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Simulation video games aim to create play around closely simulated real-world activities. This could be a battlefield, landscape, motor racing, farming, flying or just a kitchen. The novelty is that you are not only playing a game but interacting with complex systems modelling the real-world in some way. This opens the door for creative and inventive approaches to succeeding in the game. It also provides the player with an open-world in which to spend time simply experiencing the simulation. Almost any game can offer a simulation experience as this can combine with most genres to skew gameplay in a more realistic and open direction. This can mean that players enjoy a particular game not because of the shooting or racing but because it's a chance to spend time in a simulated world or system they enjoy.From an educational and experiential perspective, a simulation game offers an entirely new way to learn and understand the world. Rather than a cold or external understanding of how things work, this offers an embodied experience of a system as the player moves and interacts with the simulation from within.
Release Date: 31/10/2023
Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Jusant is a climbing traversal game where you take a challenging-yet-meditative climb to the top of a tall tower. You use the trigger buttons to hold on and the stick to jump and reach for the next position. In this way you methodically work your way up...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather
Flock is a cooperative traversal and collecting game where you take on the role of a flying shepherd. To play you move around the world tending to your unique herd of flying creatures. It sounds complicated but really it's just a big wild place on the...
Release Date: 21/12/2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Weather
Sail Forth is a sailing simulation where you take charge of a ship in a vast ocean whose ancient depths have swallowed the key to the mysterious past. You play by working with the wind and sails to explore, take on tasks, fight pirates and slowly...
Release Date: 02/03/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person
Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world affects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object is simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.
Release Date: 12/09/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and PS5
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
Nour: Play With Your Food is an experimental music game where you create different dishes and plates of food. Unusually, the focus is on sound rather than just visuals. As you add ingredients and food elements they each add sounds.
Release Date: 07/12/2017, updated in 2017
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Human Fall Flat is a movement platform game with rag-doll characters. You run, jump and solve puzzles with your elastic character, either on your own or with another player. Get it wrong and you fall flat on your face, often with comedic timing.
Release Date: 10/03/2015, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night and Grid
Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation. It rekindled the attention to detail and ambitious city planning of the Sim City games. You zone buildings, place roads, set taxation and provide public services and public...
Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2023
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill-based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...
Release Date: 19/05/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
PowerWash Simulator is a puzzle game where you clean different objects and locations using a pressure washer. It's designed to be soothing with sounds of high-pressure water and satisfyingly clean results as you blast away every speck of dirt and grime.
Release Date: 17/11/2016
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Day and Night
Planet Coaster Console Edition is a pleasure park construction and management game. It draws on games like Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon. You build different theme park rides and roller coasters in considerable detail, to score design points and...
Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...
Release Date: 25/05/2021, updated in 2021
Components: 2D Overhead
Imagine Earth is a simulation strategy where you manage space colonies for a huge corporation. You gather resources, manage your finances, shape the planets and expand your cities while fending off rival companies and alien invaders. It stands out for...
Release Date: 31/03/2016, updated in 2021
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulation game where you direct a space program, staffed and crewed by aliens. It looks like a cute game for kids, but under its comic exterior is a hugely complex and engaging space simulation.
Release Date: 10/08/2021
Out Now: PC, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...
Release Date: 30/11/2021, updated in 2021
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Components: 2D Overhead and Blocks
Claustrofactory is a time management factory simulation. You build factories on a grid to connect their processes and make products using conveyors and assemblers and pickers. It's an unusual efficiency challenge where the best system will score the...
Release Date: 07/12/2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Heavenly Bodies is a puzzle exploration game about cosmonauts working in space. You use one controller stick for each arm and a button for each leg. In this way, you navigate around the space station and complete tasks that would be relatively simple if...
Release Date: 26/09/2023, updated in 2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Hand-Made and Weather
Mineko's Night Market is a narrative-driven adventure where you help a village at the base of Mount Fugu thrive. You explore the Japanese-inspired world, collecting items and completing tasks to make items to sell at the market. It stands out for its...
Release Date: 18/07/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Viewfinder is a puzzle adventure game where your camera doesn't just take pictures but reshapes the fabric of reality around you. By taking and holding up pictures you create new ways to traverse the world and solve environmental puzzles.
Release Date: 01/12/2011, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On
Bridge Constructor is a series of physics-based building challenges to make stable bridges over chasms and ravines. While it's a simple concept, the variety of locations and different geometry means that building a stable bridge requires patience and...
