Simulation game

Simulation game

simulation game

simulation game

I Thought A Zoo: Simulated Games For Isolated Times

Your animals will demand your attention in Planet Zoo, just one of several simulation games that might distract you from quarantine. Frontier hide caption

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Your animals will demand your attention in Planet Zoo, just one of several simulation games that might distract you from quarantine.


I'm overwhelmed by so many things right now, not the least of which is that I keep having to build wind turbines.

Not in my yard, you understand: in my imaginary city. The city I created playing the game Cities: Skylines. I play it on my Nintendo Switch, but you can play it on your Xbox, or your PlayStation, or your computer. It's very much like the game Sim City that I played years ago, and it proceeds in much the same way: You have some land. You build some roads, you create zoning (and really, who doesn't get into gaming in order to explore land-use planning?), you supply these areas with water and power, and then people begin to move in.

Maybe it's not a surprise that I, as someone who lives alone and finds myself with time to kill in these Pandemic Days, have made a lot more use of my Switch in the last few months than in the last couple of years. Yes, I played Animal Crossing: New Horizons when it first came out — in fact, I bought a copy for a stranger on Twitter, because she was in a pinch and it had been such a balm to me.

But I also play RBI Baseball 20 (the official MLB-sanctioned baseball game) and Super Mega Baseball 3 (the funnier, more whimsical baseball game), and I play Paper Mario: The Origami King (the fact that you throw confetti like Rip Taylor in that game is just the best). I loved Kentucky Route Zero, which is a moody, melancholy point-and-click storytelling game with musical interludes and all kinds of cool stuff. I'm okay at Breakfast Bar Tycoon, which requires you to learn how to assemble breakfast sandwiches and serve grumpy customers (though anything where you're eventually rushing stresses me out), and I'm not even going to list the games I've tried at which I'm completely hopeless. (One of my dear friends is a devotee of NBA2K, a game I find as stressful as an ancient version of myself might have found a tiger attack.)

But more than anything, I have been playing simulation games. Almost anything can be defined as a simulation of sorts, in that there's always a reality that you're living in, even if you're jumping from platform to platform or shooting at bad guys. But here, I'm referring to the more methodical, world-creating, no-obvious-ending simulations like the farming game Stardew Valley, where you set up your farm and then grow things and sell them and try to make friends. Animal Crossing is a simulation, too. But it's unlike most simulations, in that it's not particularly stressful. Not a lot of really terrible things can happen very easily; it's more that if you don't play, you're not out there earning goodies and catching new bugs. I recently picked it up again after a couple of months off, and my biggest problem was that my animal friends had really missed me.

That's not the case in some of the other games I've been playing. Let me take you on a tour of a few of these imaginary worlds I've been building and, in some cases, messing up completely, while I hope that my actual world will steady.

Cities: Skylines

First: back to those wind turbines.

When you set up your Cities: Skylines city, it needs power. Back when I used to play Sim City, you were boxed into starting with a coal-fired power plant, which you plunked down in some unfortunate part of your city. Coal plants are dirty, but they'll juice up your town, and they're what you can afford. In Cities: Skylines, you can start with coal — or you can put up wind turbines. You have to look at your maps and find a place to put them that's windy enough, but they come in smaller units, so the initial cost for the power you need to get started is lower.

Plus, you'll start seeing your citizens tweeting — sorry, I meant "chirping," which is the game's version of something that looks rather like tweeting — about how much they appreciate your commitment to green energy. (Of course, they also tweet complaints. Every time I see the chirp that gripes that it's not that hard to create a working power grid, I say out loud something like "It's harder than you think, jerk, so give me a minute if you don't mind and I will fix it." Then I go build some more power lines.)

This is a shot of only one of many very very bad traffic configurations I created in Cities: Skylines. Yes, two houses are on fire. Screenshot via Switch hide caption

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Screenshot via Switch

This is a shot of only one of many very very bad traffic configurations I created in Cities: Skylines. Yes, two houses are on fire.

Screenshot via Switch

But then you'll add clean water, and your city will grow. Little bars at the bottom of the screen tell you how much demand there is for different kinds of zoning, and when you see that orange bar grow, that means your people want some Industrial Zone space. So you lay it out, and businesses move in. And then, before you know it, little lightning bolts start flashing over some of your residential housing. You're short of power. If you still have money, you maybe build another wind turbine. Or two. Then the industrial buildings start flashing a little symbol that says they don't have enough workers. So you build more residential areas. The population keeps growing. They begin to want things. They need the garbage collected. They need a medical clinic and a school, they tell you. They need fire trucks, they tell you.

They need police.

What is true in Cities: Skylines is, of course, only what the people who developed it decided would be true. (Although on some platforms, you can download mods created by users that tinker with the programming.) And what's true here is that you add police stations and you add budgets for them, and that prevents crime. Because, as the in-game explanation says, the more stations and money, the more patrol cars. And patrol cars cut crime in the buildings they drive by. (You can eventually watch your police cars drive around.)

Police cars aren't the only thing that reduces crime: education does too. And police cars don't do any good if they can't get around because of traffic or other road issues. But in this game, police presence affects the happiness of your citizens in only one way, which is that they feel safer when there are more patrol cars driving around. If you don't have enough police — what the game defines as "enough police" — your crime rate goes up. What that looks like is that instead of the lightning bolts that flash on a building without power or the hardhat person who flashes on a building without enough workers, a face in a ski mask flashes on a building where the crime rate is too high. "Save us all from guys in ski masks," your imaginary citizens are allegedly thinking.

There is a small-"c" conservative bent to such a game, of course, because how things have worked is how they must always work. In a year in which even more attention than before has gone to calls to reform police, change how they operate, and potentially give them less money, a strictly linear relationship between the number of police cars and the amount of happiness seems fanciful, like setting up the game so that adding roads increases a city's population of red pandas.

Even these simulated worlds I am trying to build keep bumping into the real one.

Two Point Hospital

Also on the list of uncomfortable collisions with reality is Two Point Hospital, one of my favorites. I realize that just as there were people who wanted to watch Contagion early in the pandemic but I couldn't imagine it, there are people who would never currently want to play a wacky hospital simulation, even if the people mostly have pretend diseases like "Animal Magnetism" and "Hurty Leg." One of my favorites, though, is "Night Fever," and if you zoom in on any of the patients who are afflicted with it, you'll see every one of them is wearing a white suit and doing John Travolta moves.

In this game, you build your GP's offices and your treatment rooms, you hire doctors and nurses and assistants and janitors, and you install drink machines to try to keep the patients from getting angry. It's all deeply goofy. You can build a whole treatment room that's just for sick clowns. It looks like a circus tent. The clown goes into it, whirls around for a while, and is hopefully cured.

The game's sense of time is either intentionally or unintentionally hilarious: Patients will sometimes storm out of the hospital angry about the time it's taken for a doctor to see them, and you'll see in their information that they waited in your hospital for like a year and a half, drinking from your drink machines, eating from your snack machines, and playing your arcade games. That's just too long for a sick clown to chill.

In this shot of my hospital, you can see the clown treatment room, a couple of training rooms, a psychiatrist's office, and some vending machines, among other things. Screenshot via Switch hide caption

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Screenshot via Switch

In this shot of my hospital, you can see the clown treatment room, a couple of training rooms, a psychiatrist's office, and some vending machines, among other things.

Screenshot via Switch

People die in this game. (Side note: They die in Cities: Skylines too, at which point a skull and crossbones flashes on the house until the body is retrieved by a hearse and taken to a cemetery that — yes, of course — you must build. You do not want to know what happens if you refuse to build a cemetery.) They die of their jokey, made-up ailments, and then they become ghosts, and they float around the hospital scaring the other patients until a janitor, one that carries the special ghost cleanup qualification, sucks them up with a vacuum. It's so weird that I kind of can't resist it.

