“…much more of a desirable add-ons pack than a must have DLC…”
Inspired heavily by The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a series of books which has a sense of humour that has clearly inspired Tropico’s comedic style from the very beginning, the Surf’s Up! DLC package is something else! This time around, El Presidente has realised the intellectual significance of the dolphins, and therefore seeks to protect them for the good of Tropico and the world. All the while however, the bizarrely-named Grim Pears frequently appear to destroy the dolphins, making your original goal a much more difficult one to succeed at…
The new building which facilitates your quest to protect the dolphins is the aptly named Dolphinarium. A highly effective new tourist attraction, the Dolphinarium allows spectators to come and marvel at the beauty, talent and apparent superiority of the dolphins. Construct five of said structures and you will have achieved your goal in the DLC package’s new mission – sounds simple. The aforementioned Grin Pears however do not share your desire to preserve these majestic beasts of the sea, and will repeatedly turn up to destroy your fancy new tourist attractions and foil your plans.
The Surf’s Up! mission then turns out to be a much more military-focussed one that what it initially appears to be. You need to form a strong force to repel the Grin Pears’ attacks, and your military power quickly becomes as important to your victory as constructing the Dolphinariums themselves. Depending on whether the military strategy in Tropico is your forte or not, and of course on how good you are at quickly making the money to build these expensive new tourist attractions, the mission can be pretty quick or quite long winded. Rather than this being caused by the design of the mission itself as with the Mad World DLC, the length of the task is determined by your skill set itself, so it might be worth considering this before you decide whether or not this one is for you.
What is different about this DLC package compared to a number of the others is that the Dolphinarium isn’t really a game changer in the main game. It is an effective tourist attraction, but you also pay for that privilege. You do not get any unique or overly useful new effects from it however, and it some ways it feels like a bit of a teaser structure for the Waterbourne Expansion to the game. So whilst I love dolphins as much, in fact probably more, than the next gamer, I can’t really call this structure a must have for the game.
Equally missable in this one are the new dynasty clothing item, in this case a snorkel, the new map, which like those in many of the other DLC packages is good to have but not really majorly special, and the additional soundtrack, which as with almost all of the other DLC packages you don’t really even notice when playing the game. It’s not that any of these are bad features and each deserve due credit for their thought and design, but they don’t honestly make a huge difference to the game as a whole or how you play it.
The Surf’s Up! DLC is much more of a desirable add-ons pack than a must have DLC packed full of new and exciting features. It offers a fun new mission and structure to match, and boasts the classic comedy of the Tropico series, but it does not make you feel as though you have truly upgraded your game. If you enjoy the DLC missions for Tropico 5 then, I would suggest you get this one too, because you will enjoy it. If you are trying to decide which DLC you should try out first, I would recommend going through a few of the others, and then seeing how you feel about this one. A fun offering by Kalypso, but not the most necessary, Surf’s Up is entertaining to play, but not a necessary feature of your game.
- A fun new mission with overt inspiration drawn from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy combines the unique comedy of the series with that of Tropico 5.
- An opportunity to test a variety of your Tropico skills, particularly making money and protecting your island through military might.
- The Dolphinarium makes for a fun new tourist attraction to use in the game.
- The Dolphinarium feels much more like an optional extra for a bit of fun than a structure which has a unique impact on the game as with the other DLCs.
- Feels more like some optional extras just for fun than a well-built DLC pack.
- Nothing major to shout about with the new hat, map or soundtrack again.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.