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, romance, music, 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.).
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sorted in ascending orderGame Title

DOS (1991)

Nothing less than a computerized spirit board (of which the Ouija is the best known), DaSi lets you commune with...

Amiga (1990), Atari ST (1989) and Commodore 64 (1988)

Das Magazin is a managerial simulation in which the player responsible for a monthly computer magazine. Each month a sales...

Das Mega Quiz Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Das Mega Quiz is a quiz game with more than 4,000 questions for many different topics. It can be played...

David Douillet Judo Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006) and PlayStation 2 (2007)

David Douillet Judo is the first 3D judo sports simulation, developed in cooperation with Olympic gold medalist David Douillet with...

Dawn of Discovery Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009) and Wii (2009)

Dawn of Discovery is a Nintendo Wii and DS entry in the long-running German ANNO / A.D. series strategy series...

Dawn Patrol DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), Amiga (1995) and PC-98 (1997)

Having simulated modern-day planes with Flight of the Intruder, and World War 2 with Overlord, Rowan brought World War 1...

Dawn Patrol: Head to Head DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995)

Head to Head is an updated re-release of Empire's Dawn Patrol.Features and enhancements include real SVGA graphics, Head-to-Head mode via...

Day of the Pharaoh DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Amiga (1989) and Atari ST (1989)

Nil Dieu Vivant (also known as Day of the Pharaoh) is an action-oriented strategy game set in ancient Egypt.You start...

Days of Thunder DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Game Boy (1992), Amiga (1990), NES (1990), Atari ST (1990), Commodore 64 (1990) and ZX Spectrum (1990)

Tom Cruise's film brought NASCAR racing to the masses, and Mindscape did the same for games players with this license....

DC9-30 Professional Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

This is an aircraft add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.The aircraft is the Douglas DC9-30 with 18 liveries, and a...

Windows (2011)

DCS: A-10C Warthog is an air combat flight simulator. It lets the simulator pilot fly the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft...

DCS: Black Shark Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

DCS: Black Shark is the first iteration of the Digital Combat Simulator series and simulates the Russian Kamov Ka-50 Attack...

DCS: P-51D Mustang Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

DCS: P-51D Mustang is a combat flight simulator for the single-seat North American Aviation P-51D fighter aircraft used in the...

D-Day DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1993), Atari ST (1992) and Amstrad CPC (1992)

This multi-genre game represents famous historical events of World War II called D-Day and related to operation "Overlord", when Allies...

D-Day: The Beginning of the End DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994) and Amiga (1994)

The pivotal battle of World War 2 is recreated using Impressions' Micro Miniatures wargaming system. You take an overall command...

DDRMAX 2: Dance Dance Revolution PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002) and Arcade (2002)

The second PlayStation 2 DDR title released in Japan features 70 songs and includes the Diet and Oni modes in...

DDRMAX Dance Dance Revolution PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002) and Arcade (2001)

The popular arcade dance game is back in its first PS2 version. Step in the right direction when the arrows...

Windows (2008) and Xbox 360 (2008)

Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm is a game based off on the TV series Deadliest Catch. Just like the main actors...

Deadlock: Planetary Conquest Windows Front Cover

Windows (1996), Windows 3.x (1996) and Macintosh (1997)

Deadlock: Planetary Conquest is a 2D turn-based 4X strategy. Players take the roles of aliens deadlocked on a planet surface....

Deal or No Deal Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Deal or No Deal is based on the TV game show of the same name. It puts one contest against...

Deal or No Deal Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Deal or No Deal is based on the TV game show of the same name. Gameplay is simple; pick one...

Deal or No Deal: Secret Vault Games Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Loosely based on the game show Deal or No Deal, Secret Vault Games is a selection of minigames based on...

PlayStation 2 (2004)

In the near future, a UFO crash in Tokyo reveals the existence of aliens to the world. The stranded aliens,...

D├ębut Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1990) and Atari ST (1990)

A planet sits on the verge of environmental disaster. It's the player's job to find the sources and shut them...

DOS (1989), Commodore 64 (1988) and Apple II (1988)

The second volume of the Decisive Battles of the American Civil War series allows the player to reenact another five...

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