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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

MSX (1985)

Play against the computer on twelve different levels. During the game you can take back a move, save and load...

DOS (1984)

A direct translation of the Avalon Hill board game of the same name, Circus Maximus. Race your chariot around the...

Atari ST (1993)

Coarse Angler is a one player fishing simulator written in STOS. The idea with the game is to provide an...

Computer EastFront Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Computer EastFront is an adaptation of the board game EastFront. It is a hex based wargame that simulates the Eastern...

Computer Facts in Five Atari 8-bit Front Cover

DOS (1982) and Atari 8-bit (1982)

A computer version of Avalon Hill's board game, Facts in Five, this game challenges players to recall trivia by category...

Computer Football Strategy Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1983), Atari 8-bit (1983) and TRS-80 (1983)

Computer Football Strategy is modeled after Avalon Hill’s board game based on American style football. Players can select from a...

Computer Napoleonics: The Battle of Waterloo Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1980)

Computer Napoleonics: The Battle of Waterloo is a division level simulation of the Battle of Waterloo. It can be played...

Computer Quarterback Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1981) and Atari 8-bit (1981)

Computer Quarterback is a real time strategy simulation of NFL football. There are three ways this game can be played....

Computer Statis Pro Baseball Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1983)

It's about time to get a decent manager for your home team -- you! As the name indicates, this is...

Computer Stocks & Bonds DOS Front Cover

DOS (1982), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1982), Atari 8-bit (1982), TRS-80 (1982) and Commodore PET/CBM (1982)

PC conversion of the board game.Try to make money at the stock market. Invest in stocks when their exchange price...

DOS (1993)

Welcome to the world of hackers. Computer Underground is a game where you take on the role of a computer...

Concorde Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

Concorde is part of Koch Media's 'Flying through the Decades' series. It is an additional aircraft developed for use with...

Commodore PET/CBM (1980)

The goal in Concorde Landing Simulation is to safely land a Concorde airplane. At the start of the plane the...

Windows (1998)

Concorde SST is an add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 98. It supplies Concorde in several liveries:The liveries supplied are:Air France:...

Conflict DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990) and Atari ST (1990)

Conflict is a political/strategy simulator, inspired by a prediction of how events in the Middle East could unfold in the...

Conflict 2500 Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1981), Atari 8-bit (1981), TRS-80 (1981), Commodore PET/CBM (1981) and FM-7 (1982)

It is the year 2500 and the galaxy has been at peace for many years. Until now! A fleet of...

Conflict: Europe DOS Front Cover

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

Essentially an update of 8-bit game Theatre Europe, your task is again to play World War 3 scenarios fighting as...

Conflict in Vietnam PC Booter Front Cover

PC Booter (1986), Commodore 64 (1986), Apple II (1986) and Atari 8-bit (1986)

The third and final installment in Microprose's Command series of war games simulates five key battles in Vietnam, beginning with...

Conflict: Korea - The First Year 1950-51 DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992) and Amiga (1992)

Conflict: Korea is a detailed wargame/simulation which concentrates on the first year of the Korean war. Three historical scenarios let...

Conflict: Middle East DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991) and Amiga (1991)

Conflict: Middle East is a detailed wargame/simulation of the Arab/Israeli Wars from 1973 until the present (1991). The action is...

Constellation Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Atari 8-bit (1992)

Constellation is a space trade game. The player's task is manufacturing, trade in raw materials and speculation on interplanetary exchanges....

Construction Destruction Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Play the vehicles of your own Construction Company, players can bid on jobs and accomplish them. Game includes 7 vehicles...

Constructor DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997), Windows (2010), PlayStation (1998), Macintosh (2012) and PS Vita (2012)

Constructor gives the player the chance to run a construction company in a place where real estate is up for...

Controller Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Apple II (1982) and Atari 8-bit (1982)

Part of heightened public interest in air traffic controllers, there was a flurry of simulations in the early 1980's. Avalon...

DOS (1996), Windows (2001) and Palm OS (2001)

Some programs conventionally considered games are simulators that have been described as "software toys", such as Little Computer People or...

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