Tragedy And Tourism In Tropico 4

The colour, it burrrns

Tropico! We can all get behind a spot of sun-drenched dictatordom, right? Not to mention a timely reminder, in this ‘social’ age of limited moves per day and microtransactions, of city-building unbound. After a brief delay, Tropico 4 is due in just two months, and appears to push ruling an island wannabe-paradise to extremes both good (rollercoasters, giant spires with eternal flames at the top) and bad (apocalypse-level natural disasters)…

I’ll have a bit of that, please. Also, I want to record a podcast with the guy who does the PEGI announcements.


  1. Carra says:

    Looks more like an expansion pack to Tropico 3 than a new game.

    I’m setting my building hopes on the new Anno game which looks like it will be a completely new experience.

    • Serious J says:

      It really does look like an expansion. So much of it looks just like Tropico 3, with a few things added on.

    • Oak says:

      Yeah. I hope it’s priced appropriately.

    • Thants says:

      And Tropico 3 was basically Tropico with updated graphics.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Not true. Tropico 3 was Tropico with updated graphics and most of the useful feedback features stripped out.

      Also, did I imagine it, or did the ‘coordinate relief efforts’ shown in the video consist of building a ranch in the middle of a hurricane?

  2. Coins says:

    But does it have placeable farms? This is the only thing that matters.

  3. Jake says:

    I would have said apocalypse-level natural disasters are meteor strikes, Sun going out/exploding, moon falling into the Earth somehow, black holes, not enough water/too much water and MAYBE zombie plagues. I don’t think earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanoes are apocalypse-level.

  4. Jumwa says:

    Tropico 3 was one of those games that just suckers me in and wont let me go for hours on end. So much of my day ends up getting devoured by it.

    With that said, it is a fun game, and though I was dubious about wanting to buy a new game (Tropico 3 still entertains me a great deal) it does look very nice. And new features? Oooh, yes please!

    What I liked most in the new trailer were the new menus and the more cartoony images in them.

  5. Devec says:

    Tropico 3 is an awesome game and I’ve sunk quite a few hours into it never completing the campaign due to sameyness. Seeing this trailer all I’m reminded of is a bit of extra content here and there but mostly the same game, I for one am not sure if I can be bothered to shelve out full price for what seems to be an expansion pack. They can of course prove me wrong by publishing a demo (I hope).

  6. Torgen says:

    Can I shoot Betty Boom instead of the other radio announcer this time?

    I can’t wait to see more info on this, as I’ve loved Tropico 1 and 3.

    • Fiatil says:

      Seriously, this was the most confusing part of the game for me.

  7. buzzmong says:

    2 months you say? I think I’ll be on this like a shot when it comes out then.

  8. Pijama says:

    This drips LAZYNESS. In all honesty, this has to be one of the worst attempts to a sequel I have ever seen. Barring the interface overhaul and a few additions, everything looks *exactly* like the third.

    What is this, a desperate cash-grab?

    • Rii says:

      Tropico 3 seemed to be Tropico 1 with a new (and from my perspective, not entirely welcome) graphics engine so this turn of events is hardly surprising.

      I’ll not write it off just yet mind you; some stuff just doesn’t sell well through trailers. Natural disasters, though? Yeah, they’ll do.

    • _Nocturnal says:

      @Pijama: I agree.
      Surely the world has too much colorful, off-beat city-building games by now.
      They’re starting to get in the way of our Call of Duty!

    • Pijama says:

      I am just unimpressed – I really like city building and more “economey” games, focused more on grand strategy than the micro scale. For comparison, considering what the new ANNO has shown already this is more on the add-on/xpack territory rather than a sequel.

  9. Ringwraith says:

    Still sticking with the same theme I see unlike the second’s pirate island simulator, which I really enjoyed.
    Although I’ve not played any of the others either…

    • Rich says:

      The second one was fun, but also massively frustrating when your economy got shut down by your ship being sunk.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Which is why having a backup ship and taking less risky attack methods such as “Harass ’em” were very useful in a one-ship setup.

