Tropico 2: Pirate Cove is the second instalment in the construction and management simulation video game series Tropico. This game was developed by Frog City Software and was published in 2003 by Gathering of the Developers and Take-Two Interactive.
The gameplay in Pirate Cove is very similar to that of the original game in the series, Tropico, although set in a different time and place. The player will assume the role of pirate island ruler as Pirate King. The goal of the player is to maintain the happiness of the pirates while taking as much booty as possible. The player will have access to worker characters, also known as captives, which are taken from raids of the shipwrecks around the islands perimeter, as well as gifts from allied nations.
The workers play a significant in the gameplay of Tropico 2 because their work is what the state of the islands economy relies on. The workers are responsible for the various construction jobs and creations on the pirate island. Captives are able to take on specialized jobs as well, such as farmer, lumberjack, blacksmith, and even pirate. Keeping them happy is important to avoid a rebellion of workers, who outnumber the pirates of your island, although they’re typically unarmed/unskilled in fighting.
The more skilled captives are allowed to step into higher level jobs that the unskilled captives cannot. Either way, the overall objective of the game is to remain in power with control over the island, just like in the first Tropico.
Players will find that in order to maintain the happiness of his captives, they must set up a system of order for the island, which will prevent captive rebellion. However, this must be balanced with a certain amount of liberty which the pirates want. Therefore the player must be able to offer both order for captives, and anarchy for pirates.
Players should also make sure the captives fear them so they do not attempt running away from the island. If a captive does escape the island somehow then the player encounters the risk of them telling a powerful ruler of the island and their system of taking captives. This could cause angry kings to send warships to the pirate island in an attempt to invade, which could cause the player to lose the game.
Players can build their own pirate ships at the shipyards and use them to travel to other islands, or search and enter enemy ships that are in the seas for their gold and treasures. Pirate Cove will offer various scenarios to challenge the player, such as harsh environment conditions or escaping captives and fellow pirates that are upset. It can be quite a handful to keep all the different elements on the island happy.
Although the overall gameplay in Tropico 2 is like the original Tropico, the concepts seem to be dramatically different. The original Tropico had a greater focus on the economic parts of the island, but Tropico 2: Pirate Cove features a reverse economy. The setup of a reverse economy means that the need for production is lower because the pirates are allowed to steal money from enemies to use for their objectives, and the game is therefore more military-intensive. The player cannot rely on exports for money, as in other Tropico games, but rather on captivity, looting and war.
In order for the pirate king to gain money from enemies the player must follow a list of actions. A dock is required along with a pirate ship. Although the player typically has both of these, it is possible for them to be destroyed or sunk during expeditions. If a pirate warship has been sunk the player needs a boatyard so that he can produce a new one. The pirate ship itself also has a set of requirements; cutlasses for the pirates weapons and rations of food to sustain the pirates on their journey at sea. Expeditions which do not have a certain amount of rations are at risk of not returning.
All of the buildings needed require lumber and a construction tent for the construction workers to find shelter in while working that position. Overall, is less focused on the various aspects of economy due to the pirate’s method of gaining resources, but the military aspects are extremely unique, especially for the Tropico series.