New buildings have been tossed into the mix, adding options and fixing minor flaws in the original game. Garages have been shrunk so they're easier to place. Generating electricity is possible with cheap wind turbines, so you can get the juice flowing early in missions without spending huge bucks on a power plant. Grade schools boost intelligence and can be used to indoctrinate kiddos into the Loyalist faction. A pricey nuclear program can fend off circling US and USSR warships. You can try to please environmentalists by constructing garbage dumps that come with recycling options. A satellite dish lets you hunt for aliens and spy on the superpowers. Entertainment and tourism have been revamped with Ferris wheels, marinas, and balloon rides over monuments like ancient pyramids. Giant monuments can be used to satisfy your ego. If you've got the cash, you can build a towering Eternal Flame to awe people into respecting the dear leader, a massive Christ statue like the one that towers above Rio to endear yourself to the religious faction, or even a huge golden statue of yourself, a la Nero, to please the Loyalists. Industry hasn't been altered much, although you can make a few bucks by processing metal into military hardware in the new weapons factory. These aren't huge changes, though they open up scenarios in many subtle ways. You'll soon wonder how you ever managed without them.
Scenarios in Absolute Power often feature detailed, offbeat storylines.
Ten extra edicts have been introduced for you to unleash on those poor, unsuspecting peasants. Like the above, there isn't anything here that could be considered earthshaking. But it's good to have additional options to lean on when clinging to power or trying to goose citizen happiness up a few percentage points. Outlaw Faction is helpful when you need to take a group completely out of the picture and have a strong army ready to handle the inevitable outpouring of support for the rebels. Print Money gives you $20,000 immediately at the cost of a huge inflation hit, but this can come in handy when you're in need of cash to close out a scenario win and don't care about the long term. Clicking on National Day earns cheap respect and blasts off fireworks over the island once a year. Kill Juanito not only shuts up the loudmouthed deejay, but it eliminates rebel attacks for a full three years. That's handy when you're sorting out the army and worried about an uprising. In the same vein, Lure Rebels starts a battle with the revolting populace right away, so you can fight at a time of your own choosing.
Absolute Power keeps the Tropico 3 party going. Nothing revolutionary can be found here when it comes to game design, but all the offbeat new islands, new buildings, and other extras do a great job of extending and improving the core experience. There is also a ton of content in the lengthy campaign scenarios, which should occupy virtual dictators for at least 20 hours--which isn't entirely positive, as this running time exposes the lack of new music and the tiny smattering of new radio prattle from a whiny revolutionary named Betty Boom. Still, even with the repetitive tunes and dialogue, consider this expansion a must for anybody who enjoyed the original game's take on tropical tyranny.