Tropico 6 for PlayStation 4 review: A gorgeous city builder for your console

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: Tropico 6 delivers an excellent city building and management game that works as beautifully on console as it does on PC.


  • +

    Gorgeous graphics

  • +

    Tons of options

  • +

    Easy to pick up gameplay


  • -

    Repetetive gameplay

  • -

    Issues with controls

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

While city building and management games might be a popular genre on PC it's less often that you see them ported over to consoles. Tropico 6 has long been an exception to this rule, delivering a fun take on building up an island empire. You play as El Presidente, the leader of a small caribbean nation as you move from colonial eras to the modern day.

Tropico 6 delivers the newest installment in the franchise with great updates that deliver a stellar game to your console.

What you'll like about Tropico 6

Tropico 6 delivers you to a beautiful island just waiting for you to develop it as you move from the early days of El Presidente up and to the modern-day. The gameplay has gotten some meaningful updates since Tropico 5 arrived on consoles back in 2017 and it makes for more fluid city building antics than ever before.

Even if you've never played a Tropico game before, this installment makes it easy to jump into the fray.

The first thing that you'll notice is that the game is gorgeous. Whether you're scrolled out to view multiple islands or you're zoomed all the way in and watching citizens as they go about their lives, the graphics are stunning. You get bright island colors, easy to see overlays for various minerals or crops, and unique architectural styles for different buildings. Things don't stay static through the game either. As you move through different eras, you'll unlock new structures, and new existing buildings take on a different look. It brings the style of Tropico 6 to life with each frame, and the look of the game is amplified by an excellent music score.

Even if you've never played a Tropico game before, this installment makes it easy to jump into the fray. There are a series of short but informative tutorials. They cover all the different aspects of gameplay from building specific types of buildings to adjusting staff or budget. The tutorials aren't long either. Each one takes between five and fifteen minutes to finish and gives you the information you need to be successful as you play.

Building off of earlier games in the franchise, Tropico 6 gives you tons of options for how you play. You can choose what research fits your play style best, and there are a variety of overlays that give you all the information you could possibly need. This means if you want to go through every aspect of gameplay with a fine-tooth comb, you're able to do it. Overlays cover everything from mineral deposits to which crops will do best. You can also see how your citizens feel about their island home with happiness on several different levels. This means its always easy to tell where you can improve things on your island and deal with problems before they become significant issues.

What you'll dislike about Tropico 6

Tropico 6 is an excellent city management game for consoles, especially when you consider it's a genre that primarily lives on PC. However, Tropico 6 does have its flaws, and they become problematic the longer you end up playing the game.

The biggest issue in Tropico 6 for PlayStation 4 is the controls. Placing buildings isn't particularly problematic, but the camera tends to zoom all the way out at a moment's notice. It isn't something that deteriorates play since you can easily zoom back in and tilt the camera to get back to where you were. However, it is a significantly irritating issue that continues to build up. This is especially true when it happens as you're trying to place multiple buildings and have to drop out of the construction menu to zoom back into the particular location you need.

The other issue is one that is indicative of every game in the city-builder genre, and that's repetitive gameplay. Each level of Tropico 6 delivers different goals and aspects of gameplay, but on a fundamental level, things are more or less the same. While you have access to over a dozen different levels, the gameplay itself becomes pretty repetitive after the fourth or fifth level. It means that while Tropico 6 is a game that's easy to come back to and pick up, it isn't one that stays fun hour after hour after hour.

Compounded with this is the fact that gameplay often requires you to sit around and wait for things to happen on screen. It means you can leave the game running while you get dinner started but does make aspects of gameplay extremely passive which isn't ideal.

Should you buy Tropico 6? Yes

Tropico 6 shows off exactly what a city builder should be and it does it all on console. It's the whole package with fun gameplay, excellent visuals, and feels unique compared to other games in the genre.

4.5 out of 5

Tropico 6 is an excellent console city builder that still feels fresh and fun to play. With tons of replayability it's a game that will keep giving, even after you finish the initial levels.

Jen Karner

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.