Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
I?ll say something up front about Tropico 6 on the Switch before I get any further: I enjoyed it. This shouldn?t be a surprise, since I loved it back when I first played it on Xbox, I want to make that clear right off the bat.
And I said it first, because here?s the other thing you need to know about Tropico 6 on the Switch: it?s rough.
And I mean really, really rough. This is apparent right from the get-go, as soon as you start designing your character. Everything looks all grainy and washed-out, to the point that it looks like a game from a couple of generations ago. What?s more, it doesn?t improve significantly once you start actually playing the game. Large items like buildings and fields are constantly popping in and out of existence, and you rarely get the feeling you?re building up a tropical island paradise.
On top of that, the performance isn?t all that great. Load times take forever, and slowdowns are incredibly common. I?m know I?ve played games that run worse on the Switch, but there aren?t many of them.
And yet, despite these flaws — and perhaps because I knew what the game was going for, thanks to having played it on another console — I still loved Tropico 6?s Switch port. Not even lousy performance can completely erase all the things this game does well.
For starters, as I noted in my review of the game from a few years ago, there?s the way the game is structured. As fun as it is to build up your little piece of dictatorial heaven, it?s even more fun to play with the scenarios on offer here, ranging from throwing off oppressive colonizers to getting involved in the nuclear arms race.
On top of that, like with its other console counterparts, the game doesn?t suffer from the kind of menu bloat that can make it difficult to play city-building sims without a mouse and keyboard. Tropico 6 may take its time to allow you to do exactly what you want, but you can at least be confident that you?ll know what you?re doing and how to do it.
But again, there?s only so much I can sugarcoat things. Tropico 6 is one of my favourite city-building games and I?ll never say no to playing it on the go, but if you?re interested in it, you need to know that the experience you?re getting is a little rough — to put it mildly.
Kalypso Media provided us with a Tropico 6 Switch code for review purposes.