Games have just one purpose – to give us entertainment. And what’s more entertaining than playing the role of a legendary fantasy character able to cast fireballs left and right, taming dragons, and conquering the world with sword and wisdom?
Apparently, driving a truck, for example. Or sowing the field. It turns out the game doesn’t have to be unrealistic to let us truly enjoy the moment – today we’ll take a look at some of the best simulation games to play right now.
Today we will cover both of these simulation types and we will show you a few titles worth picking and giving them a chance, even if you are not a huge fan of simulators. Below we present you with a list of the best simulation games you can play on your PC right now.
Some games are designed for fun. Some are designed for the challenge.
And some are made to provide an intense sense of satisfaction of the kind you feel seeing perfectly looping gifs or things perfectly fitting into other things. Enter Powerwash Simulator, a game not really about removing dirt, it’s more like painting the world with cleanliness.
It’s not even an exaggeration: the locations you tend to are absolutely FILTHY. Thankfully, you have an expanding array of powerwashers, extensions, and filth-removing chemicals. Things start slow, you clean a car or a garden, and then they start being progressively weirder, and the narrative delivered to you via in-game text messages is equal parts funny and disturbing.
House Flipper is somewhat conceptually related to PowerWash Simulator.
However, instead of just cleaning the place, you’re renovating the place from the ground up in order to sell it at a higher price than you bought it for. And the houses and apartments in the game tend to take a lot (a LOT) of work, because of broken appliances, paint coming off, general filth, and terrible room plan.
So you’ll be fixing all that! You’ll clean the floors up, repaint the walls, bring down the walls and build new ones, get new furniture and appliances, etc. If you’re really into home renovation, you won’t find any game that simulates it more comprehensively than House Flipper. And if mundane renovation doesn’t do it for you, there are also post-apo and cyberpunk-themed DLCs!
Two Point Campus
|Developer:||Two Point Studios|
Sure, it’s not a very serious game, quite the contrary, coming from the development of Two Point Hospital.
However, despite the comedic tone it still is a pretty comprehensive management game, with an engaging degree of simulating what it would be like to be an absolute ruler in charge of a sprawling university campus. And it looks great, too, with a friendly, bubbly aesthetic.
You get to build the campus and facilities, hire professors, manage tuition fees, oversee the performance of students and staff, and more. The game’s complexity would be satisfying even in a more serious game. Staying afloat with good grades, interesting scholarships, and happy students takes a lot of work, even if the courses are a bit weird.
Not for Broadcast
|Developer:||Giants Software GmbH|
Not for Broadcast is somewhat reminiscent of Papers, Please, except it’s slightly more comedic than tragic.
The game is set in an alternative version of the UK in the 80s, and you’re playing as Alex Winston, the studio director for national TV. That’s right: you’re in charge of managing the cameras, overlay, commercials, and making sure nothing improper makes it to the broadcast.
This makes you that one fellow who makes sure swears are bleeped out, a laugh track gets added, etc. Meanwhile, the game plot shows a descent of the country toward an authoritarian government and your duties start being complicated, although there might be a way out. It’s an interesting premise for sure, as few games simulate being a studio director, with a compelling story on top.
|Developer:||Bay 12 Games|
It might look like a bold claim, but there might not be any game with simulation going as deep as it does in Dwarf Fortress.
It’s an absolute “duh” moment to everyone who knows Adams brothers’ masterpiece, but DF’s simple (especially in its original, text-based form) graphics obscure this complexity. There is a reason people have been raving about this game for years.
At the surface level, it’s a game about helping a bunch of dwarves establish a new colony in a procedurally generated world. But once you dig deeper (get it? Because dwarves!) the game simulates physics, interactions, mental states, and all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t even expect a game to simulate. It’s incredible, and creates fascinating, memorable moments in spades.
Farming Simulator 19
In 2018 a new game joined the Farming Simulator family.
This time labeled as 19, it once again lets you live a happy but busy life of a farmer who works hard in order to develop his farm and accumulate wealth. You will be tasked with various jobs related to your homestead, such as planting and sowing the fields, cutting trees and selling the logs, or maintaining your livestock, including chickens, cows, and pigs.
The game allows you to drive dozens of vehicles licensed by some of the most popular brands, including previously seen Fendt and Krone, with the addition of John Deere, which appears in the series for the first time ever. If you combine the rich gameplay with impressive graphics the game has to offer, it’s hard to find a better title focusing on living the life of a farmer.
Tabletop Simulator is not a game in itself. Instead, it allows you to play other games. To be more specific – games you could play with friends in real life.
In Tabletop Simulator you will be able to invent and create your very own board games with their own rules, boards, pawns, and figures, or choose one of the many already available games and start playing right away.
These include the classics, like solitaire, mahjong, and roulette, but there are also tons of fantasy board games to be found, like the legendary Warhammer 40k. Tabletop Simulator uses simple physics engine, which allows to pick up all the pieces, rotate them, place them on the board, or throw them around when you need to express anger. This also means you need to manually move your pieces when playing each game – just like you would do in real life.
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator takes a more casual approach to the simulation genre.
It gives a physics-based playground at your disposal, where you can summon a small army in order to defeat the opposing forces.
