A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tropico 5 is a strategy/simulation game that lets gamers play as the dictator of a small island nation. If there's any resistance to their power, they can order the assassination of those who speak out. Gunfire and explosions can be seen and heard, but the combat isn't very graphic. The game also contains many references to alcohol and tobacco, as well as some minor profanity and sexual comments. Those who play online can talk verbally via headset/microphone, and there are no filters or monitors to prevent inappropriate words or phrases.
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What's it about?
Think you can successfully rule a nation with an iron fist? Put your mouse (or controller) where your mouth is in TROPICO 5, a strategy/simulation hybrid that lets you return to the remote (and fictional) nation of Tropico. This sequel challenges gamers to build an island into a thriving republic, from the early colonial period to beyond the 21st century. Face internal and external challenges, earn new trade partners, develop technologies, and ensure that your people are happy and content (or dispose of them if they're not!). Available for multiple computer and console platforms, Tropico 5 adds a number of new gameplay mechanics, story lines, revamped artwork, and, for the first time in Tropico history, cooperative and competitive multiplayer for up to four players.
Is it any good?
Tropico 5 is the best game in the series to date. Even those unfamiliar with the previous games, such as 2011's Tropico 4, will find this simulation very easy to get into -- and difficult to stop playing. You'll start your reign during colonial times, attempt to survive 20th-century wars (including the Cold War), economic crises, and assorted domestic and foreign pressures. You'll also strive to become a modern dictator in today's technological age.
Similar to other games in the genre, you'll delegate, research, build, collect resources, and establish strong trading partners for imports and exports. Military action also is part of the plan, because you'll protect your dynasty with whatever means you have at your disposal. For the first time, the game adds cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes on top of the single-player campaign. Between its personality and humor, well-balanced and -paced gameplay, and challenging goals, Tropico 5 is an excellent digital diversion for those who prefer brains over brawn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about game addiction. Do you think that's a risk with games like Tropico 5? What are the issues with playing games too long? Check out our guide to curbing screen time.
Talk about the use -- or possible abuse -- of political power. Could dictators actually do good things with their absolute rule? Why are dictators ultimately unsuccessful?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, iPhone
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Social Studies: citizenship, exploration, history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, strategy, thinking critically
Self-Direction: achieving goals, time management, work to achieve goals
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together
Responsibility & Ethics: fiscal responsibility, learning from consequences
- Price: $39 (Windows PC)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Kalypso Media USA
- Release date: May 27, 2014
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: T for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
For kids who love strategy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.