The other thing TPH has going for it is that it doesn't require you to build too much infrastructure. I become impatient during the phase of games like Cities: Skylines where you're mostly connecting pipes in rectangles. In real life, I pride myself on not taking infrastructure for granted, but sitting in front of my TV with a controller, I want to be figuring out where my university will be and how many adorable parks I can have. I don't especially want to be relocating pipes with pinpoint accuracy or managing traffic patterns by installing roundabouts. (Honestly, what good is building my own city if I can't ban roundabouts?) Two Point Hospital does make you place radiators to keep people from freezing, but it does not make you put in the hospital laundry or the transformers or anything else boring. More clowns! Fewer water pumps!

Take note: This game was developed by a British studio, so there is no billing of patients and there are no insurance companies. So that's a couple of doses of reality you do not have to worry about.

Planet Zoo

This one isn't on Switch (right now), so to play it, I have to sneak up to my office and sequester myself up there to play on my PC. Believe it or not, I've spent a number of hours in the tutorial sections and I have yet to start anything from scratch, which might mean that I'm not really cut out for the zoo management business. But I persevere! For the animals, you see.

Your task in this game is to build (or improve) a zoo. You "adopt" animals from various sources, you build habitats, you outfit them with the plants and the terrain that the particular animal needs, and you try to keep them happy. You also, ideally, rehabilitate and release some into the wild and get conservation points. Planet Zoo has rapidly become the game I use to escape my considerable real-world anxieties. When you get a notice that a couple of your hippos are fighting (in retrospect, I think I mismanaged the population of adult males and they started going after each other [imagine a big eyes emoji here]), it will really get your attention.

On the other hand, this is also a game where mistakes are viscerally upsetting. I have not had to mourn a zoo animal yet, but I had a very depressed pair of frogs the other day (I hadn't adjusted the humidity correctly), and despite the fact that these frogs do not exist, I felt terrible. Sad frogs! My fault! This is also where I admit that I tend to talk to my animals a lot, out loud. "Oh no! Let's fix your plants," I will say to some imaginary lizards. It's possible that isolation is taking a toll on me.

At the same time, if you learn that your tapirs are bored and you give them some toys, you can watch the bar that represents their well-being slide up through the yellow zone and into the green zone. At least somebody is having a good time, even if they're kinda funny-looking pig-elephants.

Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures

Can I be straight with you? I didn't know you could even play Roller Coaster Tycoon anymore. This is another one that dates back to my CD-ROM game days, when mostly what I remember is trying to stop people from eating near the thrill rides, because it would mean I had to clean up after them when they got sick. I spent a lot of time on barf reduction strategies.

When I play it on the Switch, it's richer than it used to be, but it's still fundamentally the same game. You can still set up your merry-go-round first. Build a little path. Work your way up to arcade games, get some families hanging around, put in a lemonade stand. (I feel like it's less about the upset tummies than earlier versions, too.) Eventually, you can set up your thrill rides and your big wooden coasters, and you can place a lot of wild topiary stuff for people to look at. This is one of the ones I play that's the most straightforward. Unlike Cities: Skylines, where problems can rapidly cascade until everyone in town hates you and you're broke and everyone is sick and the dead bodies are piling up and no one has electricity (hypothetically this could happen you know maybe), as long as you keep a general eye on the goings-on, it seems like your amusement park does not become some kind of haunted monstrosity.

And unlike reality, this world seems to feature fewer unsettled stomachs than I remember.

No, Thank You: The Ones I Won't Play

A final note: Not every imaginary world should be entered.

