Ah Tropico, where the money is so colourful, you'll forget it's worthless :D
Tropico 3 is a mix of city building, (Tropical island themed) and The Sims franchise, where as filling happiness factors is key to smooth gameplay. It does well enough to fit the atmosphere of the title with radio broadcasts, spanish accents and the lavitan background music. As "El Presidente" you must get enough votes to remain in power which makes it sometimes satisfying to win the election after some hard citizens to win over, however not much else is done to deepen the voting system in the game. Once you lose an election it is game over, If you win you may continue on until the next election rinse and repeat. You are a leader of a small island nation that seems to be soverign in it's own right, owing no alleginace to any superpower.
You can however do dealings with Russia or America, building favour with the Communists or Capitalists, respectivly.
It boils down to how you would like to run your nation, (in each mission or map scenario) leaning towards communism, keeps your citizens happier and housing cheaper, albiet loss of export profits. If heading towards the Capitalist end of the spectrum, favoring infastructure, power plants and of course export profits. As an island nation, the economy relies on exports whether or not you are predominatly Communist or Capitalist.
Much of the game is spent setting up enough housing for your population, building structures to keep certain politcal groups on the island happy enough to vote for you next election and on occasion, defending your buildings from rebel attacks.
Tropican citizens turn rebel when thier satisfaction levels drop too low, clicking on an indivdual citzen will show stars next to factors that determine his happiness. These stars usally 3 factors are noted, represent what is most important to this indivual, for expample job secruity or relgious satisfaction, if these needs are not met for a while he will cease to be a citizen of Tropico and join others hiding out in the island's wilderness.
Special buildings can re-educate captured rebels, turning them back into a useful workforce.
Another important factor in the economic stability of the Tropican islands is tourism.
Tourism can be a huge boost to your government treasury, however care should be taken when you are planning your constructon phase as location of buildings is important, an ideal resort would have garages which produce cars, readily available for quick transport, hotels, entertainmt buildings and other money making buildings found under the tourism tab.
Also of note, is the tourism industry can at times cause a flood of people to land on the island, causing traffic jams and lengthy, expensive, holdups, not good for any busy island nation. Take care when expanding.
This may seem like a detailed review, however I have only covered some parts of the game, there is still more and I think continuing would only create a bigger wall of text and uncover all things best left undiscovered until one actually buys this game.