The Little Scamp: Tropico 5 Announced

The Tropico 5 announcement teaser, below, is a re-enactment of a splendid scene from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Much like a devilishly handsome sewage worker or agonisingly attractive abbattoir attendant, Chaplin was quite the looker when stripped of the greasy remnants of his trade. Dapper. And he could have been a scruffy hearthrob singer-songwriter too, given the right knitwear and a battered old guitar. Perhaps the same is true of El Presidente, Tropico’s dictator. Trim the beard, swap the uniform for something svelte and scrub away the decades of corruption, and let’s see what we have…OH! If you can still your beating heart, there are details about the game below.

The biggest change from the previous games is most likely the inclusion of ‘eras’, bringing the dictatorship from the nineteenth century into the future via the turbulence of two world wars and one cold one. As for the rest, it’s in the list below. I’m hoping for a significant step forward after the disappointing fourth game.

  • The Eras – From the 19th century to the 21st, each era carries its own challenges and opportunities. Begin your reign during colonial times and advance your nation through the modern era and into the future!
  • The Dynasty – Each member of El Presidente’s extended family is present on the island and may be appointed to key leadership positions, earning skills and experience in their assigned roles.
  • Research and Renovate – Advance your nation by discovering new buildings, technologies and resources. Transform your old buildings into modernized, hyper-efficient designs worthy of an economic superpower!
  • Advanced trade system and trade fleet – Amass a global trade fleet and use your ships to secure import/export trade routes to neighbouring islands and key nations.
  • Explore your island – Discover what lies beyond the fog of war. Send prospectors to look for new mineral and ore deposits, but be wary of hostile animals and native tribes.
  • All new art – All artwork is reworked to provide Tropico 5 with a distinct historic visual identity. Choose from over 100 unique buildings from each of the individual eras.
  • Cooperative and competitive multiplayer – Up to four players can build up their own cities and economies on any given island map. Players can share resources and citizens, or declare war on each other.
  • And here’s how the scene above looked when Chaplin did it, with the little bum-flick and everything.


    1. Dushanan says:

      Hopefully it’s better than Omerta was.

      • lordcooper says:

        All the previous Tropico games (and a few poos I have done) were better than Omerta. Why bring it up?

        • The Random One says:

          Because Omerta was by the same dudes, and if the demo is any indication it has all of Tropico’s problems and none of its charm.

    2. RedViv says:

      Hooray! The one really good series Kalypso has!
      Glory to Arstotzka Tropico!

      • Doganpc says:

        On the other hand i’m not excited about most of the features. Dynasty sounds like the most appealing so far, Co-Op/Competitive multiplayer could be interesting if done right along with the island exploration, but Research, Eras, More complicated trade… do not want.

        Just me, but I liked Tropico where its at. As the strange offspring of Sim City & Civilization and right now its at a happy point where its just enough of both but not too much of either. Most of these new features make nervous about that balance point, but hey… I still haven’t played all of 4 so i’m in no rush to get 5 either.

        • sinister agent says:

          I’m quite confident that any new options will be quite highly configurable, as one of the strengths of the Tropico game was its options to tailor parts of it to suit your playstyle/mood.

    3. Cryptoshrimp says:

      Gosh, I hope they’ve fixed the crash-on-loading-savegame bug by now. Would be nice.

    4. mishala says:

      Great, another expansion pack for Tropico 3.

      • BTAxis says:

        Harsh, but justified.

      • mr.ioes says:

        True, still gonna buy it though.

      • Thants says:

        Which was basically a graphics upgrade for Tropico 1.

        • Biscuitry says:

          Tropico 4 was a little more egregious. I struggled to tell the difference between it and 3 even visually.

          • Vinraith says:

            It’s simple to tell the difference, 4’s an order of magnitude easier (and Trop 3 wasn’t exactly challenging).

            • Bhazor says:

              The lack of challenge is my biggest complaint with the Tropico series. Even when starting an island with free elections, violent rebels, and no minerals it’s possible to coast along for a decade before you have to worry about elections, protestors and rebellion.

              Its a shame really, I adore the idea of courting the different factions and the themes of running a dictatorship but in game they just feel too tame. The rival islands and more complex trade definitely sound like a step in the right direction. Particularly if like in Dungeon Keeper citizens will choose which island they want to go to.

