Because living in the real world is so much less fun than playing video games, a whole subgenre of those games was dubbed “life simulators.”
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The Simulators and Animal Crossing are two of the most popular examples of life sims with basic features and controls that appeal to both casual and core gamers.
We’ve compiled a list of the finest life-simulation games to play, including those on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and smartphones.
We’ll be adding more games to this list as they come out, so check back often and let us know if we’ve missed any!
PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all supported.
Cozy Grove, a 2D life simulation in which you camp on an ever-changing island plagued by friendly spirits, is an indie sleeper success this year.
Every day, your job as a Spirit Scout is to explore the island’s forest in quest of buried treasure, go fishing, and fulfill the wishes of the local spirits.
The items you find on the island can be turned into decorations to brighten up the place and bring back some of the island’s much-missed brightness and happiness.
It will take you about 40 hours to complete the main tale, and since the game is timed to the real world, you’ll be checking in on Cozy Grove every day.
Nintendo Switch and PC
Not Tonight is a life-simulation RPG set in a dystopian Britain where Brexit negotiations have failed and an extreme far-right administration has taken power.
Playing the role of a bouncer, you’ll be responsible for checking IDs, managing guest lists, and preventing partygoers from being obnoxious.
Bouncers can utilize their money to improve their living quarters and purchase new equipment as their career progresses.
You’ll often be put to the test as to whether or not you’ll go to tremendous lengths to protect a repressive dictatorship or disobey it and rebel.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
This is a Nintendo Switch-based device.
As much as fans have loved the Animal Crossing series over the past two decades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be a game changer for Nintendo Switch owners.
There has always been an emphasis on player customization in the game, whether it’s in the form of customizing the look of the town or adding in a cast of animal residents with distinct personalities.
Crafting and the ability to alter your island’s landscape at will are two new additions to the traditional formula introduced in New Horizons.
We understand that you have a lot on your plate, but we encourage you, like you do everything else, to take it one day at a time.
Microsoft’s Xbox One and PC
Ooblets is a unique take on the life sim genre, combining elements from Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Pokémon in a “best hits” mashup.
Customizable characters and beautiful “ooblets” live together peacefully in a universe where people and the beasts cohabit.
Ooblets come in a variety of forms and sizes, and after some persuasion, they will join your party and follow you wherever you go.
It’s possible to plant seeds in your garden to develop new types of characters that you may battle with other ooblets, hold dance parties, or even blend qualities from different ooblets.
PCs and Macs are supported.
In real life, we could need more dogs, particularly charming mutant dogs that move around in an odd fashion.
Creating an army of virtual pets in a 3D sandbox with rooms that may be rearranged to encourage socialization is the goal of Wobbledogs.
However, despite the fact that Wobbledogs’ gameplay is designed for a more laid-back experience, its systems go so far as to physically imitate the intestinal tracts of your dogs.
As puppies get older, their physiology will alter due to the food they consume and the amount of physical activity they engage in, therefore it’s important to keep the two in balance.
The Sims 4
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Mac are all supported.
If you want to become the most famous gardener in Willow Creek, or construct a criminal empire, Sims 4 has you covered in almost every way.
In addition, you have access to powerful construction tools that allow you to make your fantasy home into a reality virtually.
It has become possible to have same-sex weddings and adopt children as the series has progressed.
Using the greatest Sims 4 mods available to download on PC, you may unlock your imagination and unleash your creativity.
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS
A one-man endeavor of passion. Stardew Valley is based on the Harvest Moon series, but it introduces its own RPG features and bright pixel art graphics in its place.
Your goal is to resurrect your grandfather’s old farm by gathering seeds, planting them, and then selling the harvest. You play as a character created by yourself.
Whether you’re exploring mines, talking to neighbors, maintaining crops, or just hanging out at the pub, there’s a day/night cycle that pushes you to plan ahead.
People in Stardew have individual personalities that bring them to life and motivate you to make friends, target your rivals, and even get married.
Nintendo Switch and PC
A life-sim for cat lovers is an appropriate follow-up to our recommendation of a game for dog lovers.
With its adorable pixel aesthetic and unique animal RPG gameplay, Cattails lets you take control of a customisable kitty and live out their wildest fantasies.
You’ll have to hunt, socialize, and explore your way through a huge open environment in order to survive and eventually raise a litter of kittens.
Along the journey, you’ll engage in combat with other colonies, search for wealth in dangerous caverns, take part in festivals, and furnish your den.
