Finally! Tropico 6 the political, construction and management simulator has come to the Nintendo Switch a year after being released on other consoles. I can finally realise my dream of becoming the dictator of a small Caribbean island nation and watch as my loyal subjects make my beautiful nation into an international power.  

Gameplay

Tropico 6 follows the typical style of the construction and management simulator. In saying that though, even if you're familiar with the genre, I 100% recommend playing through all of the tutorial levels. If you don’t, you will get lost or you’ll end up in way too much debt… trust me.

Even though I have played similar games in the past, I needed to use the tutorial levels as there were moments where I had to find an edict or building that I just couldn't for the life of me. This can be slightly confusing and infuriating when you start out but once you get a few hours in, it begins to make more sense.

I found that the gameplay can feel quite slow. There were times when I just found myself sitting around waiting for things to happen as there are many times throughout the game when I would be waiting for the ships to come in as they bring currency and resources. Without them, you are unable to proceed and when you are being attacked by pirates whilst simultaneously going bankrupt, the game doesn't clearly explain how to properly handle the situations and you are simply left waiting for the ships to come in. It’s an odd feeling to be both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time... can you ever just be whelmed?

As a construction and management simulator, you can speed up time. You can either run it at x1, x2 or x4 speed but that still doesn’t help how slow Tropico 6 feels. I spent most of the game playing at x4 speed and I still felt myself wishing that the game would move even faster.

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The Switch version of Tropico 6 features touchscreen controls, an exclusive console feature that is reminiscent of the PC version or rather, almost. You can tap on the side quest menus and toggle on-screen information however for clicking on buildings, you need to use the cursor that's controlled via the joysticks. Why, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine!

Story / Personality

Tropico 6 follows your character El Presidente as they strive to be the best dictator ever and transform the island nation of Tropico into a superpower. The game takes place in many eras with each adding their own unique challenge to the game.

A fun little addition to the loading screens for Tropico 6 is the addition of the ‘did you know?’ facts. These cover facts about the game which is quite common for loading screens but they also cover some fun facts about dictators I'm sure you know and love. When I first noticed this, it honestly made me laugh because such a simple addition really adds a nice element of fun to the loading screens which at times can feel tedious.

Graphics/ Art Direction

Unfortunately, this is where Tropico 6 on Switch is lacking the most. While the world is beautiful from afar, as soon as you zoom in closer to the island of Tropico, expect a drastic drop in quality and resolution. It's like looking at a screen in a dark room whilst wearing the wrong prescription glasses; it all blurs together the closer you get.

Although in saying all of this, my goodness the cut scenes are pretty. When first opening the game and starting it up, all I could think about was how gorgeous the cutscene was, making me so excited to play the game. If only the graphics in the game were a little more polished, it would make playing Tropico 6 a much more enjoyable experience and for the price point it’s at, I would’ve expected a more polished looking game.

A little side note here is that the loading screen background is gorgeous and adds to the tropical feel of the game. Like a postcard picked up from a tourist shop in the 50s, it has that retro feel that helps add to the experience. Although, this can’t really make up for the disappointing graphics of Tropico 6.

Music/ Sound Design

The music in Tropico 6 makes you feel like you're on a tropical island. I spent most of the time between shipments not moving and just enjoying the tropical music.

However, The sporadic voice acting in the game started out as a nice surprise when key characters popped up with tasks but as time went on, they became increasingly annoying when I was in the middle of something and then one of them just popped up. Think Navi’s ‘hey listen’ but less frequent.

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Final Score: 60%

Tropico 6 just missed the mark for me. It was a fun game to pass the time with but ultimately, I found that I would rather pick up other games, such as Civilisation VI. Tropico 6 has some fun quirks that I really enjoyed but falling short in the graphical department just kept taking me out of the experience and left me feeling frustrated. It you’re an avid fan of this genre, I would recommend it as you may get more out of it than I did; if you’re not, maybe pick it up when it’s on sale.

Thank you for checking out our Tropico 6 Switch review, thank you to Koch Media AU for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: