Reviews by Larker


Even now these are my all time favourite games

Larker | Feb. 6, 2014 | Review of Tropico Reloaded steam - PC

Well what can I say without sounding as absolutely bias of these two games as I am. Ah Tropico, I remember buying this on disc upon release (the most money I had ever spent on a title back in the day) and boy was I not disappointed. The first Tropico is quite simple to get started but lots of things to keep an eye out for from very early on. You need to build in almost like a food chain sort of way, give people accommodation, build farms to feed them, start to locate where your valuable deposits sit and try and keep areas of good growing for the rarer more valuable commodities (tobacco, sugar etc) not too close to the large apartment buildings else you will soon find the good growing areas become harder to farm a good amount of crop. I must admit to never really exploring the tourist side of this game very often and felt a desire to try and keep my islanders as happy as I could, rather than exploit the tourist side for a quick influx of money. I did prefer to play sandbox so to speak rather than the campaigns as my style of gameplay is never too good at completing missions and I always in any sim/managment game err towards freeplay as I get the most enjoyment for me personally from this way of play. Tropico 2 Pirate Cove, I was like an excited child when this came out and again was not disappointed by the new feel of how you had to run your island as a cross between islanders happiness/obedience and catering to the pirates that could bring you much needed experienced tradespersons that would enrich your potential to grow. I never did go down the keep the workers under the most fear route but tried to find that happy medium instead. Loved the introduction of what you wanted your pirate boats to do, whether it be pillage other land areas for people, engage in battle with other ships for goods or explore your surrounding areas to see where other countries held their bases. My own personal favourite thing to do on the original Tropico game was once I had a fair few farms, factories and industries creating trade items to send off from the docks, was to zoom in as close as possible to the docks and revel in the details of fish, ores, sacks of grain etc arriving in piles to be shipped away. Back in the day it was the most detailed thing I had seen as this game came out around the time of my first personal computer (I grew up with the Spectrum generation lol) and I got months of gameplay out of both of these games. I still have all my old CD's of these games, I even rebought the original when what we now know as DLC came out with extra stuff to build etc. Another oldie that floats this oldies boat (excuse the pun).


Sometimes an Oldie really is a Goodie

Larker | Feb. 6, 2014 | Review of Startopia - PC

Had this title back in the old days of CD-ROM. To say my social life seeing as I was in my early twenties back then suffered is an understatement. To me, this game seemed a little ahead of it's time and it's great to see it available again now in the digital storage age as I presume one day discs will become obsolete. Any sort of sim game of this genre is well up my street but what endeared me to Startopia is that it's quirky, colourful, very busy, the bigger you make your station the more you need be in many places at once, sorting out issues like maintenance, organising new building space to try and avoid conflicts between what each race requires not being too close to an area that a species they do not get along with will use. The learning curve for this game is not that steep in my opinion, it's pretty easy to realise that not only will you need attractions to bring in the punters but builder bots, mechanics etc will also be required to keep things running smoother. I did quit my first few stations after making too many bad choice on location and size of some of the structures and not managing my hydroponics bays as good as I should have. You do sometimes get the opportunity to just sit back and watch the little guys going about their business on your station and it does get very emersive quite quickly. I would suggest you don't go overboard too quickly in the early stages by trying to obtain every type of structure too soon. I used to try and cater for a section of the species first and kept a close eye on my energy and consumption to not run into trouble. I am so getting the urge to go play this game again now for the feelgood factor of an old game and all the good memories I had of it. Indeed as said in other reviews, graphically it is nowhere near top end anymore but I can easily forgive this for it's quirkiness and comic elements that I have just not found elsewhere other than dare I say it the early Tropico games.