I wasn't too far into poking around for interesting simulation games when I saw that one exists that's called Prison Architect. The reasons I was instinctively grossed out are probably obvious: I don't find prisons whimsical, even more than I don't find hospitals whimsical. I was intrigued, however, by a description that suggested that the point of it was that you could play around with rehabilitation options or "punitive" ones, and some part of me thought it might be interesting to explore how they impose consequences of your decisions. So I got it, and I fired it up, and I found that ... the tutorial requires you to build an execution chamber with an electric chair. It shows you a graphic animation of your prisoner killing two people. You have to connect the electric chair directly to power, because it needs so much.

I quit that one.

A lot of time has been spent on the ethics of certain kinds of games. First-person shooters, for instance — what does it do to a person to practice shooting people? Or Grand Theft Auto, which I once dabbled in years ago, only to quit because, of all things, I was a terrible driver. I never even got to explore the causes of the moral panic; I just kept crashing the car.

But as much as escape appeals at this point, I don't need to build an electric chair. I have enough qualms about zoning my citizens to improve their land values, demolishing their homes to build police stations, building glass walls in my zoo so people can look at my fighting hippos, and letting clowns die.

At some point, I realized that the key to why these simulations will always be fantasies even when they're dark fantasies is that you can leave. I managed a city so badly once that practically every house was flashing with some dystopian symbol of failure, so ... I made a new one. Moreover, one of the reasons you have to keep your citizens happy is that they can leave. They can leave your city, they can stop going to your amusement park, they can storm out of the hospital. There's always an exit to elsewhere. There's always the X in the upper right-hand corner.

Get me out of here.

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20 best simulator games you can play right now

The world of the best simulator games is a weird and wonderful place where games to experience ranges from experiencing the European trucking industry to messing around with practically spineless goats with longer than is natural tongues. The variety available in the genre is astounding, which makes narrowing down a list to just 20 quite challenging. So, for this list, we've stuck to a stricter interpretation of the term. 

That means you won’t find any immersive sims (sorry, Bioshock) or ‘joke’ titles (you too, Goat Simulator) featured below. Instead, the following selections are those rare games which manage to act as both an authentic simulation of their chosen experience and a generous slice of accessible entertainment all at once, making them perfect for those looking to dip their toes into this particularly uncanny pool of video games. 

 20. The Sims 4 

The brainchild of Will Wright was bound to show up on here at some point, and as the most updated iteration in the decades old franchise, it’s The Sims 4 that currently remains the game to beat when it comes to suburban simulation. 

Dressed up with rich colour and brilliant animation, The Sims 4 provides an exceptional wealth of options for self-expression, customization and, yes, simulation, and the extent of this variety only continues to grow with the regular rollout of bespoke expansion packs. The Sims 4 turns the American dream into a virtual reality, and proves that the franchise’s niche USP still has legs in an increasingly crowded market. 

Play it on: PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4

19.  Farming Simulator 17

The core of Farming Simulator’s experience remains the same: buy more fields, upgrade equipment and enjoy your day-to-day routine among the green hills. The range of machines and equipment available to you is exceptionally broad, with the kind of brands that are familiar household names (if you are a farmer). As one of the most authentic farming experiences that you can get without getting your wellies dirty, the game is only enhanced by its updated visuals, customisable farms and rideable horses.

If you’re looking to get away from the more high-octane gameplay of other titles and try something more tranquil, Farming Simulator 19 may be an ideal escape. That’s not to say that there isn’t any mechanical depth to the proceedings- those crops aren’t going to grow themselves after all- but Farming Simulator 2019, if nothing else, works as a therapeutic break from the stress and intensity of its genre contemporaries. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Google Stadia

18. Mad Tower Tycoon

Real estate becomes virtual with this engaging tower sim by EggCode. Build a skyscraper that will stand the test of time, and then fill it with luxury apartments, offices, or deluxe entertainment to excite the masses- then it’s your job to make sure your building stays clean, well-powered, and convenient. The game’s primary challenge is managing transport in your new metropolitan monolith, and the game’s limited-capacity elevators make this an interesting challenge.

