Sure, sure, Tropico games are about as indistinguishable from each other as the founding staff of a PC games website circa 2007, but I can forgive that. There’s just something about their sun-kissed, low-stakes, silly-but-not-too-silly take on city-building. Every couple of years I really feel the itch to comfort-blanket myself with one, and lo and behold, every couple of years there’s a new one. That itch? I feel it RIGHT NOW.
Alas, alack, woe is me, Tropico 6, originally billed for 2018, won’t be out this year after all. I shall have to console myself with this eerily familiar trailer instead.
Hand on heart, I’d struggle to tell you with any certainty what in this ‘Gamescom’ trailer is actually new, though there is a general sense that they’ve re-emphasised the public transport side of things. But it looks pretty and there’s a whole bunch of things to build, and that’s all I really want from Tropico. This is the Domino’s Pizza of management games: always the same, never truly memorable, probably not great for you, but feels like exactly what you need in the moment.
There is a new wild card this time, however – traditional Tropicans Haemimont Games have passed development duties to Might & Magic Heroes VII outfit Limbic Entertainment. Haemimont themselves are currently doing a fine job of steadily improving offworld city-builder Surviving Mars.
Tropico 6 has been slated for a 2018 release until now, but publisher Kalypso yesterday announced that it’s been shifted back to January 2019. Which, honestly, isn’t far away – plus January is the ideal time of year to spend 40 hours staring at a pretend Caribbean.
The only explanation given is a claimed desire to make 6 “the biggest and greatest Tropico yet”. However, there will be a closed beta on Steam at some point over the autumn, but no details or dates on that yet.
Or, y’know, just play Tropico 5 again.