Title: Tropico 6
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Building
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Audience: PEGI 16
Release Date: 29/03/2019
Price: £39.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.
What the Developers say
El Presidente is back! In times of political turmoil and social unrest, the people are calling out for a visionary leader, one who will steer the fate of their country with foresight and ingenuity. Prove yourself once again as a feared dictator or peace-loving statesman on the island state of Tropico and shape the fate of your nation through four distinctive eras. Face new challenges on the international stage and always keep the needs of your people in mind.
For the first time in the series, manage extensive archipelagos, build bridges to connect your islands and use new means of transportation and infrastructure. Send your Tropicans on raids to steal the wonders of the world, including the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. Customize your palace at will and give election speeches from your balcony, to win the favor of your subjects.
Play on large archipelagos for the first time in the series. Manage multiple islands at the same time and adapt to various new challenges.
Send your agents on raids to foreign lands to steal world wonders and monuments, to add them to your collection.
Build bridges, construct tunnels and transport your citizens and tourists in taxis, buses and aerial cable cars. Tropico 6 offers completely new transportation and infrastructure possibilities.
Customize the looks of your palace at will and choose from various extras.
Tropico 6 features a revised research system focusing on the political aspects of being the world’s greatest dictator.
Election speeches are back! Address the people and make promises that you can’t possibly keep.
Co-operative and competitive multiplayer for up to four players.
City creating sims have been around since just before the 1990s. Initially dominated by the SimCity series, many other series have since taken over as major players in the genre. One of these series, the Tropico series is well known for its unique take on the formula that not only lets you build a flourishing city but allows you to determine what kind of ruler you want to be. It lacks the depth of customisation for things like traffic like Cities Skylines and instead focuses more on the economic and overall happiness of your citizens.
Audio and Visual
The Tropico series is well known for its tropical island settings, and the 6th entry doesn’t change this. Interestingly enough my PC defaulted at all low settings, but after I pushed them all up to as high as they could go, I didn’t see any dip in performance. The game looks fantastic. Trees and brush all look lush, and the water effects are excellent. The one exception to this being waterfalls. For whatever reason, they don’t bring the same level of polish as the rest of the graphics do.
Even your individually created citizens walking around all have their own stats and to some degree a few options for appearance. Since you’re so far above the map there not being a vast diversity in the appearance of citizens was never something that bothered me. And as you go through time buildings, roads and modes of transportation update to coincide with the era you are in. When I noticed it the first time, it was just great to look at how things had begun to change around my city.
The missions and requests that the various factions can give you are often split when it comes to voice acting. Usually, just the first paragraph will be voiced, and then you’ll continue to read into it after that. It’s an odd choice, but again, I didn’t find it to be a bad thing. Many times in a game like this the voice acting can drag on, and I find I could’ve just read it myself faster and got back into the game sooner. In a sense that makes this a nice compromise.
The voice actors themselves that I encountered all did a great job and bringing some personality into the game, and even though it can get quite serious when tensions are running high with another country, they did find ways to insert some humour into it occasionally which was a welcomed addition. The one issue I found with sound is that there isn’t a lot of variety in the music. In extended play sessions, you’ll hear the same songs over and over and over. It isn’t something I noticed right away, but once or twice I did mute the music and opted for an outside source.
Gameplay and Replayability
If you’ve ever played a city building sim, you’ll know what to expect here. The camera is a mostly top-down view, and you’ll need to place roads and buildings to accommodate your citizens and keep them happy. But it’s not quite that simple. At any point in the game, there will be two sides pushing for dominance in your country. For instance, in the first era its revolutionaries that want your country to become independent from the crown, or the imperialists that want the crown to continue to have overall control.
You’ll need to do things for both sides to keep them from pulling support from you as you may find yourself no longer El Presidente, but if you juggle jobs right, you can get the outcome you want while keeping your citizen support high enough to win an upcoming election. Not only do you need to do this juggling act continuously but you must make sure your citizens have enough housing, food, wages and entertainment to keep them as a whole happy. My first playthrough things didn’t go so great, but with what I learned I was easily able to restart and quickly grasp where I had gone wrong.
At times its hard to tell what they need and where they need it because the game isn’t very forthcoming with that information, nor does it give you any advisers like many other games of the same type, but with a little experimentation you’ll find yourself doing alright in time.
My favourite thing about these types of games is that they are incredibly replayable. I’ve put hundreds of hours into similar games many times. This is one I could easily see myself putting 100 to 200 hours into. You could easily favour a different faction in each era, or make different combinations. You could choose to grow your economy in various ways or maybe make more housing to attract residents with more education and money which could also alter your playthrough. And these are just fundamental alterations, and later in the game, there are potentially that much more you could test out. This is a game that will keep you entertained for quite some time, so if you buy entertainment by how much per hour you are spending like I often do, this will be a great option.
All in all, this was a fantastic experience. I’d briefly played a few Tropicos in the past, and finally having the opportunity to dive into one was quite rewarding. It’s a fun game, with a lot of systems to balance, so there is a good amount of challenge at times, but the game never felt overly unfair. And the fact that it throws a little humour in the mix when you least expect it adds to its charm. I’d easily recommend it and already have to a few people.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Tropico 6 on Steam using the following link.