With charming cartoony graphics and a clearer interface than some of its competitors, Mad Tower Tycoon is an excellent introduction to management sims for those new to the genre. If you’re in the mood for some sky-scraping, then this is the game for you.

Play it on: PC 

17.  Project Cars 2

A slightly more in-depth sim than its series predecessor, Project Cars 2 adds new levels of realism to its racing experience. With improved car handling and a new weather system that takes into account everything from time of day to seasons to the track’s height above sea level, the game’s ultimate intent is being as realistic as conceivably possible.

Yet despite this obsession with technical details, Mad Studios doesn’t lose sight of what’s really important- the pure adrenaline rush of racing around the world’s most famous tracks in over 180 real-life supercars. Whether you’re driving alone, or competing online in the game’s Online Championship mode, Project Cars 2 lets you live your most vivid racing fantasies.

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, and PS4

16. Railway Empire

Set during the American golden age of railway, between 1830 and 1930, you are the proud owner of an ambitious young railway company. Plan your railway lines and run a glorious range of over 40 historically authentic trains along them. But remember- although a direct line might be more profitable in the long term, it might also bankrupt your company to build! In addition to rolling out your great iron roads across the country, the game affords you a large degree of customisation, letting you hire your own employees, each with individual personality types, and even what carriages your engines will pull. 

And for those gamers who would rather build their railway closer to home, the game also has a wide range of DLC, giving you the chance to expand your business to parts of Europe, South America and Canada. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One and PS4

15.  Cities: Skylines 

After the much fêted but flawed SimCity reboot, Cities: Skylines thankfully came along in 2015 to restore the city-sim genre to its former glory. By offering contemporary reworkings of Maxis’ original formula, Skylines feels like a modern city-sim in every sense of the word, and watching your metropolis expand and thrive in real time has never looked so good. 

It’s one of the few simulator games that’s also available on console, too, and Cities: Skyline’s sleek user interface turns the comfort of a controller into a totally viable and enjoyable option for those less inclined to the mouse and keyboard. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, and PS4

14. Thief Simulator

Are you a hardened criminal? Then Thief Simulator by Noble Muffins isn’t the game for you. But if you’re just a regular normie dreaming of a life of villainy, then this open-world burglary simulator may be just what you’re looking for.

Scout out the neighbourhood for houses to hit, and spy on their occupants to work out their daily routines. Then it’s time to go in with your janky black van and your diverse set of thieving tools, and nick everything that’s not nailed down. Pick locks, rejig security systems and cut holes in windows to become the best bad guy on the block. Just make sure you don’t get caught!

Play it on: PC and Nintendo Switch

13. Football Manager 2020

The classic sports managing sim returns to the pitch for another game. With over 200 teams and 116 leagues across 51 nations, Football Manager 2020 offers an in-depth football experience. Splash the cash on big name transfers, or train the stars of the future through the all-new Development Centre. As manager, create new play strategies for upcoming matches and watch the game unfold, and define your vision for the club’s future, moulding its culture, objectives and long-term plan for success. With such wide-ranging possibilities at your fingertips, this really is a Beautiful Game.

Play it on: PC, Nintendo Switch, Mac, iOS and Android

 12. Silent Hunter 3 

It’s still a relatively unknown piece of trivia that one of the best submarine simulator games out there comes from a Ubisoft studio, but don’t worry, there isn't a watchtower to be found in the open seas of Silent Hunter 3. Instead, the third game in the WWII-set series was praised for its attention to detail and action-oriented battles. 

Even if the ins and outs of historical watercraft isn't your thing (understandably), Silent Hunter 3’s meaty campaign is worth playing for its enrapturing atmosphere and open-ended pace. There’s a sombre beauty to the destruction too, with the lavish detail designed to draw you in and keep you there, even when the intensity of the warfare becomes almost overwhelming. 

