Action games include twitchy thrills, while strategy games put the ability to plan and execute combat schemes to the test. Simulation games, on the other hand, mimic activities—or life itself—in broad or fine strokes.
Sports games, big sci-fi fantasy games, weird niche games, and breathtaking flight recreations are just some of the scenarios that come under the simulation umbrella. Some simulation games are world-building games, which require you to design and manage a town, city, country, or planet.
As you would expect, the essence of these games caters to a more niche audience. These games will never be as successful or sell as well as Call of Duty, but their fans keep coming back for the more calculated, cerebral gameplay.
The PC serves as a forum for a variety of simulation and world-building games. These are the ones we like best.
Play Elite: Dangerous if you want to go to space without having to go through hours of astronaut training. Frontier Developments’ crowdfunded sequel to the classic Elite space sim series hands you a ship, a few pieces of gear, and a full tank of fuel before sending you off to explore an astounding 400 billion star systems. The objective is to amass wealth and influence.
Elite: Dangerous is an MMO that allows you to play alone or form factions with other star travellers. Every cargo run, government crackdown, and pirate raid affects the price of goods in a given environment, and politics and economics are the lifeblood of the galaxy.
For many outside observers, SEGA’s Football Manager series is a mystery, but for a huge, devoted fan base, its seemingly niche appeal has developed into a borderline obsession. This soccer simulation is an incredibly complex, text-heavy simulation of the world’s most famous sport, in which you assume the position of club manager, overseeing player transfers, on-field tactics, staff orders, and everything else in between in the hopes of leading your team to glory.
Graphics enhancements, new backroom staff positions, and an improved match engine are all included in Football Manager 2020, which expands on the 2018 edition we tested. If you want to play the beautiful game but don’t have the talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, Football Manager is the next best thing to playing for your favourite team.
The simulator of simulators, Microsoft Flight Simulator, is back. It’s not just good; it’s fantastic. In reality, because of how it uses Bing Maps and real-time weather and traffic to construct an authentic in-game environment, we’ve dubbed Flight Simulator the year’s most ambitious game.
This one-of-a-kind experience was made possible by a collaboration between clever developers and cutting-edge technology. It’s a gift to the series’ ardent fans, an enticing entry point for newcomers, and the simulation genre’s latest benchmark. Take to the sky with a flight stick.
Minecraft is a blocky, beautiful sandbox where you can let your imagination run wild. Exploring a hostile environment made of blocks that you can use to make anything you want is the central gameplay. However, as you play, you’ll soon realise that this game is much more than just architecture.
Minecraft provides a Lego-like environment for players to engage in their own brand of play. Dedicated players will appreciate the sandbox’s numerous options, but even casual players will enjoy facing off against a hostile environment.
No Man’s Sky is a divisive and much-hyped game that presents two contrasting experiences. One is a stunning and completely unique journey across space, charting or conquering uncharted worlds. The other dampens the joy by requiring mundane and repetitive resource collection and combat.
No Man’s Sky, on the other hand, is something more than a sterile summary of its parts and features. It’s an incredible creative and technological accomplishment that’s well worth your time to play.
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