My Time At Portia
Playstation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS are all supported
Remaining human beings have condensed to form a small rural hamlet to rebuild civilization in My Time at Portia, an RPG based on the farming life sim genre.
There are three distinct modes of play: managing a farm, making new equipment in the workshop, and exploring caves that contain precious minerals and ancient relics.
As you progress through the game’s 60-plus-hour campaign, you’ll come to know the other villagers and discover what makes them tick.
There’s no need to panic, because the game actively encourages you to take your time and enjoy Portia’s inviting surroundings.
PC, Nintendo Switch, Linux, and Mac are all supported.
In Littlewood, a 2D game with retro-inspired pixel imagery, you’ll relive the joys of gaming’s glory days of the 8- and 16-bit eras.
A hero who saves Littlewood from the evil of a Dark Wizard is left with no memory of their exploits.
The goal of the game is to return Littlewood to its previous splendor by exploring the wide globe of Solemn in search of resources and new citizens.
As you explore Solemn’s magical forests, bustling fishing towns, and mysterious mining caves, you’ll encounter unique characters and take up hobbies like farming, fishing, merchanting, and more.
The PC is the platform of choice.
Open-world role-playing game Cladmen is about a guy who turns to crime once his mother is ill, and the game features life-sim components.
To save her, you’ll need to learn how to make and sell illegal narcotics while evading the authorities.
In the game, you have access to a wide range of tools and possibilities to grow your firm and take on the competitors.
There are a plethora of possible outcomes based on your choices throughout the narrative, necessitating numerous attempts to see them all.
PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all supported.
In Calico, you’ll be tasked with restoring the town’s local cat café and populating it with a variety of adorable and cuddly felines.
Animal Crossing and Ooblets are also on this list, but with a cat-business twist that’s both pleasant and addictive, and this game is no exception.
Cats may be named and petted, and you can go on adventures with a swarm of them following you around.
There’s also a decoration option that allows you to decorate the cafe and make delicious-looking treats for your new customers.
Macintosh OS X and PC
A medieval tavern with thirsty customers, Travellers Rest is a management/life-simulator game set in the era.
It’s your job to serve food and upgrade the bar’s amenities while also making sure customers’ cups are always full of their favorite drink.
With a wide range of customization options, you’ll be able to change anything from your character’s appearance to the layout of the bar.
In time, you’ll feel like a part of the neighborhood and care about the people you meet at your favorite bar as you become acquainted with their lives and the stories they tell.
The PC is the platform of choice.
Hokko Living, a Steam Early Access title that transports you to a wonderful town where animals can walk, talk, and ask for favors, is our next pick for a comfortable life sim.
After taking over the old workshop, you’ll begin making one-of-a-kind furniture and decor for yourself and your neighbors.
It’s possible to take a break from hammering away at your workbench and engage in pastimes like fishing and bug gathering.
Hokko Life’s improved customization tool allows users to fine-tune decorations to build individual furnishings, which sets it apart from games like Animal Crossing and The Sims.
The PC is the platform of choice.
Finally, Paralives is an upcoming life-simulation game that’s already more ambitious than any previous game in the genre.
With a tiny team of indie developers, the game will tackle a long list of features that players have been asking for in popular life simulations for years.
Buildings and furniture may be completely customized, characters can be created in greater detail, AI for characters can be further developed, and there are drivable cars and many other new features.
Open-world gameplay lets you interact with other players in diverse locations such as retail establishments, parks, and offices as you go about your daily routine.
TinyBuild, Lazy Bear Games
TinyBuild, MP Digital, LLC is the publisher.
Graveyard Keeper places you in the role of a cemetery caretaker, as its name suggests. There are obvious nods to games like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, but here you’re in charge of a creepy cemetery instead of an idyllic farm.
To care for a medieval town’s graveyard and church after being knocked unconscious by a car is now your duty. There are weeds, trees, rocks, and stumps everywhere in the beginning of your graveyard.
It’s possible to enlarge your graveyard once you’ve cleared the land and opened up new facilities. Additionally, you’ll need to build up your Technology tree, which will give you access to and develop abilities such as alchemy and anatomy.
These abilities will not only give you with additional sources of income, but they will also unlock new features, many of which are important for growing your cemetery and performing tasks for the townfolk.
Rune Factory 4
Marvelous Inc., Neverland, and Hakama Inc. are the developers.
XSEED Games and Marvelous Inc. are the publishers.
