Friday saw the release of the sixth instalment in everyone’s favourite Caribbean dictatorship simulator franchise, Tropico. The game was delayed back in January, but the final product was worth the wait. Now you can finally take up the mantle of El Presidente once again. After sinking a fair number of hours into Tropico 6 over the weekend, I thought I’d share some of my favourite new and returning features.
Every good dictator needs to keep their people happy, and letting your citizens vote in regular elections is important. In Tropico 6, El Presidente can deliver a rousing speech with your help. Acknowledge the problems Tropico faces, suck up to your doubters, and blame someone else for everything. Heck, you can even promise to improve a certain aspect of your citizens’ lives. Just don’t make promises you can’t keep!
Tropico is more realistic than ever
Your fledgling tropical island nation now spans several islands, forming a little archipelago that you can link with several new transport options, including boats, buses, and bridges. This, together with the less cartoony graphics, gives the world a more realistic feel, and the new archipelago view makes it easy to move between islands quickly.
Era progression tasks
Moving to the next technological era now requires you to meet certain criteria, such as happiness or wealth. You can also choose when to progress by delaying acceptance of the ‘reward’ for meeting the criteria. The criteria can be quite challenging if you, like me, are a somewhat inefficient dictator. In my second mission, I only managed to enter the Cold War era in 1990. On the plus side, I had unlocked absolutely everything from the previous eras by that point, so it wasn’t a total loss!
Previous games have allowed you to customise El Presidente him/herself, and Tropico 6 is no different. Pick a silly hat or a ridiculously coloured suit, or stick with the traditional look for your El Pres. What’s new in this game is the addition of palace customisation, which allows you to choose the colours of your estate, as well as the decor and layout. There’s a good number of options at the start of the game, with more becoming available as you progress. Being able to give the most important building in the game a personal touch is a really nice feature, and I wish it had been in earlier games.
There are several buildings in Tropico 6 that give you access to various missions, which include hunting for treasure, ‘rescuing’ educated individuals from who knows where, and sabotaging foreign superpowers. These buildings also let you undertake heists, which are long and difficult (and oftentimes humorous) missions to steal famous landmarks from other countries – think the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, the Brandenburg Gate and the Hagia Sophia. Besides being tourist attractions, each landmark has a unique effect on your game, from increasing the speed of boats to causing trees to grow nearby.
Tropico 6 does not feature the continuous story of some of its predecessors. Instead, there are several unrelated missions or scenarios you can complete. With this change is the removal of Tropico 5‘s dynasty system, instead focusing on El Presidente himself. And since you won’t be spending the money in your Swiss bank account on El Pres’s family, the Broker offers new ways to earn and spend that cash. All strictly legitimate, of course. He might ask you to export a certain amount of goods, or he may offer you a new building blueprint or a chance to improve relations with a faction leader, giving you tangible rewards for your personal savings.