Sunshine & Tyranny: Tropico 4

'Our power stations require only 3182 babies per day to achieve maximum efficiency'

Tropico games seem to be arriving just a little too quickly all of a sudden, but no matter. Amidst the torrent of free to play MMOs and grimdark shooters, a dose of sun, tyranny of economy management is really very appealing. So it’s good to hear that Tropico 4 has an exact release date – and one that’s pretty much exactly a year on from its announcement, so we’re hardly in any kind of dark about how long it’s been in development for.

Did you work it out? You could have done, if you’d bothered to use our tags system. Imagine how proud you’ve have been. And we’d have been. Now, we can barely stand to look at you.

So: the game’s out on August 30 this year. This is via its new website World of Tropico, which sounds alarmingly like an MMO that someone will eventually make. Actually, that sounds pretty good. Caribbean dictators trying to outdo each other in terms of tourism and cruelty? Could be fun. For now though, it’s Tropico 4, which is a straight sequel to the last game as far as I can tell.

No new trailer as yet, so here’s a repeat of the E3 one:

As some have observed, that looks quiiite similar to Tropico 3. Hopefully there’s plenty of new stuff going on under the hood, however. I know it’s got a Council of Ministers, which you can cheerfully staff with the most corrupt people you can find in order to further your own dark agenda, a bunch of new natural disasters including volcanoes, droughts and tornadoes, plus – hey- the ability to tweet from in-game. Because if there’s something the world needs more of, it’s tweeting.


  1. Pointless Puppies says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Tropico 3 (in fact, I’m itching to play more now), but I truly hope they’ve taken steps to ensure that T4 is worthy of being called a sequel. I certainly wouldn’t want a same-y sequel save for a few additional buildings or else I’d just stick to T3.

    • PickyBugger says:

      Tropico 3 was exactly the same as the first Tropico game only with fancier 3D graphics. Actually I’m pretty sure that a decent amount of stuff was removed for Tropico 3. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this turned into Tropico 3 but with even less stuff.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I beg to differ. I played Tropico 1 and I found it dreadfully slow, not to mention vague in information where you most needed it.

      Tropico 3 added one very big thing: roads. If you use them to your advantage you can do things you never could with T1. Plus, it actually bothered to give you info on things like when the crops are going to be harvested (provided you have the expansion), not to mention the fact that waiting for anything to be constructed in Tropico 1 was slower than watching your fingernails grow.

      Better pacing and the road system made for a much, much better game. I’ve never bought into the “Tropico 3 = Tropico 1” argument and I likely never will.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      As long as there won’t be any pirates.

    • PickyBugger says:

      I wasn’t aware there was an underlying Tropico 1 = Tropico 3 argument.

      Even with the good addition of roads it was basically the same game with the identical buildings / policy settings. It’s not like SC2 for instance where adding a load of new units would upset the balance, there is no excuse in a city builder for not adding a load of new stuff. It’s the same between SimCity 3000 and Simcity 4, they are almost identical (if you ignore the terrible addition of driving missions). Why would I got out and buy Tropico 4 for £30 when I can pretty much guarantee that it’l be the same as Tropico 3 which is only £5.

    • Kent says:

      This is the exact dilemma I’ve had as well. Also I dunno if it’s me but Kalypso seem to have released a lot of crap lately. I doubt Tropico 4 will be any better.

  2. Real Horrorshow says:

    Tropico 3 is too much fun. Looking forward to this.

  3. Jake says:

    I haven’t played the Tropico games but I can’t help but be slightly irked that they exist and some sort of Sim City with equivalent graphics doesn’t. I realise this is unfair of me but I don’t really have any interest in natural disasters or comedy dictators, I just want a nice, sterile city building game – preferably with dozens of different architecture styles/graphics for each type of building and complicated transit systems.

    • dirtyword says:

      Me too, so much that it just HURTS.

      I want to manually lay out onramp curves and train trenches and seaport docks and subway interchanges… IN THREE DEE

    • phosgene says:

      Cities XL 2011 is pretty decent. A bit disappointing to many people, but definitely worth a look seeing as how it goes on sale on steam quite often.

  4. Furius says:

    That’s a Just Cause 2 screenshot you idiot!

