Simulation games are created with the goal of putting the player in control of a certain activity while attempting to make it as realistic as possible.
In the strictest sense of the word, all electronic games are simulations, since they cannot exist without simulating aspects of real life. However, simulation genre only includes games that focus
(entirely or mostly) on imitating real-life activities. That does not mean that simulation games must be completely realistic; for example, space combat simulation
games simulate an activity that is (yet) unknown to human beings. The distinguishing feature of simulation games is their emphasis on realism and detail comparable to those encountered in real life.
Most simulation games are not story-driven, since they concentrate on describing general activities, not concrete situations. Among notable exceptions are Wing Commander
games, which combine space combat simulation with a continuous narrative.
Simulation themes vary greatly; theoretically, they are limited only by the amount of activities known to human beings. Simulation themes include, for example, traffic networks
, medical care
, and many others.
Simulation games can be roughly divided into five main groups:
- Managerial simulations put the player in a position of a manager or a similar role.
- Construction simulations primarily involve building, for example cities.
- Life simulations may deal with human life or life in general.
- Professional / Social simulations are dedicated to specific social activities and professions.
- Vehicle simulations allow the player direct control of a vehicle with a certain sense of realism, for example plane, space ship, tank, etc.
Simulation can also be used as a modifier for other genres, for example Strategy (realistic re-creation of historical battles), Racing / Driving (particularly realistic vehicle-handling, tuning, repair, etc.), or Sports (team management, training, trading, etc.).
Aces of the Air attempts to simulate combat aviation using planes from around the World War II era.Missions involve destroying...
Take command of one of seven German U-Boats during WWII and hunt down and destroy allied convoys. This is never...
DOS (1994) and Windows (1995)
This is a re-release of the 1994 DOS game Aces of the Deep. While the gameplay is unchanged it adds...
An expansion package for either the floppy or CD versions of Aces of the Deep adds brand new missions, areas...
DOS (1992) and Windows 3.x (1992)
Dynamix/Sierra's answer to the Lawrence Holland Air Combat Trilogy. This game includes an incredible amount of aircraft and ships. In...
DOS (1992) and Windows 3.x (1992)
This expansion set to Aces of the Pacific is premised on what might have happened in the pacific theater if...
A WorldWar II simulation, you can fly different airplanes both on the Allied and the German side. The missions differ...
DOS (1995), Windows (1995) and Windows 3.x (1995)
This compilation features all flight simulations developed by Dynamix in the early 1990's on one CD-ROM:
A-10 Tank Killer
Windows (1997), Windows 3.x (1997) and Macintosh (1997)
Achtung Spitfire is the sequel to Over the Reich. It is a turn based Strategy/Simulation game which covers aviation history...
Across the Rhine: 1944 - 1945 Armored Combat in Western Europe is a mix between strategy and simulation game set...
Commodore 64 (1986) and Atari 2600 (2008)
The object of Actionauts is to program your robot to perform a series of commands. Use the joystick to set...
Action in The North Atlantic is a 2D, CGA naval simulation.
You take the role of a British or a...
Windows (1997) and Windows 3.x (1997)
As the title already indicates this compilation includes the following two Sierra games:
Silent Thunder: A-10 Tank Killer...
Microïds' Action Sports compilation contains the following 4 games:
Grand Prix 500 2
Super Ski II
DOS (1990) and Amiga (1991)
Action Stations is a Naval Surface Combat Tactical Simulation covering the years 1922-1945. The game treats thoroughly in detail smoke,...
Actua Golf 3 is a golf simulation game featuring eight courses. You can completely customize your own character. With a...
ZX Spectrum (1984)
Ad Astra is an early into-the-screen 3D space shoot 'em up. Your craft is viewed in front of you, with...
A Day at Work is a top-down, small town simulator wherein the player takes control of Tom, a dutiful employee...
Windows (1998) and PlayStation (2000)
Addiction Pinball consists of two tables based on other computer games by the same developer:
World Rally (based on the...
A program coming across as somewhat nonsensical in absence of a certain context, this piece of software puts its operator...
DOS (1990), Amiga (1991), Atari ST (1990) and Amstrad CPC (1990)
Advanced Destroyer Simulator (ADS) is a naval combat simulation set in World War 2. It was the first naval simulation...
Whereas the original NetWars was developed by Novell to be bundled with their Personal NetWare program to show off NetWare's...