'Dictator sim' Tropico 5 is free for the day on the Epic Games Store

Tropico 5
(Image credit: Haemimont Games)

Another day closer to Christmas brings us another free game from the Epic Store. Today's offering is Tropico 5, a "dictator sim" in which you'll lead your tiny tropical island nation from its early colonial days to the 21st century, by any means necessary.

As Phil discovered when he reviewed the game in 2014, you have to get your hands dirty sometimes if you want to be El Presidente. Elections? Sure! Fair elections? Well now, let's not go overboard here. Sometimes the good of the people has to take priority, even if the people don't really understand what's good for them.

Tropico 5 isn't the most daring videogame ever—it's essentially "a more refined version of Tropico 3"—nor the newest: That would be Tropico 6, which came out in 2019. But it's the freest right now, and that makes it a win in my book.

As of this moment, you've got roughly 21 hours left to snag Tropico 5 on the free: At 11 am ET on December 24, a new giveaway game will take its place. It's a mystery game, but if the list that leaked last weekend can be believed (and so far, it's been dead-on), we've got the excellent, spooky indie platformer Inside to look forward to.

For a full rundown of what is, and has been, free on the Epic Games Store, check out our list.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.