  5. doubledope says:

    Tropico 3 was fun for a few days, I wasn’t sure about trying this one, but ingame tweeting sounds as a totally awesome feature.

  6. WMain00 says:

    Thing is the trailers just look like Tropico 3 again…

    Which oddly is making me want to install Tropico 3.


    • Atomosk says:

      Yeah, instead of getting this at full price I’m going back to the Tropico 3: Absolute Power … Hopefully those missions aren’t as hard as I remember.

  7. Rii says:

    “so we’re hardly in any kind of dark about how long it’s been in development for.”

    What? Development only begins when a game is announced? /confused

    • doubledope says:

      Yes, they first spend months making announcement trailers…

  8. runtheplacered says:

    “Tropico games seem to be arriving just a little too quickly all of a sudden”


    • Sassenach says:

      Tropico 2 followed the first by about two years, then six years later Tropico 3 came out. Looks like this one will be returning the interval to a length of about two years between games.

      The thing is, they do seem to be reusing assets from Tropic 3 and touting features that seem more becoming of an expansion pack. I never played either of the first two but it sounds like they were fairly distinct from each other.

    • Rii says:

      Yeah, Tropico 4 looks like a Tropico 3 expansion pack, and Tropico 3 was but a remake of Tropico 1 with a new engine…

  9. Vinraith says:

    This repeated “Tropico 3 is just a remake of Tropico 1 with better graphics” thing misses something fairly huge about T3, namely the garage system. To be honest, much as I loved T1, it was kind of broken as you would usually get into a situation where any given Tropican spent half to three quarters of his/her day walking to work from the other side of the island. You couldn’t get them to move closer to where they worked for some reason, and the result was that getting anything done, or anything built, became a tremendous chore.

    T3 didn’t mess with the Tropico model very much (a good thing, IMO) but it fixed this rather serious problem by introducing public transit, ensuring that (if you laid out a good road network and well placed garages) Tropicans could get wherever they needed to go.

    I have no idea whether Tropico 4 will be enough of a change from Tropico 3 to warrant full price, I’ll wait and see on that, but Tropico 3 has at least one major thing over Tropico 1.

    • doubledope says:

      “build a new garage near the one that’s overloaded”
      That massage says all about my time as a fearless dictator. As a good leader I listened to the people but they all ignored my efforts and instead complained when there were ‘only’ 20 garages on that very small island.

      Talking about broken mechanics eh?

    • Torgen says:

      “Overloaded garages” meant congestion. if you added another at/near the same intersection, it only got worse. I don’t remember where I read that, but it had a profound effect on the operation of my cities. They explained how to build garages and route traffic to make things move more smoothly, but I unfortunately cannot remember the exact advice or where I read it. :(

      I found Tropico 3’s sandbox mode FAR too easy, but the “campaign” mode (really a string of increasingly difficult scenarios) far more difficult as they went along.

    • Vinraith says:


      I didn’t say it was perfect, but it’s a lot better than waiting 50 years to get a single building constructed.

    • Chris D says:

      I’m familiar with the overcrowded garages problem. I found the best solution was not necessarily to slap down another garage but to try to figure out why that one was so popular and then provide alternatives. Making sure you’ve got markets and churches within easy reach of your residential areas goes a long way.

    • doubledope says:

      I thought that mechanic was broken too in Tropico 3. Most of the time it took ages for builders to get off their lazy asses and build something for me.

  10. Vinraith says:


  11. dontnormally says:

    Dear Paradox,

    Make Majesty 3 more like Tropico 4 with dragons.

    That Would Kick Ass

  12. Bishbosh says:

    Doubtless the inclusion of natural disasters means the game will be pulled from stores next time a major environmental crisis pops up

  13. Davie says:

    That screenshot suggests the sort of place Rico Rodriguez and his C4 would hang out.

  14. blainestereo says:

    My only problem with Tropico 3 was that islands are just too damn small to fit everything I want to fit there. So new buildings and edicts are ok, new disasters are ok (I guess), council is probably ok too, but what I really want is ability to subjugate the neighboring islands. And some kind of sea travel. And longer game.

    I’m not getting what I want though, am I?