Welcome back to the tropical island of Tropico in Tropico 5. This time the player rules the island from the 19th to the 20th century, starting as governor for the colony before releasing the grip of the motherland. During the years two world wars and the cold war era have to be mastered. There are other islands nearby and also some super powers, which may allies, trading partners (for the new trade fleet) or dangerous foes. As the time passes by new technologies and buildings become available, while other buildings are obsolete and need to be replaced to stay up to date.
One of the new resources in the game is the own extended family, which are also present on the map. These family members can be used as generals, managers or diplomats. Most of the other resources have to be discovered first, using expeditions which will explore the island and may find new resources or ancient ruins. An important addition in this release are the cooperative and competitive multiplayer games for up to four players.