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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: 07/12/2017, updated in 2017
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
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: 25/02/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Riders Republic is an extreme sports game where you can mountain bike, ski, snowboard, and fly in a wingsuit and rocket suit. This builds on other spot games with tens of online players competing at once in each event.
Release Date: 25/07/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC and Stadia
Components: 2D Overhead and Open World
A Place for the Unwilling is a narrative adventure set in the final 21 days of a dying city. You investigate the city and its inhabitants to piece together what has happened. However, the clock is always ticking and the city carries on, with or without...
Release Date: 26/02/2019, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On
Trials Rising is a four-player side-on motorbike racing game controlled by pressing ‘accelerate’ or ‘brake’ and using the stick to shift the weight of their riders’ bodies. The game emulates real-world physics, so you have to balance your...
Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Blocks, Day and Night, Persistant World, Pixels and Weather
Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block-building game. To the world-crafting and survival, it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...
Release Date: 20/07/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Cris Tales is a role-playing game where you see how your actions in the present affect the past and future. You play as Crisbell in a cartoon-looking adventure through four Kingdoms in a bid to stop the powerful Time Empress and rewrite the future of...
Release Date: 18/08/2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World
Spiritfarer is a boat-building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.
Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon
Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.
Release Date: 05/10/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game set in the years 431–422 BCE during a mythological history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. You play as a male or female mercenary fighting on both sides and attempting to...
Release Date: 26/10/2017
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Assassin's Creed Origins is an adventure set in Ancient Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–44 BC). This game in the series goes back to the start of the centuries-long conflict between the Assassins (who fight for peace by promoting...
Release Date: 15/12/1993, updated in 2021
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, Megadrive, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, 3D Third-Person and Cards
FIFA is one of the two main football video games (the other being Pro Evolution). Each year it's released with improved visuals, more realistic physics and enhanced competitive play. For those who follow the game closely and play it a lot, it offers a...
Release Date: 14/06/2016, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds
Dead by Daylight is a survival horror game where one player takes on the role of a killer and another other four try and work together to survive. It's unusual because of this asynchronous play and its cross-over with different franchise-inspired themes.
Release Date: 29/10/2020
Watch Dogs Legion is an adventure game, the third instalment in the Watch Dogs series. It's set in a fictionalised future dystopian London. You play hackers in the group DedSec seeking to clear their name for bombings in the city.
Release Date: 01/01/2000, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Hitman 3 is a stealth game where you take on assassination missions and then figure out how to execute them. The dynamic situations you enter unfold as you play and you can try different approaches.
Release Date: 21/06/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Just Shapes & Beats is a two player rhythm game where you dodge bullets in time with the music. As well as this unusual premise, play extends the novelty as you have to both avoid the various shapes and move to the Beats. It’s a new spin on the shoot...
Release Date: 01/08/2020
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Windbound is an adventure game where you hunt, explore and craft to survive. But unlike games like Zelda when you die you start over and the world is endlessly changing for each new adventure. It's an exacting...
Release Date: 07/10/2021
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Far Cry 6 is the sixth in the series of shooting games. Set on a fictional Caribbean island ruled as a dictatorship, you are guerrilla fighter Dani Rojas aiming to topple the regime. You explore the world and work to liberate the people you find - with...
Release Date: 01/06/2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon
Phogs is a game where you control a stretchy dog that has a head at both ends of its body. It sounds a little strange but is actually an endearing adventure where, on your own or with another person, you control each end of the dog separately to explore...
Release Date: 17/08/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Open World
Humankind is a strategy game where you develop a civilisation through the many ages of humanity's existence, from the nomadic tribes of ancient history to the space age. In many ways comparable to [link to game/Sid+Meiers+Civilization The Civilization...
Release Date: 09/12/2020
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Unto The End is a cinematic combat-adventure where the fighting is modelled in a read-and-react style. It requires time to master the unusual system but offers many ways to take on foes. Tactics and intelligent decisions are as important for survival as...
Release Date: 21/05/2020, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Embr is an action-fire-fighting game. You join the Emergency Services Revolution and respond to fires to make money, climbing the ladder of success and scoring points.
Release Date: 08/11/2022, updated in 2024
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Skull and Bones is an action game where you play a pirate captain in the 17th century Indian Ocean. You complete missions alone or with other players and grow your fleet on a quest to become the most infamous on the seven seas. It's the way it combines...
Release Date: 23/06/2020, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Wave Break is an extreme sports game where you ride a miniature boat to perform tricks like you do in a skateboard game. It's a bizarre set-up made all the more peculiar by its fast-paced shooting and a Miami Vice-inspired story.