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One of the best strategy games of all time is yours for less than $2

Civilization, Age of Empires, and Command and Conquer defined strategy in the ‘90s, but there’s another hidden gem, available for under $2.

Tropico GOG sale: A leader and general from classic strategy game Tropico

Maybe I’m getting old and falling victim to nostalgia, but between Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, and Civilization the ‘90s seemed like a boom era for the entire strategy genre. Red Alert, Age of Empires 2, the original, groundbreaking Civ – the growth of PC gaming as a whole is intrinsically connected to the history of city builders and 4X games. But there’s one hidden gem, released just after the turn of the millennium and the strategy genre’s heyday, that still stands out from all its contemporaries. The first game in what would become a staple series of political and management sims, if you go quick, you can get it now for less than $2.

Tropico is a strategy game with a sense of humor, and a very cruel idea of fate. As the newly anointed leader of a small, South American republic, you need to provide for your people, cultivate a successful economy, build the tourist trade, and carefully navigate the push-and-pull of Cold War brinkmanship.

The United States government has a lot of money to spare, but if you lean too far into communism or socialism, they’ll pull up the financial drawbridge – they might even invade. On the contrary, the USSR can supply cheap housing and educated workers, but doesn’t look too kindly on your deals with the Americans. Between these two bickering global parents, you need to find a way to survive.

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But it’s hard – it’s really, really hard. The people of Tropico are fickle. One month they want more housing, then they’re demanding you build a cathedral, before complaining that you’re dedicating too many tax dollars to the Church. They want high wages, low rent, and a comfortable life. They also have an annoying habit of holding elections every five years – though you might be able to get around that, if you have enough soldiers and carefully misplace a few votes during the counting process.

Intricate, detailed, and satirical, Tropico is available right now for $1.49 / £1.19. If you want a classic strategy hit, or if you’re a fan of the later games like Tropico 6 and want to see how it all started, just click the buttons below and grab this one while it’s on sale.

Alternatively, you might want to try some of the best management games, or maybe the best 4X games to ever grace the PC.

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