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Jul 05, 2024

Tropico 6 – Tropican Shores Review

Lights Off
3 Okay
Retails for: $14.99
We Recommend: $8.99
  • Developer: Realmforge Studios
  • Publisher: Kalypso Media
  • Genre: Simulation, Strategy
  • Released: Jun 18, 2024
  • Platform: Windows
  • Reviewed: Windows

El Presidente sets sail in Tropico 6 – Tropican Shores, the latest DLC for the quirky city-builder. This expansion dives headfirst into the ocean, introducing aquatic opportunities and a luxurious lifestyle for your island nation. While Tropican Shores adds some delightful new mechanics and a healthy dose of Caribbean charm, it fails to deliver a substantial wave of content for the asking price.

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The centerpiece of Tropican Shores is the ability to construct buildings directly on water. This opens up exciting possibilities. Houseboats provide a unique housing option for citizens, while offshore platforms allow for the construction of new industries and services. Luxury developments like marinas and floating restaurants cater to the high life, boosting tourism and generating significant income.

However, the novelty of these aquatic structures wears off quickly. The variety of offshore buildings is limited, and their functionality feels derivative of existing land-based structures. The promised “tidal power station” turns out to be a reskinned power plant, albeit with a slightly smaller footprint. Similarly, the “offshore oil platform” feels like a copy-paste job from previous Tropico iterations.

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Tropican Shores injects a welcome dose of tropical flair into Tropico 6. New tourist attractions like dolphin therapy and submarine tours enhance the island’s leisure industry. El Presidente himself can even sport a snazzy scuba outfit, adding a touch of whimsy to the experience.

This DLC is helpful in how it integrates into the main game, and allows you to expand onto the ocean to aid with population growth is a strong reason to own it.

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The “Yachts for El Presidente” scenario serves as a tutorial for the DLC’s new mechanics. It’s a pleasant introduction, but lacks the challenge and depth found in past Tropico scenarios. It will take most players around two hours to see it through. The remaining four sandbox maps, while scenic, offer little strategic innovation compared to the base game.

The DLC introduces three new edicts that aim to streamline your offshore endeavors. These include reducing construction costs, boosting the efficiency of water-based structures, and implementing new taxation options for your aquatic citizens. While helpful, these edicts feel like minor tweaks rather than game-changers.

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Tropican Shores retains the series’ signature dark humor. The “dolphin therapy” building offers a lighthearted approach to boosting tourist happiness, while the “shark therapy” option adds a darkly comedic twist. These touches are amusing, but they don’t significantly alter the core gameplay experience.

The DLC’s biggest hurdle is its value proposition. The new content, while enjoyable, feels insubstantial for its price point. The limited variety of aquatic structures and the lack of strategic depth in the scenario leave players wanting more. Franchise veterans might find themselves yearning for the more substantial additions offered by previous DLCs.

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Tropico 6 – Tropican Shores is a pleasant but shallow expansion. The ability to build on water and the new tourist attractions add a touch of variety, but the core gameplay loop remains largely unchanged. The limited content and lack of strategic innovation make it a hard sell for Tropico newcomers and veterans alike. If you’re a die-hard El Presidente craving a splash of tropical charm, Tropican Shores might be worth a dip. However, for casual players or those seeking a more substantial expansion, it’s best to wait for a sale.

A  Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes