’ll be an escaped prisoner who creates his own little state. You’ll have to watch over your pirates and make sure they have enough beer, women and gamble establishments. The 16 campaigns start off easy with missions that even the biggest landlubber can accomplish. But the further you row through the missions, the more difficult they will get and the more problems you will have to keep control over your pirates needs. And if that isn’t enough, different nations will try to meddle in your islands affairs. You didn’t think they would just leave it like it is, without receiving some money from you, would you?
But a real pirate doesn’t allow blackmail and chooses a counterattack. Hoist the sails! What would a pirate be without a ship? During the game you can choose from four different ships for your captains. With these, you can order them to go on a mission in the Caribbean seas and plunder some ships, raid some settlements or just explore. It’s a shame that this part of the game is quite limited: All you do is select a pirate and tell him what to do. That way you’ll never know how it feels to plunder a ship, since this is just reported to you by a pop-up.
Argh, matey, is it all bad? Of course not! Tropico 2 focuses on the land. You’ll have to build all of the buildings and ships yourself. Well not yourself of course, you’re the pirate king, and you probably shouldn’t ask you’re pirates, if you want to continue this job. Then who’s up for the task? Captives! Regularly there will be ships that crash on your shores, whose crew you then immediately cuff and can start working on your lovely palace or that new gambling den. Talk about a nice holiday!
But there’s more! The pirates that are waiting for a ship to be built can amuse themselves (and make a bit of gold for themselves) by playing the overseer on a building site and keeping an eye (or patch) on the captives. This may sound a bit harsh, but it’s not that bad. The pirate gets into a nice bully (as man) or an SM (as women) costume. Hmm, that still sounds quite harsh doesn’t it? Let’s have a closer look at the pirate. We can see him entering the site, he’s got his eye on a captive, he’s now standing next to him, and with a big smile…
… he slaps his bottom with a towel. Phew! All of the game bathes in this kind of comical mood. For example: you never get to see what happens inside the house of a prostitute (Yes, Jimmy, she is showing him her parrot…) and that way the game is suitable for little children. The graphics make a sunny and colourful whole. Everything is, like its predecessor, in 2D, but the buildings and pirates are very detailed. Only the ground and ships are a bit jagged around the edges when you zoom in on them (Unless the ships where gaunt those days?).
The sound also deserves a parrot feather! Especially the music, which is beautiful and brings you into the vacation mood! It even makes you want to ignore all you’re obligations as pirate king and go sunbathing on your beach (maybe an idea for a new game?). The sounds are also very good and the notifications that you get when you are short on some kind of supply are funny (the first time you hear it ). For example: when you’re low on wood you’re advisor will yell ‘Cannot shiver me timbers, without timber’!
We are closing in on the conclusion, and I hope you’ve concluded that I quite like this game. If you know that one mission can take up to several hours, then you know that there’s nothing wrong with the length of the game (a common illness amongst games these days). The game is also very addictive, as you will notice very quickly when it appears that behind the drapes, the sun is already rising, and you are still building! Even if you’ve finished the campaigns, there is an editor to make your own perfect island, or just play one of the standalone missions. Are you a fan of sun, sea and buildinggames like settlers, then dust of your parrot (the real one), attach your wooden leg and cutthroat the software merchant to obtain your treasure box with two blinking cd’s! To end with the words on the back of the box:
Argh, thar ain’t nottin like bein a Pirate King!