contains only a handful of games ranging from Solitaire and Sandoku (the "island" version of Sudoku) to monkey and puzzle games. Just for good measure, Tropix
also throws in some coconut bowling off a pier. Did I mention that there is a mixed bag of games within? I thought so. In fact, the randomness of these mini-games may turn off some casual gamers who are looking for a specific genre within their virtual pages.
The game has a pseudo Story Mode of sorts in that as you play the game, you will earn Sand Dollars that can be used to buy items for your island. These purchased items have no bearing on anything game-related, however, and are essentially a cheap way for the developers to make you earn your way to unlocking more mini-games. After completely decking out your island with miscellaneous Food, Fun, and Comfort items, you can unlock more islands at a progressively higher cost. Unfortunately, to unlock all of the islands requires a lot of gameplay time (too much for the casual gamers, if you ask me) because most of the games played won't earn you a whole lot of money... with a few exceptions.
Each game that you play will allow you to build upon your wealth at different rates. I found that the word find game (Water Words) was one that allowed you to net a lot more Sand Dollars, but only if you really studied the board and came up with a lot of very long words. This particular game can be very fun for those who like to compete against themselves because you have the option to "swap" out letters and set yourself up for big points.
Solitaire and Sandoku are as entertaining as always, and each allows for multiple difficulty settings, which helps these games be enjoyable for all gamers. The gameplay itself is perfect with these classics too, with one exception: the screen size of the DS is a real hindrance, especially since these games only really use one screen to play on. As such, not only do you really have to look hard at your selections, but you also may have slight troubles in those selections because of the precision needed with the stylus.
Another notably fun game within the Tropix environment is Coco-Bowl. Anyone who enjoys bowling, either the real thing or in a virtual environment, will likely enjoy this mini-game. However, the enjoyment that you'll get from it will inevitably result in a lot of frustration as the pins (or bottles, in this case) don't react all that well in terms of physics. Guaranteed strikes will often result is splits and vice versa. Even still, the variations are fun as well, with a moving pier (your alley), a windy pier, and an angry crab all getting in your way if you choose.
Tropix does have multiplayer features as well, and the game allows you to use either a single cartridge or play with multiple carts connecting two Nintendo DS systems wirelessly. The multiplayer options are fun, but don't entail all of the games in the same way. The bowling is a bit disappointing as well due to the pins not updating correctly on the inactive player's screen. Most of the games allow you to compete directly on the same board screen as your opponent and you will see his or her moves in real-time, however.
A complete list of games follows:
- Solitaire: Classic card game for one.
- Puffer Popper: Shooter of matching colors.
- Coco-Bowl: Bowling with a twist of coconut.
- Water Words: Classic word find.
- Cascade: Match three like shapes to earn points.
- Jungle Jump: Get your monkey through the jungle.
- Shell Game: Keep your eye on the pearl.
- Sandoku: Classic Sudoku with an island theme.
- Parasail: Collect bonuses while guiding your monkey.
- Beach Bash: Island version of Breakout.
- Trijong: Another puzzler.