Appropriately-named publisher Kalypso has announced a PC compilation of the first four Tropico management sim games, coming to the UK on 12 September. In each one, you play as the despotic leader of a corrupt tropical island nation, and must balance political unrest with your own bank balance. Apart from the second one, where you were a pirate for some reason.
The Tropico Dictator Pack also includes one of each game's expansion packs. That means you get Tropico plus the Paradise Island add-on, Tropico 2 with Pirate Cove, Tropico 3 comes with the Absolute Power DLC and Tropico 4 boasts the Modern Times expansion.
Tropico 5 was released earlier this year. Eurogamer's review delivered a 7/10 verdict. "Tropico 5 is clearly more concerned with introducing new concepts atop the old than it is with overhauling its base mechanics," said Stace Harman, probably while chewing a cigar and wearing mirrored sunglasses. "Looking ahead to the future, this long-running series would benefit from having the fires of revolution lit beneath it."
Who wouldn't want to live on the island of Tropico? Anyone who's been on an all-inclusive package deal to the real-life island it's inspired by and forced to eat boiled tongue and microwave pizzas for two weeks, that's who. And anyone who has suffered under the US-imposed sanctions on the communist dictatorship it's inspired by, presumably. Still, at least the music's jolly.
If you feel like you've read this article somewhere before, that's because Will went on about Tropico 3's superb soundtrack when he reviewed the PC version. The music in the Xbox 360 version is just as likely to make you want to shimmy, sway, smoke cigars, pile the contents of the fruit bowl on your head and call yourself Miranda. Forget Il Divo and Leona, Simon - what recession-hit Britain needs now is a chart-topping calypso band. And more reggaeton.
There are plenty of other similarities between the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Tropico 3. Once again you take on the role of El Presidente, the ruler of a pretty tropical island in the Caribbean sea. At least it starts out pretty - if you want you can despoil the entire area with everything from lumber yards and tenements to oil wells and condominiums.
I am shimmying as I write this. Why? Because listen to this! Hooray! The Tropico 3 soundtrack makes life better. You can eat to it, shower to it, go to Tescos to it, play games to it - and I'd estimate that doing so improves your daily lot by at least 25 per cent. Find the airport level in Modern Warfare 2 disturbing? No longer a problem! Just ramp up the Tropico beat, and mow down those innocents with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step! Activision didn't need an in-game warning, they just needed a Latin beat toggle!
Beyond watching a cigar factory being built while tapping your feet and twitching your mouse hand to the music though, Tropico 3 is a superbly designed city-builder - placing you as the Castro-esque revolutionary leader hell-bent on either creating an idyllic society of socialist freedom with a lovely beach, or a corrupt and sinister autocracy - also with a lovely beach.
It's a revamp of the first Tropico game - where Sim City and Colonization collide, mixed in with a warm and humorous approach to the ways in which you can turn yourself into an utter cigar-chomping bastard - from nobbled elections all the way to Swiss bank accounts and your personal secret police.