Play it on: PC

11. PC Building Simulator

Taking its title ultra-seriously is PC Building Simulator by Romanian indie developer Claudiu Kiss. Aiming to create the most realistic experience you can get without having to wield a can of pressurised air, the game benefits from a long list of real life components from hardware producers such as Intel, AMD and Nvidia. Choose between career mode, where you’ll be upgrading, repairing and virus-zapping according to the needs of your clients, or build the gaming PC of your electric dreams in free build mode. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch

10. X-Plane 11

For all you prospective pilots out there, you couldn’t do much better than X-Plane 11. Released by developer Laminar Research in 2017 (contrary to the deceptive title), this flight sim lets you take control of a range of real-world aircraft, from helicopters to gliders to massive jumbo jets. What makes it stand out from the crowd though, is the inclusion of the Plane Maker modding tool, making it easy to design new and exciting aircraft to fly. Complex weather modelling is also a feature, simulating real world weather in-game to give you an authentic flying experience. If you fancy joining the jet set, this game should be your next destination.

Play it on: PC and Mac

9.  Euro Truck Simulator 2  

Who knew a game about driving a truck could be so addictive? SCS Software did, clearly, as their trucking sim sequel is currently one of the highest rated games on Steam, sat above the likes of Dishonored, Civilization V, and Half-Life 2. The reality is that Euro Truck Simulator 2 offers that devastating blend of being both immensely relaxing and fiercely captivating, with the pleasant journeys along your designated trade routes segmented by junctures of deep strategy, as you consider factors such as fuel, finance, and furbishing your ride with new upgrades. Euro Truck Simulator 2’s greatest achievement is that it isn't just a game made for transport enthusiasts, but the appeal extends to anyone with even the slightest appreciation for the simple pleasures of the open road. 

Play it on: PC

8. Two Point Hospital

In this light-hearted hospital management sim, it’s your job to make sure that Two Point County’s new infirmary is up to scratch and able to deal with whatever new malady the locals bring through the door with them- whether that’s Floppy Discs, Cubism or the dreaded Night Fever!

Like most management sims, the aim is to balance budget with demand and slowly expand your healthcare empire. A spiritual successor to 1997’s Theme Hospital, Two Point shares much of its beloved forebear’s gameplay, visuals and humour- albeit updated for a modern audience. Despite the game’s emphasis on humour, Two Point Studios’ opus quickly ramps up the pace, requiring you to make careful decisions on the quest for maximum efficiency. If you’re looking for a challenging, warm-hearted business sim to contract, then Two Point Hospital is extremely infectious.

Play it on: PC, Mac. Coming to Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch on 25 February 2020

7. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

As unforgiving as its predecessor, Rising Storm 2 transports the action from World War II to the Vietnam War. Operating as an unofficial hybrid between popular first-person shooters like Call of Duty and the more hardcore mil-sims such as ARMA, the game incentivises tactics over blind firepower. Tripwire Interactive’s focus is on making you feel like an actual soldier, rather than a superhero who can shrug off everything except scripted nuke detonations. As a result, you’ll find yourself hiding in foxholes, calling in napalm strikes or flanking your enemies with your squadmates, far more often than you’ll be charging at the enemy like a berserker. The result is a truly visceral and tense simulation of battle that puts you right in the heart of the conflict. 

Play it on: PC

6. Not for Broadcast

The world of television is a fast-paced, high stress place at the best of time, let alone in a dystopian alternate 1980s where broadcasts are actively censored. Although you’re only the cleaner, you’ve accidentally found yourself behind the mixing desk of the biggest news programme on TV, National Nightly News. Underqualified and at risk of falling foul of the shady powers behind the scenes, it is your job to select camera feeds, bleep out foul language and choose the headlines that will be broadcast to the world. Like its fellow bureaucrat simulator Papers Please, you can choose to play the dutiful pawn, or deliberately cause trouble. Whatever you decide, you only have a few seconds to act, because the news is going out live. The game’s retro flavour, as well as its unusual use of live-action TV footage, creates a very engaging tone that compliments the tricky gameplay and the ethics of your new career as a propagandist.

