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Best Simulation Free Games

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.

DetailsGenre Details

Era: 2002 - 2022
Total Games: 57
Total Likes: 748
 

 

Cart Life

Release Date: 25/04/2019

Platforms: PC

Cart Life is a simulation game where you play one of three street vendors. You attempt to run their shop whilst looking after their health, interests, and families. It has simple visuals, but depicts the realities of the thin-end of life.

Blaseball

Release Date: 20/07/2020

Platforms: Web

Blaseball is an online baseball simulation. Unusually though, it blends-in an absurd horror story where players are incinerated and the rules can change -- a little like the board game Blood Bowl. Players compete not so much to get their team to win,...

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

Welcome to Bloxburg (Roblox)

Release Date: 01/11/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Welcome to Bloxburg is a simulation Roblox game where you take on daily activities in a fictional city. Drawing on gameplay from The Sims, you care for your character and keep their mood positive, by building and customizing your house, learning skills...

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

War Thunder

Release Date: 21/12/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

War Thunder is a shooting game where you drive a range of vehicles in warfare combat. Similar to Wargaming's World of Warplanes it creates realistic battles on air, land, and sea. The attraction of the combat is that each vehicle or craft’s...

Island Saver

Release Date: 13/05/2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Island Saver is action-adventure about cleaning up litter and goop to make money. It's created by Natwest with the aim of teaching children how to manage money. Unusually for a game with ideological ambitions, it's also a lot of fun.

Cities: Skylines

Release Date: 10/03/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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, provide public services and public...

Crossout

Release Date: 15/05/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Crossout is an online vehicle combat game set in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic world. Players design modular vehicles combine weapons, armour and engines. As you progress in the game you earn currency to upgrade components and access more powerful parts....

Scavengers

Release Date: 01/05/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Scavengers is a strategy survival game with an emphasis on team work and shooting. Squads of three compete to survive in open worlds with harsh environments, computer enemies and periodic missions. Different characters must use their unique abilities...

Dauntless

Release Date: 21/05/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Dauntless is an action fighting video game where you play a monster hunter in a fantasy world. Cataclysmic events have released Behemoth creatures that prey on the surviving humans. You play a monster hunter who hunts and kills large fantasy creatures,...

Unturned

Release Date: 08/07/2014, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Unturned is a strategy survival game where you are in a Minecraft and Roblox-style world filled with zombies. You have to carefully explore the world, gather resources and craft weapons. You might go in guns blazing, sneak around making use of...

Splitgate Arena Warfare

Release Date: 24/05/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Splitgate: Arena Warfare is a movement-focused shooting game. Building on classic quick-motion gun battles, Splitgate adds a gun that can create portals between any two locations. This combines the frantic close-quarters arena combat that was popular in...

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox)

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox) is a strategy game where build your ship (or anything else) from different materials and set sail for adventure. Doing this successfully earns new items and materials for your next build. Although this churn does...

Balance - Power Grid

Release Date: 05/08/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac and iOS

Balance - Power Grid is a puzzle game about power grids. You place cables, pylons and power generators to make sure there are no blackouts. Through a series of challenges you build power grids that are functional, and that produce the right amount of...

Tren (Dreams)

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tren is a puzzle platform game where you explore 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...

Lego Duplo World (Series)

Release Date: 01/08/2019

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Lego Duplo World (and Lego Duplo Marvel) are very simple point-and-click puzzle games. Based on the popular children's toy, it's an interactive play experience based on HeadStart’s Early Learning Outcomes Framework that encourages children to develop...

Realm Royale

Release Date: 05/06/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Realm Royale is battle royale shooting game, like Fortnite. The game features multiple character classes each with unique abilities. It's a spin off of the the hero-based shooting game Paladins by the same...

Orchids to Dusk

Release Date: 03/12/2015

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.

QWOP

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

QWOP is a sports game with a difference. You have to control each limb of your virtual athlete. This changes it from a challenge of hitting buttons to using the touch screen or keyboard to deftly co-ordinate movement to gain forward motion. It's really...

The Endless Forest

Release Date: 15/02/2006

Platforms: PC

This is a whimsical online multiplayer game where you play deer in a peaceful forest. You freely explore ruins and ponds, and meet other players, communicating in symbols. The world is like a moving painting, but one that players have a strong sense of...