Release Date: 08/02/2022, updated in 2022
Out Now: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
OlliOlli World is a skateboarding game where you roll, jump and trick your way around the vibrant world of Radlandia. It's hard to start, but once it clicks the controls are designed to let you flow through different moves. You meet colourful characters...
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Lushfoil Photography Sim is an adventure where you explore and photograph vast faithfully recreated landscapes. While some other games offer the chance to pause and take a picture, Lushfoil doubles-down on the process, art and tranquility of photography.
Coming Soon: PC, PS4 and PS5
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks and Hand-Made
Schim is a traversal game where you run and jump from shadow to shadow. The world around you (and its shadows) are in motion so you need to carefully plan and time your movement. It's challenging and head-stretching in how it combines the cast of light...
Release Date: 24/10/2023
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Weather
Cities: Skylines II is a city-building simulation that extends the first game's revival of detailed and ambitious urban planning of the Sim City games. You zone buildings, place roads, set taxation and provide public services and...
Release Date: 01/12/2023
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
Steamworld Build is a strategy simulation game where you build and manage a city and underground mine with monsters lurking in the deep. You place buildings, fortify defences, lay roads and then direct civilians to do jobs above ground and in the mines...
Release Date: 18/08/2022
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Cursed to Golf is an adventure game where you progress by hitting a golf ball. You need to escape golf purgatory by navigating insane hazards, otherworldly power-ups and hole-in-ones. It's crazy golf mixed with a tough adventure game.
Release Date: 02/06/2023, updated in 2023
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Minabo - A Walk Through Life is an adventure game about the path of life. As you move along the road your turnip character is born, grows and thrives (or not) in all manner of family and social relationships.
Release Date: 25/05/2023
Railway Empire 2 is a train business management simulator where you construct a railway system to connect cities of early America and turn a profit. You place tracks and stations to link rural businesses with cities for supply, processing and...
Release Date: 08/12/2023
Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Rocket Racing is a racing game that combines official Rocket League mechanics in the world of Fortnite. Play involves racing against opponents on a range of different tracks, using drift, fly and boost car mechanics to gain the advantage. It stands out...
Coming Soon: PC, PS5, Switch and Xbox X|S
Rubato is a running, jumping and collecting game where you play a frog on a quest to save the world. It's a familiar concept for a game, but Rubato leans into the wacky end of things as you drive clown cars around a track, use your tongue to attach...
Release Date: 01/06/2021
Tip Top: Don't Fall is a climbing game where you tour the world to find kinetic climbing challenges. You play by controlling each of the climber's arms with separate sticks to give the game a unique tactile (and high-skill) feel. This, and the...
Release Date: 02/11/2021
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Hand-Made and Pixels
Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out where...
Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Day and Night
Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...
Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. After twenty minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...
Release Date: 14/12/2022, updated in 2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Lil Gator Game is an action-adventure set on an island playground where a young brother invents exciting games to try and get his older sister to play like they used to. You guide your waddling gator to explore the world as you bop cardboard baddies,...
Release Date: 01/08/2023
Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made
Tren is a traversal-puzzle game set in a hand-crafted world as a wooden train, sailing boats and helicopters. You control points, shunt trucks around, operate cranes and generally move cargo from one location to the next. Like an escape room with toy...
Release Date: 19/05/2023
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Open World
Lego 2K Drive is an open-world racing game made out of Lego. There are races, as you'd expect, but you can also freely explore each of the worlds, collect parts and upgrade your cars. It stands out for updating the popular Lego destruction and...
Release Date: 26/08/2020, updated in 2021
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Sheepo is a running and jumping game where you explore a vibrant world in a quest to collect an egg from every species in the universe to save them from extinction. You take on bosses like other platforming games, but here you use the surroundings...
Release Date: 06/12/2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night and Open World
Lego Fortnite is an adventure survival game that brings classic brick building to one of the Fortnite islands. Play is more like Minecraft than Fortnite (and perhaps could have been better named). Rather than shooting other players, you collaborate on...
Release Date: 16/05/2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks and Cartoon
Humanity is a puzzle-action game where you are a lone Shiba Inu dog shepherding a huge marching crowd of people to safety. You place commands to get your flock of humans to jump, turn, push, float, shoot, and climb their way to deal with the "others"...
Release Date: 19/03/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World
Cozy Grove is a life simulation where you camp on a hand-drawn island. You play a scout and explore the ever-changing island's forest to find secrets and help the local ghosts. Like Animal Crossing, it has a children's storybook look but is a...