Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Best games like Tropico 6

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Aerial view of boats at a marina on an island - game similar to Tropico

If you're a fan of Tropico, good news: there are other games out there which are similar to the style of gameplay of Tropico 6 or its predecessors. Here are the best games like Tropico. Most of these (but not all!) are strategy based city building games, although the word "city" is used loosely here to mean anything from a city to a country.

Anno 1800

Anno 1800 is the closest cousin to Tropico 6. As its name suggests, Anno 1800 covers the turn of the 19th century where you establish colonies on small islands, handle diplomacy, trade with other civilizations, and have combat. It has nice graphics and overhead views, like Tropico. Anno 1800 is available for PC, PS5, and Xbox series X/S.

The overall look and feel of the game will remind you of Tropico, although in Anno 1800 there's a bit more micromanagement than Tropico. You need to plan a bit more about your production flow in Anno 1800 (assigning its workforce etc) instead of just putting up buildings and factories and letting it happen like you would in Tropico. The happiness of your citizens is relevant here, just like in Tropico.

But Anno 1800 isn't your only option. There are plenty more games like Tropico below.

Cities Skylines II

At first glance, Cities Skylines II doesn't look as much like Tropico, but there are a lot of similarities in the gameplay. Cities Skylines II is a city based building game rather than a country based one, but you can build really large cities there. It's available for PC and XBox X/S. It has detailed graphics. Like Tropico, you get to set ordinances. There's also a tech tree, like Tropico. Transportation and road networks are also highly relevant here, and you can also assign police and fire stations to certain areas. Natural disasters can happen here just like they do on Tropico. You can target individuals for certain actions.

Unlike Tropico, you have more infrastructure to deal with in Cities Skylines II, for example water systems and pipes. Export and import with other nations goes on autopilot but this can be frustrating because it might by default make trades that you didn't want or intend, unlike in Tropico where you have control over this. You do have control over the tax rate though.

Cities Skylines II is a popular game similar to Tropico even though it has a somewhat different look to it.


Banished is a settlement building game where you start from scratch. It's a lot like starting a new place in Tropico 6 from scratch. Banished has pretty graphics with overhead views. The tutorial is great, and it's easy to learn how to play (although more of a challenge to keep your city growing!) It's available for PC only.

Your job in Banished is to maintain a settlement and take actions to have a well-functioning economy. You need to assign citizens to various jobs (fishing, building etc) who then do the task without direction from you. Happiness and health of citizens are relevant, which in that regard is like Tropico. If your citizens in Banished work too far from home, they become less productive through the need to travel far.

Your population grows when you build houses, which is a little different to Tropico where your population grows depending on factors such as health, demographics etc - so by contrast, you could run out of housing in Tropico.

Citizens of the economy in Banished are your primary resource. Keeping citizens healthy, happy and well-fed is important, just like in Tropico. Banished lacks a campaign mode though, it's mainly a sandbox game with specific achievements. Even without the campaign mode, it's a relatively easy transition from Tropico. Along with Anno 1800, Banished is one of the most similar Tropico style games.


If you're up for a city building and city survival game with a bit more of a storyline than what you'd get in Tropico 6, then Frostpunk is your answer. Frostpunk, as its name suggests, is somewhat steampunk in look and feel. It takes place in an alternate history during a volcanic winter where resources are scarce. It offers you choices at certain points in how to proceed - a bit like setting ordinances in Tropico, but with long-reaching consequences in the storyline. Frostpunk is available for PC, PS4, XBox One, and MacOS.

It's not for everyone though - Frostpunk has a content warning on Steam. It's not suitable for younger players due to violence, difficult moral choices, etc.

Tropico players will love the stunning graphics of Frostpunk and the ability to have a little more of a storyline yet still keep the main focus on city building and city survival. Like Tropico, Frostpunk also has a tech tree, and you have the option to use laws, either on a militaristic path or a theocracy path.

On the other hand, it's a bit different from Tropico in that you have to manage your workers and assign them which tasks to work on, which in Tropico is automated. Handling temperatures and heating in its wintry cityscape is critical in Frostpunk, as is the day/night cycle since workers don't want to work at night when it's cold.

One of the appeals of Frostpunk is that you're posed with a more crucial task than in Tropico because in Frostpunk, you're ensuring the survival of all that remains of humanity.

Democracy 4

Democracy 4 is a simulation game where you're the president of a democracy. You have to set and change policies as needed in areas such as tax, welfare, foreign policy, etc. It is turn-based and is available for PC only. Democracy 4 has a completely different look and feel to the other games mentioned here - you won't see gorgeous graphics, aerial views and so on. Instead, expect more of a "dashboard" experience, with statistics, graphs, and charts. You'll get to see the level of GDP, unemployment, crime, and much more.

Democracy 4 is reminiscent of the statistics section of Tropico, although the level of different things in Democracy 4 can be a lot more in-depth (overwhelming at times). Just like in Tropico, your policies affect the happiness of citizens, crime, air quality, and more. Citizens are in factions and political parties like Tropico.

Overall, if you feel like you could do a good job running a country from an economic and political standpoint, and you can live without "viewing" your country in graphics, you'll like Democracy 4. Ideologically it's fairly similar to Tropico, but the look and feel of Democracy 4 is totally different and much more limited from a visual standpoint.

If you think you might like Democracy 4 and you're open to a more dashboard-like experience, you may like to check out these other country simulation games. They don't have the beautiful overhead graphics of Tropico, but most of them are free and don't require much time to play.


If you're up for a more sci-fi take on Tropico, then Planetbase is a good option. You build a human colony on a planet and try to survive. It's available for PC and OSX.

Setting up buildings and connecting them has a similar look and feel to Tropico - it's not quite as different as you might think. Structures such as wind turbines will be familiar to users of both games. Food production is a feature of both games - in Planetbase, the difference is that food farms are hydroponic and indoors.

Of course, there are many differences. Since this is on a distant planet, extracting water and maintaining an oxygen supply is crucial, unlike in Tropico. Automation is a feature of Planetbase - colonists can mine various things and make robots to automate tasks. Planetbase is not the closest alternative to Tropico, but if you're up for a space or sci-fi game, you'll like this one.

In Tropico, your people will most likely still survive if you don't build optimally (although you can still lose the game if you're voted out of office) but in Planetbase the stakes are higher - your colony could die off completely. There's a steeper learning curve and more micromanagement than for Tropico. If you're looking for a more complex game than Tropico this one is for you, but if Tropico is challenging enough for you then you might prefer one of the other games mentioned in this article.

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