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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DOS (1995)

The add-on scenario disk to 1942: The Pacific Air War offers a multitude of new features. Players can now join...

1990: Die 1993'er Edition Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1993)

1990: Die 1993'er Edition is an expanded re-release of 1990. The changes are mostly technical, e.g. many drawn graphics were...

NES (1992)

Four Japanese high-school students were camping at the countryside, when they suddenly saw an UFO landing nearby. Before they managed...

2005 Traffic Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

2005 Traffic is an add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. It is designed to make the traffic element of the...

201 Action Adventure Games Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

201 Action Adventure Games is a compilation of shareware, freeware and demonstration games for Windows. The games in this package...

DOS (1982)

A straight PC conversion of its card-based namesake, also known as Blackjack: each round begins with a bet, and the...

21: Blackjack Nintendo DSi Front Cover

Nintendo DSi (2010)

21: Blackjack is a downloadable title available for the Nintendo DSi through the DSi Ware store. 21 is your pretty...

DOS (1992)

21 Gewinnt is a German shareware gambling game. The rules are similar to the card game Blackjack but instead of...

2in1 Pack: Dream Team 98 - ranSoccer Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

This compilation includes the following 2 games on CD-ROM: Dream Team 98 ranSoccer

Windows (1998)

This compilation includes the following 2 games on CD-ROM: Hanse: Die Expedition The Patrician

2in1 Pack: Jack Nicklaus 4 - Tennis Manager Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

This compilation includes the following 2 games on CD-ROM: Jack Nicklaus 4 Tennis Manager

DOS (1986)

In 3 Card High Low Poker, the dealer chooses, on each round, whether the winning hand must be high or...

PlayStation (1996) and SEGA Saturn (1996)

3D Baseball is a 3-D polygon baseball game with over 700 actual Major League players and their previous years stats...

DOS (1994)

This is a 3D Rubik's Cube game controlled by either mouse or keyboard. The goal of the game is the...

3D Desert Patrol ZX Spectrum Front Cover

ZX Spectrum (1983)

The object of 3D Desert Patrol is to reach the safety of a road some distance ahead (depending on difficulty...

Windows (2011)

3d Girlz is a simulator depicting sexual positions by computer animated models.Female models may be changed to the player's liking,...

Windows (1998)

The first of the first-generation deer hunting games to offer complete freedom of movement, Trophy Whitetail uses a build-like engine...

3D Lawn Darts iPhone Front Cover

J2ME (2007), Windows Mobile (2007), Symbian (2007), iPhone (2008) and BlackBerry (2009)

3D Lawn Darts takes the classic game of lawn darts and brings it to mobile devices. Lawn darts is a...

Windows (1999)

3D Railroad Simulator is a game which focuses on the accurate simulation of diesel locomotive. The player is on the...

Atari 8-bit (1980)

3-D Red Baron Dogfight/Flight Simulator is a simulation game where the player, flying a warplane, must shoot down an enemy...

Windows (2000)

Construct your own coaster and ride them in 3D! Choose from 3 types of coaster, each with over 20 connectable...

ZX Spectrum (1984) and Dragon 32/64 (1984)

The Seiddab (look at it twice and you'll get the joke) are on the rampage on the planet, and you...

3-D Ultra Lionel Train Town Deluxe Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

3-D Ultra Lionel Train Town Deluxe is a stand-alone reissue of 3D Ultra Train Town, which was voted "2000 Family...

Game Boy Color (2000)

3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride is a two-dimensional pinball game made to look like Hersheypark. This version of the game is...

The 3rd Millennium Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997)

The 3rd Millennium is a simulation game which places you as a political leader in the year 2001 (near future...

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