  10. Navagon says:

    This is really starting to shape up into a fully fledged sequel now. It was looking like another T3 DLC before. But this is looking good. Love Tropico 3 so this is a must have*.

    *As long as they don’t bugger it up.

  11. Bhazor says:

    My guess/hope is that this is a console exclusive and the additions for it will be available as an add-on for Tropico 3. That’s my hope anyway. Haven’t heard enough to say whether it’s worthy of being a full blown sequel yet.

    • Torgen says:

      Actual natural disasters instead the screen just shaking or turning dark for 15 seconds isn’t enough? Since they took pains to show the fire station, I’m assuming we’ll have fires as well to contend with.
      Also: expanded trade with other nations, instead of just shoveling all your output into the port and having it turn instantly into money.

      Also: Reply fail! This was supposed to be to Pijama, above.

  12. ucfalumknight says:

    Does the PEGI guy narrate anything else? Man, that guy has a better voice then the overly dramatic trailer voice guy!

  13. Creeping Death says:

    Tropico 3 is one of those games I bought in a steam sale yonks ago and have never gotten round to playing more than a tutorial… It’s not that I’ve been put off by what I’ve seen, quite the opposite really, I just never seem to have the energy at the time to learn a new strategy game…

    I really should rectify this.

  14. Kanamit says:

    Looks like they’re adding more depth to the politics, that’s good. It does look almost exactly like Tropico 3, but as long as they add some more depth and hopefully make the higher difficulty levels actually difficult I’ll be happy.
    Edit: Oh, and public transportation would be nice too.

  15. bill says:

    I’m probably being oversensitive due to where I live, but I’m not quite ready for the “tsunami as fun game with funny music” bit yet. Not when 15,000-20,000 people just died, and 100,000s of thousands of others are still living in shelters not knowing for sure if their relatives are alive..

    I realise that as it’s a comedy game about being an evil dictator, bad things as entertainment are nothing new… but the timing seems rather off.

    • Rich says:

      I sympathise, but you do play war games right? There’s never a tactful time to release those.

    • bill says:

      Probably not. But for some reason there’s something more shocking about a big disaster than a long running war. Same way I wouldn’t have made a plane crashing sim just after 9/11 or (personally) a WW2 sim just after WW2.

      Double standards it may well be, but when you’re watching real tsunami footage on tv every day, you don’t really want to see it in a game too.

  16. pipman3000 says:

    i hope the island in big enough to fit more then one small town on it.

  17. megazver says:

    So, the roads are still the same. And I bet construction works the same as well.


  18. MCM says:

    Tropico has always been a great sandbox simulator. The problem is that it’s always felt like a weird vacuum – you have this one island. You play it until you get bored… then you play… another island. Even the campaign mode is just a bunch of arbitrary victory conditions with scripted events on unconnected islands.

    The game needs some kind of larger context, like using the engine to run individual cities as you play king or president of a whole country, and you have to switch between micromanaging once city at a time, expanding with new colonies, trade between the cities, etc.

    Sad that the new owners of the Tropico IP are content to just churn out sameware over and over that a hardcore fanbase will buy.

    • megazver says:

      In their defense, if they did radically change the formula, it would be New X-Com backlash all over again. They’re kind of stuck. Hopefully they’ll grow some balls by the time they do Tropico 5.

  19. MCM says:

    I’m not suggesting they change the “formula” – but expand it. Keep 95% of the game but add another layer. Like the difference between Laser Squad and X-COM.

  20. sinister agent says:

    Out of all those new things, I’m most curious about the ‘rising superpowers’ and ‘trade with neighbours’ lines. To me, ‘rising superpowers’ implies more than just the USA and USSR, as they were already present in the other games, so why bother mentioning them? This could be very interesting.

    As for trading, I think that,more than disasters and new buildings and that, could indicate the way forward for the Tropico games – putting the island in a more international context, to give you a ‘bigger picture’ scenario rather than just the completely isolated island that only interacts with the world through random events. Make it optional if necessary, of course, as is the great tradition of tropico – its custom options are one of its greatest strengths in my view.

    Still, I’m wary about shelling out, as I’ve only recently bought Tropico 3.