Why do people play games? Mostly it’s a form of escape, right? For the period you are playing you fit yourself into the game character and lose yourself into the game world. But that’s just when you are playing the RPGs. Simulation games are a different beast altogether.
Instead of relying on fantasy and fiction they simulate everyday life activities. Could be activities like building and farming, popular hobbies like car racing or playing soccer or it could just be life in general. And their biggest selling point is giving you control over matters that are beyond you in real life.
Life is not always fair and sometimes no matter how hard we try we don’t always get what we want or things simply don’t go as planned. In the simulation games, however, there are no surprises. You are rewarded for your every effort. So you get a certain level of fulfillment that is missing from the real world.
You have a problem with the way the mayor is running your town? Well, in Cities Skylines you get to have the real picture of what it is like to be in that position. But hey, don’t get so lost in the simulations that you end up confusing them with the real world.
In this post, we will look at 5 simulations games that should keep you busy for a while.
1. The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is a life simulation games in which you create simulations of real people and help them navigate through life. At the beginning of the game, you will be required to input lifetime goals that you will be helping your sims achieve. The success of your Sims will be determined by the decisions you make throughout the game.
One thing you will love about the game is the ability to create your sims exactly as you imagine them. The game even allows you to push and pull various parts of your Sim so that you get the right body size.
Some of the activities you will engage in include helping the sims secure and maintain a job, build social relationships and also managing the money earned. Yes, you can go broke in the game. The Sim 4 also has an emotion aspect where the Sims can become happy, angry or sad. These emotions are evident in the decision-making process of the sims.
Nevertheless, one thing you might find underwhelming is the constant loading screens which although short, really undermine your interaction with the outside world. Having to wait for a loading screen when accessing your neighbor’s house can be a little irritating.
The Sims 4 was released in 2014 but the developers have managed to keep it fresh over the years through the release of numerous DLC and free updates. The Seasons expansion pack is one such DLC that introduces the yearly seasons into the game together with accompanying holidays like Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, among others. It also brings dynamic weather like Rain, thunderstorm, and snow.
Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)
Release Date: September 2014
2. Cities Skylines
For a very long time, SimCity was the dominant city building simulation game. Not that there were other games to compete with but still, it was awesome. Up until their 2013 release when they decided to make the game a fully online game. It was catastrophic but guess what? It gave us Cities Skyline.
A game that builds up on all the failures of SimCity. It exists as a representation of what SimCity could have been. Cities Skylines perfectly nails every aspect of running a city from zoning, budget management to development of a transport system. Taxation is the main source of revenue in the game and you will be charged with developing the tax collection system.
Your task is to build a habitable city so that you can encourage people to move in and consequently increase your revenue. The player begins with a small piece of land of about 2 by 2 kilometers and a given amount of money which you will use to begin building.
Be warned though. The more your city grows the more issues begin to arise. You will have to deal with typical problems like traffic jams, unemployment, health, crime, inadequate housing, and pollution. All of which are problems that could result in people moving out of the city. So it will be up to you to come up with innovative ways to solve the issues.
And the way the game developers have been able to simplify the control system in their PS4 version is commendable. Usually, simulation games are best played on PC due to the sheer amount of Menus involved. But you do not feel under any pressure using the PS4 gamepad to play Cities Skyline.
Developer: Colossal Order
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: March 2015
3. Farming Simulator 19
Farming Simulator 19 is the latest of the farming simulation franchise and comes with a new graphics engine. This means that it’s the most visually appealing of all its predecessors. It also comes with more vehicles and machines including brands from John Deere, one of the biggest names in the Agricultural machinery scene.
The game provides you with three starting options. You could begin with a small farm and build upwards, a medium farm, or you could start out as a large farm owner. All of which come with their set of challenges.
There is not much dynamicity when it comes to the gameplay but you will still be surprised at how addictive the game is. Main activities including preparing the land, planting, harvesting and marketing your products. You may also focus on just rearing livestock or engage in both. You will be responsible for ensuring the farm machines are in good condition and the vehicles do not run out of fuel.
Some important decisions you will be required to make in the game include deciding what to plant and where to sell. Knowing the piece of land or machinery to buy next is also crucial in determining your game development. The game also allows you to employ people to assist with the various duties on the farm for increased production.
Farming Simulator 19 also has an online mode that allows you to cooperate with up to 6 friends in your ranch. It’s a great way to break the monotony of plowing the land on your own. Oh, did I mention that you can now explore the vastness of your ranch on a horseback? Yes, you can also use the horse to visit neighboring ranches.
Developer: GIANTS Software
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: November 2018
4. Prison Architect
Much like the name suggests this game requires you to build and run a prison. You will be responsible for building the cells and installing the required amenities like electricity and drainage. You will also be involved in hiring and assigning staff like warden, guards and other workers.
Basically, your task is to make the prisoners happy. You can even set up workshops and reform centers to help straighten your prisoners. Or not. If you prefer to continuously punish them for their crimes, it’s your choice.
Every prisoner has a backstory that helps you understand them better. You get to learn about their crimes and personal life including family members they have on the outside.
Don’t let the cartoon theme fool you because this game is as real as they get. You will learn this the hard way when you are tasked with building an execution chamber for a prisoner convicted of murder. Or when the prisoners launch into a full-scale riot where they assault the wardens or maim each other.
Instead of using tutorials, this game opts to take you through a campaign mode where you can familiarize yourself with all the controls. Here you will also learn the working mechanics of running a prison. Therefore, when you enter the simulation you don’t need any hand holding and you are wholly responsible for every decision made.
Developer: Introversion Software
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: October 2015
5. Fifa 19
FIFA 19 is a football simulation game that is as close as real-world soccer you will get. Any real player you can think of is represented in the game and the level of resemblance is stunning. There is no shortage of playing options when it comes to this game. You can choose to play as a team, individual player or be the coach responsible for tactical planning.
The Kick Off mode allows you to play matches against an AI team or challenge a friend to a match in local coop. But it is the game’s online mode that has been the most successful. Here you will be tasked with building a full squad team known as the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT). This is the team you will use to play against online friends and rise through the FIFA ranks.
In this year’s edition of the game, EA has managed to bring more realism into the gameplay through the Active Touch System. It’s a new mechanic that makes the game seem more natural from how you receive and give a pass, how you defend to how you shoot and score.
The Kickoff mode has also been revamped and you can now keep track of the matches you have played with the mates. You also have the option to kick off the game as a cup competition.
EA has also added the UEFA Champions League, Europa league and Super cup competitions to give you a complete the football package.
Developer: Electronic Arts (EA)
Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)
Release Date: September 2018