            • Cerebulon says:

              Add to that the expansion which with some research instantly converted all of your buildings of a type into a version which was… Just better. Excessively better. I was expecting to have to demolish my slummy apartments to make way for modern housing developments… But nope, they just magically transformed into perfect, air conditioned skyscrapers.
              And the overpriced DLC, which each add ‘new buildings’ which are exactly the same as existing buildings, except fundamentally better in every single way imaginable, and available from the start.

        • mishala says:

          How dare you compare Tropico 3 to Tropico 1. At least in Tropico 1 you could do the following:
          -Lose to elections
          -Lose to an uprising
          -Go bankrupt
          -Have a challenging game experience.

          Tropico 3 is based upon the modern theory of city games: people garden cities. Not manage the growth of cities. Blah.

      • Carra says:

        I enjoyed Tropico 4 but yeah, it’s too similar too Tropico 3 to speak of a new game.

        This game really needs to shake things up a bit.

      • The Random One says:

        Tropico 4 surely was just Tropico 3 HD, but this feature list makes me think Tropico 5 might actually be Tropico 4.

    5. Aaax says:

      I hope they did something like city-builder in the world Papers-please. Dystopian builder with right atmosphere would be so awesome.

    6. Sheogorath says:

      I’d rather see a new pirate-themed Tropico.

      • The Random One says:

        Maybe they’ll add a DLC that lets you start on the 16th century. I don’t know how soothing you’d find this to be.

      • sinister agent says:

        The second one is my least played, but in a way the one I respect most. The degree to which the gameplay changed, and the theme was adhered to, while still retaining the same character and broad principles, was really excellent. It was a bold decision, and it makes the very limited changes in the subsequent games even more striking (I might give the third game some slack here, as it was basically a complete remake and so hardly the laziest option).

    7. Dharoum says:

      0:43.. This made me laugh today :D

    8. satsui says:

      Aww, I loved the fourth. Here’s to hoping it has multiplayer capabilities.

      • EOT says:

        Did you actually read the article?

        Cooperative and competitive multiplayer – Up to four players can build up their own cities and economies on any given island map. Players can share resources and citizens, or declare war on each other.

    9. kregg says:

      And tis available on Linux!!! :D

      I’m so happy I could try and wrestle with proprietary drivers in Linux for days.

    10. Gerbick says:

      Seeing as Steam have the series on sale at the moment, I thinking of grabbing one. But which? 3 or 4?

    11. PedroBraz says:

      Tropico 3.v3

    12. porps says:

      this is great news, i really enjoyed tropico 4 (never played any of the older titles). Cant wait for this as it’s bound to be a damn sight better than that terrible sim shitty game which i stupidly spent my hard earned on earlier this year

    13. belgand says:

      Not so surprising actually. There are some picture of a young Joseph Stalin floating around where he looks precisely like a dreamily scruffy young artist. And when Fidel Castro was younger he too had quite the intense charm, only hamstrung by hanging out with the even handsomer Che. Even Qadaffi was quite the looker in his younger days.

      Basically socialist revolutionaries who become tyrannical dictators are typically pretty attractive guys. Aside from the Kim family whom seem to be getting more unattractive with each generation.

    14. Mr Coot says:

      The Trilogy and Tropico 4 are on 75% off this weekend on Steam. I am most interested by this announcement because it will hopefully mean that Tropico 4 becomes priced the same for AU as the US. Currently it is US$29.99 if you are in the US and US$39.99 if you in AU. (The Trilogy is priced the same across both regions)

      I was planning to buy T4 for full price when it came out, but because of the price gouge, on principal I will only buy it when it returns to the same price as for US buyers. And then, again on principal, only when it is on discount (as punishment!). So instead of getting US$30 from me, they will get only $5 (75% when it drops to $20 or less) I encourage more aussies to do this. If enough do it, it will be uneconomical to price gouge – they need 2.5 paying full price gouge to make up for every 1 who does this.

    15. maninahat says:

      What I want from the Tropico Series are buildings that can latch together, semi-detached style. Every city game has this issue where buildings are single, solitary structures that stay separate from each other, quite unlike a real city. An option to click them directly together would not only be an aesthetic improvement, it would also be a strategic gameplay element too (do you leave channels between buildings to allow pedestrians space to move through, or do you save space and close the gaps?)