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 descending orderGame Title

Nintendo 64 (2000)

You, a small child, were happily playing your favourite game Kyojin no Doshin 1 when mom told you to go...

Windows (2012)

Kyoto is a meditative experience based around interacting with a tree. It is planted on a small patch of land,...

Kyuutenkai: Fantastic Pinball PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1995) and SEGA Saturn (1995)

Fantastic Pinball plays very similar to the Alien Crush/Devil's Crush series of pinball games. This game also offers living bumpers,...

L-1011 TriStar Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

L-1011 TriStar is an add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 or Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000.The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly called...

Commodore 64 (1995)

Laced Tiles is a jigsaw puzzle game where players assemble tiles in such a way that they create a picture...

Windows (2004)

Take the one-armed bandit for all they've got! With hundreds of slot machines, and betting amounts from a nickel to...

Lancaster Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Lancaster is a commercial add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, with the Avro Lancaster WWII bomber as its flagship. It...

Lancaster Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1989) and Atari ST (1989)

This is a flight simulator where you get to play the gunner of a Lancaster bomber in WW2. The bombing...

Commodore PET/CBM (1978)

Lander is an adaptation of Lunar Lander. In this version you don't have to find solid ground, but you must...

Lander Android Front Cover

Windows 3.x (1990) and Android (2011)

Abstractly piloting a lunar lander from some external position, your aim is to situate it over terrain sufficiently flat to...

Lander Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

The year is 3032. You own a hovercraft type spacecraft and earn your living by piloting it around the solar...

Commodore PET/CBM (1980)

Lander X is a Lunar Lander variant. This version does not include graphics and uses textual input. Like other Lunar...

Land Sea and Air! DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

Land Sea and Air! is a compilation from MicroProse that includes previously released versions of M-1 Tank Platoon, Silent Service...

Landwirtschafts Gigant Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Landwirtschafts Gigant is a managerial simulation in which the player takes control over a farm. The basics follow the usual...

Windows (2013)

Landwirtschafts Gigant: AddOn 1 is an add-on for Landwirtschafts Gigant. It does not add new mechanics to the game, just...

Landwirtschafts-Simulator: Gold Add-On Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

Landwirtschafts-Simulator: Gold Add-On is an add-on for Farming Simulator 2009. It adds four new missions, seven new machines, better support...

Landwirtschafts-Simulator: Offizielles Add-On 2 - Klassiker der Landwirtschaft Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

Landwirtschafts-Simulator: Offizielles Add-On 2 - Klassiker der Landwirtschaft contains German classic tractors and equipment for Farming Simulator 2011.

Larry Bond's Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Larry Bond's Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare (ANW) is an update to the series that simulates naval wargaming, building on...

Larry Bond's Harpoon: Commander's Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Larry Bond's Harpoon - Commanders Edition continues to hold the standard in naval wargaming. Building on the community developed Harpoon...

Larry Bond's Harpoon: Ultimate Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

This edition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the computer Harpoon series. The two base games included are: Larry Bond's Harpoon...

Laser Surgeon: The Microscopic Mission DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987) and TRS-80 CoCo (1987)

Laser Surgeon: The Microscopic Mission is an educational game where you are taught (or lose a patient trying...oops) to sharpen...

Last Call! Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2000) and Macintosh (2000)

Mix drinks and serve them up, collect tips, check I.D.'s, shoot the breeze with the customers or blatantly hit on...

Last Day of Work Complete Pack Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

This Steam compilation contains the following games developed by Last Day of Work: Fish Tycoon Plant Tycoon Virtual Villagers: The...

Windows (2004)

The Last Days: Decisive Battles over Europe is an unofficial expansion pack for IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles. In this flight...

The Last Dynasty Windows Front Cover

Windows 3.x (1995)

The Last Dynasty is a hybrid game that casts the player in the role of the space pilot Mel Raauq....

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