The gameplay combines wacky physics with low-poly graphics, which creates a funny looking environment, especially considering the types of units you can use to form your battle squad, like wheelbarrow tanks or headbutters. There is, however, the strategic value in TABS. Each unit has its strengths and weaknesses, and it also has its cost – your budget is limited, which forces you to plan ahead when forming your army and carefully place the units on the battlefield to utilize their powers in the best way possible.
PC Building Simulator
|Developer:||Claudiu Kiss and The Irregular Corporation|
PC Building Simulator lets you play the role of a computer specialist tasked with fixing various computer issues.
The game is split into two main modes – career and free build. The career requires you to work hard in order to earn money and grow your business. You will be able to browse available orders and accept the ones you find the most rewarding or the least time-consuming.
The orders will vary in terms of difficulty – some will require performing a simple antivirus scan and removal, while others will require to find counterparts for the damaged elements on the built-in virtual marketplace. It’s worth noting these parts are licensed by some of the most popular manufacturers on the market, such as Asus, Nvidia, AMD, Corsair, and MSI. Free build, on the other hand, lets you build your own dream PC without limits.
Car Mechanic Simulator 2018
|Developer:||Red Dot Games|
Similarly to PC Building Simulator, here you will be able to tinker with cars instead.
This is the third game in the series, and just like the previous titles, it is played from the first-person perspective. You will spend most of your time examining various parts of the broken car in order to locate the issue and replace damaged parts with new ones found in the virtual shop.
High attention to details deserves a mention – disassembling parts requires you to remember the order in which you are removing them because when job’s done you will need to mount everything back inside. This, combined with an x-ray view, makes Car Mechanic Simulator not only a fun simulation game but a good educational tool for young aspiring mechanics. The expert mode also made its way into the game and it will be the ultimate test of your mechanic skills, as the GUI there is very limited and you need to know what you’re doing.
Flight Simulator X
Originally developed by Microsoft Game Studios, the tenth installment of the Flight Simulator franchise got a new life.
Thanks to the agreement made in 2014 with Dovetail Games, a company which decided to give the seemingly forgotten title a proper treatment.
Thanks to the continuous development and release of new updates on a regular basis, Flight Simulator X became one of the best, if not the best, flight simulators available. Complex controls can make you feel like really piloting an actual airplane, such as Boeing 747-400, Airbus A321, or Cessna C172SP Skyhawk. It’s worth mentioning, however, you don’t have to be a pilot in this game – you can also take the role of a co-pilot or air-traffic controller, which allows enjoying the game from a different point of view.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Despite being available for quite some time on the market already, ETS2 remains one of the best and most popular truck simulators to date.
It lets you drive one of the dozens of available trucks from popular brands like Iveco, MAN, Scania, and Volvo. Your mission here is simple – take the cargo from one point and deliver it on time to another.
As you progress through the game you will gain experience, which will allow you to unlock new bonuses, like reduced fuel consumption. Once you collect some money, you will also be able to purchase garages and hire other drivers to work for you. You can drive the truck using your keyboard or a gamepad, but the game starts to shine when you invest in a professional racing wheel with floor pedals and manual gearbox. Only then you can feel like an actual truck driver traveling the roads of Europe.
The Sims 4
|Developer:||Maxis Redwood Shores|
The Sims is a widely popular life simulation game series that started back in 2000.
It lets you create and manage the virtual family and control every aspect of its members’ lives. You can build and furnish a house for them to live in, find them a new job to earn money, make friends, adopt a pet, learn to play instruments, develop dozens of skills from cooking to rocket science, send them on a vacation, and so on.
The game’s sandbox nature lets you enjoy the title in any way you like – there are no clear goals. The fourth version of the game brought a lot of improvements and some important changes in comparison to the previous installments of the series, with some of the most important ones being the new engine, cross-neighborhood travel, and the addition of mood. Now, depending on the current mood, your sim will have different actions available. Additionally, he will manifest his mood in every action he takes.
Kerbal Space Program
KSP is a game about managing the Kerbal Space Center built by small green humanoids, Kerbals, in order to study and explore space, or at least their own solar system.
The game is split into the career and free build modes. In career, you start out with only few simple rocket parts available to use, very limited funds, and underdeveloped space center.
In order to gain more funds for more ambitious voyages, like trips to distant planets, you will first need to perform a series of simpler scientific tasks, like reporting back the temperature and pressure in the upper atmosphere of Kerbin, your home planet, or explore your natural satellite, the Mun. In free bu accurate physics which allows built vehicles to behave realistically. The game turned out to be a huge success – it even received attention from NASA, SpaceX, and ESA.
|Developer:||Coffee Stain Studios|
Goat Simulator was an answer to the growing popularity of the simulation genre, which resulted in mass-producing low-quality buggy simulators of all sorts.
Developers decided to parody similar productions, and surely had no idea their game will turn from a simple joke to one of the most popular games.
As such, it’s hardly a simulation game, and more of a third-person perspective action game, where you can play as a goat. The game has no larger goal, and instead it allows you to explore the suburban area at your own pace, demolishing everything on your way, and completing as many hidden challenges as possible. The game features many non-game-breaking bugs and glitches – developers were asked by the community to leave them in the game in order to make the whole more hilarious.
Simulated worlds, real proficiencies
This concludes our look at games which decided to look at something specific in real (more or less) world and simulate it in greater detail than other games would deem useful. Management, professions, and even weirder, more abstract stuff, we’ve got it all. The question is: what are you interested in?