Tropico 2 demo released
Welcome to paradise
Tropico, for those of you who didn't run out and buy it, was a city building simulation "with a difference". Casting yourself in the role of a suitable dictator (Castro, Pinochet, Peron), you had to direct the development of your own little tropical paradise, erring as much on the side of corruption as democracy, which isn't too hard to imagine in the current state of world politics, whilst using trade and tourism to keep your country in the black. However, it suffered from a number of niggling issues in the trade system (particularly annoying was the way it froze your assets and stopped hiring and firing if you sank below $0), and we've been waiting eagerly for nearly two years to see how PopTop would set about recasting the sequel.
Instead of a marginal update with spangly new graphics (like, um, Sim City 4), the developer has produced something decidedly less scurvy, in the shape of Tropico 2: Pirate Cove, which, as you can probably envisage, has you ruling a secret pirate island filled to bursting with 17th century Sea Dogs. It's your job to plunder those haphazard enough to venture close by and keep the world at bay, whilst simultaneously tending to delicate local matters in much the way you did with Tropico. Although exports are unlikely to fuel the economy so much as a big cave full of treasure.
And the good news is that after quietly beavering away on their much anticipated return for nearly two years, PopTop has released what's described as a "beta demo", weighing in at 127.6MB and giving you an idea of what it's like to run your own pirate island for over four years of game time. You can download the demo from FilePlanet.