Haemimont Games

Tropico 5 denied release in Thailand, censors fear it "might affect peace and order in the country"

Phil Savage at

Tropico 5 is a cheerfully satirical game about a faux-democratic banana republic. According to Thailand's censors, it is also a potentially dangerous work that could threaten the country's peace and order. In response, the country's military junta has barred the game from release.

And to think, I didn't pick up on any of this in my review.

Tropico 5 review

Phil Savage at

Frankly, I am not the man you want running your country. Over the course of my extended presidency I’ve smuggled rum into a prohibition America, sided with Axis powers during both World Wars, systematically stripped away the rights of my citizens, and assassinated a grandma for opposing my regime. I’m not proud of these things, but I’m glad I felt the need to do them. For all that Tropico 5 adds to the city-building series—and all the ways it doesn’t advance the formula enough—its greatest success is in pushing you towards the murkier aspects of dictatorial rule.

Tropico 5 first-look: become a dictator and build a despotic dynasty in this reformist sequel

Phil Savage at

They say that power corrupts, but I suspect it also ages. A once freshfaced candidate, swept into office on an upswell of hope and enthusiasm, will inevitably leave as a wearied, greying husk. In that sense, Tropico 4 was the outgoing incumbent.

The last game in the politically parodic city-building series didn’t introduce new ideas, it merely provided additions to existing features. It brought more buildings, more edicts and more superpowers for El Presidente to deal with, but the telltale tiredness was starting to show. To rejuvenate the franchise its developers, Haemimont Games, were in need of a systemic revolution.

Tropico 5 pre-orders now available for swag-filled physical, discounted digital versions

Emanuel Maiberg at

You know that a publisher has faith in its game when it starts offering special editions with silly bonuses. You may think of the Tropico games as a niche PC series, but this recently announced Tropico 5 Limited Special Edition argues otherwise. It’s not quite as silly as, for example, Wolfenstein: The New Order Panzerhund Edition that includes everything but the actual game, but it tries.

Tropico 5 releases on May 23, Kalypso plans "extensive" SteamOS version

Emanuel Maiberg at

Bribes, drug trafficking, manipulating the media, and politics. They’re all equally legitimate and useful governing tools in the banana-republic-themed Tropico games. Tropico 5 looks like it will be the most ambitious game in the series, and not just because it’s way prettier and has the highest number in its title. For the first time in the series, It’s adding multiple eras, with players taking El Presidente from the colonial 19th century, through to the future. We’ll find out if that’s a big enough addition to mix up the formula when it’s released on May 23.

Tropico 5 screenshots show the political circus, also the actual circus

Phil Savage at

Much like its predecessors, Tropico 5 is a good looking game. Its sumptuous, characterful depiction of island life is almost in direct contrast to the murky dealings of its corrupt and devious president. That'd be you, you wrong'un. At least while you engage in the shady business of domestic surveillance, international double-dealing, and economic embezzlement, you'll have some bright, sunny scenery to marvel at.

Tropico 5 trailer takes you through the eras

Phil Savage at

Haemimont Games, the fun-to-spell developer of Tropico 5, have released a new trailer offering a first look at their upcoming city-builder series. Note that, while it's written Tropico, it's actually pronounced Trropicooooooo. In the world of El Presidente, the root of power comes from your ability to overly-extend vowels. Also from the ruthlessness to fix elections, imprison your enemies, and enact a program of state surveillance.

Tropico 5 beta registration now open

Emanuel Maiberg at

El Presidente, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, has opened registration for the Tropico 5 beta. If you think you’d be a good leader of a banana republic, you can register for an opportunity to test the game early on publisher Kalypso’s website.

Tropico 5 screenshots show island life through the eras

Phil Savage at

I know. I know. City builders aren't renowned for their CPU-straining graphics. Perhaps unfairly. While the Tropico series didn't dazzle you with its depictions of dictatorial splendour, they had a warm and vibrant beauty to their tenements, shanty towns and decadent tourist traps. And these first 'pre-alpha' screenshots of Tropico 5 show the series' first major upgrade since El Presidente's third outing.

Tropico 5 announced: follow El Presidente through the ages

Phil Savage at

Kalypso have announced Tropico 5, the next game in the light-hearted banana republic dictatorship simulation series. Where Tropico 4 drew slight criticism for being a marginal improvement over its predecessor, the sequel's plans are more wide-ranging. The game will feature multiple eras, with players taking El Presidente from the colonial 19th century, through to the future. Not that you'd know it from the announcement trailer, which is more concerned with showing the great dictator's creepy fascination with globes.

New Tropico 4 DLC brings Voodoo to your island

Katie Williams at

The exploration of alternative, bordering-on-insane healthcare remedies wasn't something I was expecting in Tropico 4 any time soon, but that's exactly what's happening with the next DLC, "Voodoo." Basically, conventional healthcare has become so poor thanks to your incompetence, Mr Dictator, that an angry sorceress has stormed over from Soviet Russia to teach you a lesson. Possibly with a rubber-chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle, but also with the whole curse thing she's unleashed upon your island.

Omerta: City of Gangsters getting a free update today

Katie Williams at

The number of much-needed soup kitchens and speakeasies has plummeted, and now the City of Gangsters wants you back to do your thing in this bad town. A free update's making its way to the game today, fleshing out both the tactical and tycoon aspects. Check out this trailer for some gameplay from the updated version, or to get your foot tappin' to some ragtime—whichever grabs your fancy.

Omerta: City of Gangsters review

Tim Stone at

Sandy Beech, my latest gang boss, is a complicated capo. Before breakfast (mine not his) he torched a speakeasy and a casino, shot three men in the gut and two in the feet. After breakfast he set up a soup kitchen, built a clinic, and rescued a nightclub owner from the klutches of the Ku Klux Klan.

I’ve no idea whether Sandy enjoyed his morning of slaughter and social work, but I know I did. Though Omerta lacks the humour and economic subtlety of Haemimont’s Tropico 4 there’s ample compensation in the engrossing campaign and cracking turn-based combat.

Omerta: City of Gangsters plans to hit PC and Mac from February

Phil Savage at

Kalypso have released a deluge of details about their prohibition-era tactical strategy, Omerta: City of Gangsters. I'm fighting a strong urge to say that they've "broken silence" here. I'll try to hold off, if just to avoid the Godfather of obvious clichés ordering a hit on my knees.

Omerta: City of Gangsters trailer shows Prohibition-era Mafia wars

Omri Petitte at

What does Omerta mean? Why, it's the unspoken code of silence against authorities adopted by "businessmen" and owners of nondescript "laundromats." It's also the name of a new turn-based strategy game in development by Tropico 3 and 4 developer Haemimont Games.

Tropico 4 review

Tim Stone at

I’m guessing Haemimont’s last Latin American despot simulator didn’t go down too well in Havana or Buenos Aires. In Tropico 3 if you chose Che Guevara as your avatar you got an inspiring workhorse with alcohol and anger issues. Picking Juan Peron meant donning the dinner jacket of a flatulent moron.

This time out Che’s only vice is his paranoia, and super-smart Juan leaves the gaseous emissions to his chemical works. Welcome to the subtly tweaked world of Tropico 4.

Tropico 4 trailer has tornadoes and tidal waves

Tom Senior at

Sunny dictator-sim Tropico 4 is out soon, and the latest trailer gives a look at the new natural disasters added for the sequel. Volcanoes, droughts and tornadoes will appear periodically to tear up your towns, which could contain some of the twenty new buildings, including stock exchanges, shopping malls and aqua parks. There have been some additions on the international stage, too, with the addition of new superpowers. Find out more on the Tropico site. The game's out on August 30.