Diamond in the rough: Tropico 5

El Presidente! Time to proclaim independence! – that is of your shitty island over-run with corruption, royalist versus revolutionaries saga, death squad police millitia roaming the street. But hey, you are the dictator and you call the shots here behind the screen. Sitting on your sqeaky chair, oil stained singlet and boxers, wasting away 5 hours building your dynasty. I mean you ought to “win” the elections right? Presidente.

What? A game on sale huh

To be frank here, I’m new to the franchise of Tropico and Tropico 5 is my first in the series. I would have missed out on this if not for the sale over this weekend. But lo and behold, I would have kicked my own nuts if I had known how much potential and fun this game provides. I’m satisfied with my mindless purchase yet again on steam. The angelic voice of His holiness Gaben beckons me fill the coffers, ah his sweaty armpits drips nectar in the form of Tropico 5.

First steps into dictatorship

The game’s tutorial was well established with various and key informations such as city building, politics and trade spread out over 3 tutorials. Pretty thoughtful to prevent information overload, useful for new players like me to curb a steep learning curve. Once done with the tutorial, the main game provides a campaign and a sandbox mode. Now, I was excited to create my corrupted little island so sandbox was my first hit. In sandbox, you get to choose 5 pages of island for you to start and of course your starting money. You also are given the choice of game difficulty to suit your playing style. My first dynasty was of course helmed by charismatic Alurious Habajaba. Now this f**ker was a complete idiot, not only did he misread export with import which drained all of the island money to become indebted, he also forgot about building an army and became enemy of the crown. Well done buddy – lesson learned, this game requires patience, read carefully on your buildings descriptions and their options. Check on your people and see their needs to build towards your end goal – be it a dictatorship or a democracy. This game has many tweaks and options that are crucial to have a sustainable gameplay.

Hmmm I’m pretty sure this game can’t be flawless

It’s not without a downside. If this game were a girl she would be the kind you meet at Starbucks and have a good chat, you two exchange numbers and have a good 5 hours texting. It goes on for a few days but Everyday it gets shorter and you just move on. This game like many city builder games, is extremely interesting and fun at the beginning. You have many ideas running through your head as you watch the download bar progress whilst cursing at sudden dips in download speed. You are excited with whacky ideas on how your city will be like. The first few islands were indeed fun but as you play, it gets a little repetitive and seat warming. I lost my initial excitement perhaps by playing too much in one sitting. I don’t blame the devs but rather, I advise new players to this genre to take a break with something else then come back when you have another whacky dictator in mind. Another infuriating minor detail I found was the in game menu can be a complete nut kicker as you have to close your current window to open another, there isn’t a seamless transition from on menus to another, kinda annoying at times.

I want to be the next Castro!

Yes, I recommend anyone to buy this as this game really gets you thinking and how to micro manage. It certainly is a boredom killer without spamming the game too much and bodes well with shower thinkers. Think you have what it takes to run an island colony?


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