The free prologue chapter of Not for Broadcast is available now on Steam, with a further three chapters being released on Early Access on 30 January 2020.

Play it on: PC

5. ARMA 3

Most people will recognize the ARMA brand for its wildly popular zombie mod based off of ARMA 2, DayZ, but it is ARMA 3 which deserves some of the spotlight for what it brought to the military-sim table. Bohemia Interactive executes the essential elements of sandbox strategy with aplomb, and ARMA 3 serves as an open-ended arena for organic, dynamic war stories that can be played out with friends and foes. 

The depth of simulation is comprehensive, but only to a point, so as to sustain the immediacy of every interaction. Indeed, ARMA 3 can be extremely stressful and even terrifying at times, but that truth nothing less than a testament to its immersive power as an undiluted evocation of modern warfare. 

Play it on: PC

4. Cooking Simulator

Ever wanted to be a professional chef? Well now is your chance. Cooking Simulator by Big Cheese Studio puts you in charge of a large, realistic kitchen and makes it your task to dice, simmer, blend and season your way to becoming the greatest chef of all time.

If your only experience of chef sims is Cooking Mama, the surprising depths of Cooking Simulator may come as something of a surprise. You’ll have to precisely measure and cook your ingredients- but make sure your hungry diners aren’t kept waiting too long! Or, if you’re more in the mood for mindless destruction of course, that’s also possible, with Big Cheese giving you the ability to start fires, break plates and blow up the microwave. If you’re ready to let your inner Gordon Ramsey out, then this may be the game for you!

Play it on: PC

3. Planet Coaster

Fancy running your own theme park? Perhaps you see yourself as some kind of ‘roller coaster tycoon’? In Planet Coaster, you can do just that. Developed by Frontier Developments (the same studio responsible for 2004’s Roller Coaster Tycoon 3), it’s your task to fill your burgeoning new park with the world’s most thrilling rides. Sharing a great deal with its illustrious forebear (including the ability to ride your roller coaster creations), the game is rife with nostalgic fun. But for those new to the theme park genre, navigating Planet Coaster’s highs and lows is nevertheless a fresh and sometimes challenging simulator experience.

Play it on: PC, Xbox One and PS4

2.  Kerbal Space Program 

If you’re planning to play Kerbal Space Program, try not to get too attached to those eponymous little guys with the green skin. You’re going to be killing a lot of them, after all. Kerbal Space Program operates on an understanding of success as the sum of persistence through failure; in short, it’s going to take quite some time before your uniquely crafted ship is considered space-worthy. 

Every minute spent tinkering and toiling away in Kerbal Space Program is worth it, though, as developer Squad has imbued every mechanic and system with such a forensic attention to detail that the hard work of their players is always rewarded. An endlessly gratifying and entirely unique simulator which celebrates creativity and intuition in a way that no other game could, Kerbal Space Program is something of a mini masterpiece. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, and PS4

1. Flight Sim World

For hardcore flight simulator fans, Flight Sim World represents the new reigning champ. Built upon the digital foundations of Microsoft Flight Simulator X (the former king of the genre), every aspect and dimension to real world piloting has been accounted for in Flight Sim World, and duly incorporated into its tightly designed systems, all of which work together in harmony to craft an epitomic simulation. 

Dovetail Games don’t cater exclusively to would-be pilots or committed flight sim veterans either, but provide an easy introduction to its exhaustive breadth of content with contextual missions and patient tutorials. Even so, taken together, Flight Sim World could easily become a long-lasting semi-occupation if so desired, crafted with such pinpoint precision and expert authority that it has already cemented itself as a definitive go-to for newcomers and enthusiasts alike. 

Play it on: PC

Источник: []
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