Tropico 4: Modern Times

by Adam Rochford 15. April 2012 19:02

Modern Times is an expansion being sold on Steam as a Downloadable Content Package.  This is somewhat unfortunate as you can no longer player with just the original buildings of Tropico 4.  I have some mixed feelings towards Modern Times because Tropico has always been a game about a communist country stuck in the past.  Now you can modernize your island nation with all sorts of skyscrapers and modern amenities.

The new game includes several new buildings and allows many buildings to be upgraded throughout the game.  By far the best new feature is the metro station.  This is a very small building and while you are not actually building any real subway system, the building is extremely useful.  Basically it acts a teleportation station.  Any citizen can walk in one metro station and end up at any other metro station that you have placed.  So you need to build two for people to start using it.  The more you have the better.  Once you start building these, people stop using Garages nearly as much and traffic flow will hardly be a problem any longer.  This is an extremely expensive building to build though.

Other buildings include towers that can be setup as mortgage centers and banks.  There is a new massive hotel that towers over the previous Hotel Tower.  There is an aerodome which supports more tourist traffic.  By far the most silly aspect of the game is the inclusion of a space launch center.  While you might have to build some really weird series of buildings to get it, it totally removes the realism of the game for this small communist country to build a space shuttle.  One event allows you to travel to the moon.  Tropico has always had some silliness, but this takes it a bit too far in my opinion.

Good new buildings include, solar power stations, vehicle and electronic manufacturing and upgraded apartments and condominiums.  New much larger farms provide much needed food.  Overall it is a great expansion, but for me it kills the theme of the original games by quite a large margin.  It is certainly worth looking into.  Like it or not, Tropico has been modernized.



Memoir '44 Online

by Adam Rochford 6. April 2012 16:10

Memoir 44

Memoir '44 is by far one the best and most simple tactical World War II board games.  It is now available to play online and is available as a free download either through there website or even Steam.  If you are a Steam user, I recommend getting the game through Steam as you can use your Steam account for there login system. 

You can play solo against the AI or against other players online.  The AI is surprisingly good.  The interface for the game is fantastic.  If you have ever played the Settler's of Catan game online, you know how bad interfaces can ruin a game.

The game is not 100% free.  They start you out 50 coins or "Gold Ingots" for free.  It costs 3 coins to play a single game of Memoir Online, so you can sufficiently try out the game without paying for at least 16 games.  Also it's only the person that starts the game that loses the coins.  If you pay for the higher level membership you can also create your own scenarios!  This makes the game a lot more interesting as other players are playing there custom scenarios online as well.

Every expansion is also available to play online.  Weather you are a seasoned Memoir '44 fan, want to learn how to play the game or even want to try out the expansions before buying them, Memoir '44 Online is a fantastic experience.  It is by the best implementation of an board game online I have seen yet.

Memoir '44 Online
Memoir '44 Online on Steam


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