Do you frequently find yourself daydreaming about a sunny beach somewhere in South America? Where the beer flows like wine and beautiful women (or men) instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano? In that case, the guys and gals at Limbic Entertainment have got the right place for you because Tropico 6 is currently in Game Preview on Xbox One.
Dating back to 2001, Tropico is a construction and government management simulator with rich gaming history. It takes place across four distinct eras, from the beginnings of the Colonial era all the way to modern times. Each era features its own challenges and rules for progressing onto the next.
Right from the get-go, Tropico 6 establishes the vibe of a relaxing vacation: loading screens are presented as travel postcards and Latino music is playing in the background. These loading screens also provide useful information about actual historical figures. For instance, did you know that Saddam Hussein used “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston as his campaign song? Or that Joseph Stalin built a lab to study the faeces of his competition and create their psychological portraits? And while the latter might certainly be true, Tropico 6 is full of similarly humorous references. This translates over to the game’s dialogue which you’ll find plentiful in the story mode.
But in Tropico 6, you won’t simply enjoy the sun and the drinks – you’ll be busy making the lives of your citizens better, as you become El Presidente and take it upon yourself to rule over the island archipelago of Tropico. It falls onto you to build new infrastructures and trading routes, generate income for the treasury, issue laws and take care of anything else related to running a country. This includes laying new roads, creating workplaces, importing and exporting resources, combating crime and much more. One of the most notable features in Tropico 6 is the ability to steal unique cultural wonders of other nations. Among them are the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, and they all provide your archipelago with various bonuses once constructed.
As El Presidente, you’ll decide which political factions to affiliate yourself with (e.g. Communists, Conservatives). Siding with one faction will inevitably decrease the favour with another and you’ll frequently bounce between your own real-world ideals. These difficult decisions will shape the kind of ruler you’ll eventually become. Will you pass fair laws in line with the interests of your citizens, ensuring a peaceful, guilt-free night’s sleep for yourself? Or will you rule with an iron fist and give preference to filling your own pockets by imposing merciless taxes? That’s entirely up to you, and whatever you decide, be prepared to face the consequences from those who oppose you. If worse comes to worst, then hopefully you’ll possess the military power to suppress any attempts at overturning your rule.
Disgruntled citizens will form guerrilla groups with the sole purpose of replacing you with someone else. But so long as you play your cards right and maintain the happiness of the population, you should be fine. Keep them fed, employed and entertained to make sure that they do the right thing during the next election – by voting for you! And when that glorious time arrives, come out of your huge mansion to hold a speech about equality and make empty promises.
Anyone who enjoys games like Civilization and Cities: Skylines, will feel right at home in Tropico 6, as it plays similarly. With a galore of different options and choices to make, it can certainly seem intimidating at first. But a brief tutorial across 5 chapters should provide you with the fundamental knowledge for building your island.
Aside from that, Tropico 6 currently features two other game modes: Missions and Sandbox. In Missions, you must complete sets of varying objectives all the while enjoying the origins of El Presidente’s story. Sandbox is exactly what it sounds like. You choose from a list of preset islands, all in varying shapes and sizes and a set of rules, such as climate and the overall difficulty. This mode focuses less on storytelling and more on construction, research and development of your own tropical paradise.
Once again, it’s worth noting that Tropico 6 is currently in Xbox Game Preview and as such, certain features are not available or might not work as intended. Multiplayer is reserved for the full version and you might experience slowdowns or the occasional crash during gameplay. For what’s already present, Tropico 6 offers a decent amount of content and a fair challenge for fans of the simulation genre.
And once the game releases on September 27th 2019, we’ll do an in-depth review of it and let you know if it’s worth your time. Until then, you can pick up Tropico 6 on Xbox One via the Game Preview scheme for £45.99 from the Xbox Store. Tell us if you’re already playing Tropico 6 on Xbox One and what your experience has been like so far.