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Desktop Despots: Tropico 5 Beta Begins Next Month

Colonial bananas

New Tropico games aren't appearing as quickly as my brain thinks. This is simply that I now perceive time at such a pace that the world is a dizzying blur around me. If you'd held a knifegun to my headthroat and demanded a release date for Tropico 4, I'd have tried to second-guess myself and suggested late 2012. It was in fact August 2011, and I am an old, confused man, unsure why the Christmasses won't stop happening. Anyway, my confused rambling aside, Tropico 5 is appearing a very appropriate three years after the last time El Presidente reared his undemocratic city building head, and is now accepting applications for its March beta.

While I've always had a sort of uncomfortable reaction to the Tropico theme - chuckling it up to the notion of a despotic and cruel leader of an oppressed people - I also recognise that it's a far more honest take on the reality of city building sims. Aren't we always unelected leaders imposing our egocracy upon unaware masses? Isn't SimCity actually the more sinister of the two, for all its deceitful pretence of an egalitarian society? Also, the phrase "banana republic" does make it sound like it's a lot of fun.

So, you can sign up via this handy online form, to take part in the dynasty-adding new version of the series. Rather than just being one leader at one time, this time out El Pres kicks off in colonial times, and then your progeny replace you as the centuries go by. And you can make sure things stay in the family by promoting relations into positions of power! Just like a proper fucked up nation should.

A beta for this single-player series?, you ask impetuously. Indeed not, as this will also be the first Tropico game to introduce up to four-player cooperative and competitive multiplayer.

The final game is aiming to be out by the Summer.

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