Grab your cigar and mix a pina colada; Tropico 4 is your chance to rule over a tropical paradise.
With an endless supply of cigars and an island paradise all of his own, Fidel Castro had quite the life back in the day. It's almost enough to make one jealous, but alas, there are so few tropical republics up for grabs these days. Fortunately for me (and for would-be dictators worldwide), Haemimont Games has filled that gap quite nicely with its Tropico series. The fourth game in the simulation series, announced today, looks like it will continue that tradition, expanding on last year's Tropico 3 in a number of significant ways.
The Tropico games place players in the role of "El Presidente," the self-appointed ruler of the Caribbean island of Tropico. As dictator, you exercise control over all aspects of your island, from construction projects to economic structure. You must also find ways to efficiently deal with weather disasters and the machinations of rivals political factions. Picture Sim City mixed with a tongue-in-cheek satire of the Cold War era and you're on the right track.
Tropico 4 packs in a new twenty-mission campaign spread over ten maps. Players will be able to construct twenty new buildings, such as shopping malls, a water park, and a stock exchange. You'll also have to contend with six new disaster types, including volcanoes, tornadoes, and droughts. On the political side, you will be able to appoint citizens to a "Council of Ministers," who will vote on laws that you propose (or, if you choose them carefully, will enact any edict that you shoot their way).
For players that enjoy sharing their gaming activities with friends, Haemimont is incorporating a number of social networking elements into Tropico 4. Players can share important events, screenshots, and achievements on Twitter or Facebook.
Tropico 4 will be released for the PC during the second quarter of 2011. No console versions have been confirmed at this time, but publisher Kalypso Media hinted in its press release that we would hear more on that soon.