Work At A Pizza Place (Roblox)

Release Date: 28/03/2008, updated in 2021

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Work At A Pizza Place is a strategy game where you take on the role of a team member in a pizza restaurant. When you start you choose a role and work with other online players to fulfil orders, cook pizzas, manage stock and other aspects of the business.

Gravity Rush

Release Date: 09/02/2012, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Gravity Rush is a running, jumping and exploration adventure game. You play as Kat, an amnesiac with the power to manipulate gravity. She uses this ability to help her community and uncover the mystery of her past.

Dish Life: The Game

Release Date: 24/02/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Dish Life: The Game is a puzzle narrative game where you play a stem cell researcher, managing a laboratory and growing stem cells.

#SelfCare

Release Date: 29/07/2019

Platforms: Android and iOS

#SelfCare is a companion game that aims to create space for your feelings. Unlike other apps that remind or incentivise you to take a break, breath or even just to stand up, #SelfCare offers interactions and narrative that create a context for you to...

Bad News

Release Date: 01/12/2019

Platforms: Web

Bad News is a role-play game about building a news media organisation. It's designed to highlight bias in the news by putting you in charge of a series of decisions to build a profitable company. All you do is answer questions, but as you do the...

Claustrofactory (Dreams)

Release Date: 30/11/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Depression Quest

Release Date: 14/02/2013

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Depression Quest is a narrative game about dealing with depression. You play the story of a someone suffering from depression and their attempts to deal with their condition. With emotive still images and atmospheric music that responds to your mood,...

Eidolon

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...

Blackbird

Release Date: 21/04/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Blackbird is a strategy game where you are a blackbird collecting food for your young. You need to scour the forest to find enough insects to keep them alive and them fly the nest (or die trying).

Ruckus (Dreams)

Release Date: 20/06/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Ruckus Just Another Natural Disaster (to use its full name) is a fighting game where you are destroying the city rather than other players. You play a Godzilla-style monster and must cause as much havoc before the missiles land and end your reign of...

Tres Undos

Release Date: 03/01/2022

Platforms: Web

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Tres Undo is a hard puzzle game where you move blocks around a maze to fill holes and progress. The twist is that you can rewind time. On top of this the game layers the rewind ability to affect different elements differently. Then there are locations...

World of Tanks

Release Date: 12/08/2010, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

World of Tanks is a multiplayer tank simulation shooting game. You control a tank in a war zone and try and destroy enemy tanks in online matches in a race for supremacy and points. The scale and strategy of the battles recreates a realistic theatre of...

Karawan

Release Date: 04/10/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Karawan is a meditative puzzle game where you journey to escape a desolate, crumbling world. It requires significant route-planning strategy, as you work to find optimum path to gather resources without running out of food. The novelty is extended by...

Rocket League Sideswipe

Release Date: 29/11/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Rocket League Sideswipe is a competitive sport where you drive a car and aim to put a large ball in the goal. It's the mobile/smartphone version of the popular Rocket League esports game. Unlike the main game it is played in two dimensions, but still,...

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

Release Date: 29/02/2012, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android and iOS

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a city-building game based on the popular and long-running cartoon. After Homer causes the destruction of Springfield, you complete quests to earn money, unlock buildings and characters, and rebuild the town. The free to...

A Little Perspective (Dreams)

Release Date: 06/04/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

A Little Perspective is a puzzle game where you rotate the world to see things from a different angle and find new paths to the goal. Like an Escher picture (and like the PlayStation 3 game, Echochrome) the perspective affects which platforms you can...

Rally 2020 (Dreams)

Release Date: 22/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Rally 2020 is a single-player rally racing game. Drive through a cross-country course in Germany from the viewpoint of the driver with your co-driver giving you navigation. It's novel because of the simple intensity of this task. Don't fall in the water...

Slow Roads

Release Date: 10/10/2022

Platforms: Web

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Slow Roads is a relaxing endless driving game that focuses on the simple experience of travel. You play by steering the car through the different locations and times-of-day, or switch to autopilot and let the countryside fly past automatically. It...

Tectonic (Dreams)

Release Date: 12/07/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Tectonic is a timed single-car racing game. It starts out as an ordinary race through an American city, but soon develops into an exciting experience as you drive through the city while it is being wrecked by an earthquake. Buildings fall all around you...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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