As a mix of life sim and action RPG, Rune Factory 4 is sure to please those who appreciate both types of games. After crashing an airship and losing your memory, you find yourself in Selphia, a fantasy village.
In your favor, you’ve been mistaken for a member of the royal family who was brought in to help run the town. To attract tourists and improve your relationship with the locals, you’ll need to invest in the town’s growth and development.
It is possible to farm in addition to managing a town; to fight (and tame) monsters; to complete dungeons; to take part in seasonal events. Rune Factory 4 features a greater emphasis on romance than earlier games in the series.
There are 12 bachelors and bachelorettes to date or marry, as well as various romantic exchanges and activities. You can even take your family along for the adventure and enlist their help in dungeons.
Developers: Level-5, 1-Up Studio, and h.a.n.d.
Nintendo’s Level-5 publisher
Fantasy Life is one of the best life-simulation games, however the Nintendo 3DS version is the only one. However, this game is worth the effort of resurrecting your ancient 3DS.
Reveria is a fantasy realm where a hero is assigned to investigate mysterious meteorites that have released bizarre animals over the land.
Life classes include the Magician, Paladin, Cook, Miner, Angler, and Carpenter. There are 12 classes to choose from. It is possible to learn new talents and abilities from other classes while playing each career.
Certain tasks are required in order to progress through each life class and become more efficient. Belief points can be earned by completing certain objectives, which can then be used to unlock additional features like mounts or more inventory space.
There will be additional regions to discover and NPCs to interact with as you progress through the story. Fantasy Life is a little more story-driven than most other life simulators, but you can still explore and play the game at your own pace..
Little Dragons Café
Created by TOYBOX Inc. and Co Picola LLC with assistance from Aksys Games.
Aksys Games, Rising Star Games
Little Dragons Café is a pleasant casual life simulation in which you run a tiny cafe with either your twin sister or brother, but there’s also a unique twist. It was designed by the same creator of the Harvest Moon series.
An elderly man approaches and informs you that the only way to save your mother is to raise a dragon, after you find her in a deep sleep. You’ve been given the task of running the family business and caring for a dragon.
Care for your dragon is one of the main aspects of gameplay in Little Dragons Café. In addition to serving clients, preparing meals, and customizing the food menu, you’ll need to manage your crew so that they don’t slack off and ruin your cafe’s reputation.
You’ll need to journey into the huge wilderness, which is rich with mysteries, recipes, things, animals, and risks, to provide the café with fresh ingredients and new dishes. Even more mysteries and discovery await you as your dragon companion grows up from a baby dragon to an adult dragon, allowing you to get beyond certain hurdles.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Marvelous Aql Inc. and Three Rings Design are the companies behind the game.
the Marvelous Aql Inc. and XSEED Games publishing companies
If you’ve played any farming sim, you’ll know that Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town follows the same formula as its predecessors. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a joy to play because of its lovable cartoony aesthetics, calming atmosphere, and addictive gameplay.
after moving to the peaceful Olive Town in search of a fresh career path, you learn that your new neighbors aren’t happy with their dreary existence. It’s up to you to spruce things up a bit in order to keep the town’s citizens happy.
While working on your farm, you’ll have to renovate benches, re-pave roads, and extend the Town Hall as part of the town renovation project.
In Pioneers of Olive Town, you can acquire 12 different skills, such as caring for animals, fishing, cooking, communicating, and cultivating. Each ability has a leveling system that allows you to get better at it while also rewarding you with additional benefits.
For those who like to focus on a specific talent, this provides a lot of variety and choice during playthroughs. As an example, Pioneers of Olive Town will not prevent you from accomplishing your goal of becoming an expert beekeeper instead of cultivating crops.
Reigns: Her Majesty (81)
In terms of inventive and simple simulation games, Reigns is one of the best. A Tinder-style swiping mechanic can be used to run an entire empire, which is unexpected fun.
Its sequel has a queen at the helm this time around, but it lacks some of the uniqueness that the previous title had. It’s disappointing. In spite of this, it’s a fantastic game that tweaks the gameplay of its predecessor slightly.
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (85)
A simulation game, according to Metacritic, is VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. Even though it’s an overstatement, graphic novels might be seen as simulations of conversation and interaction with others. You might as well talk to fictional characters if you’re already going to be communicating online anyhow.
The story of VA-11 HALL-A is exceptionally well-written, and there are a plethora of interesting personalities with whom you may strike up a conversation while running your bar. Emotional rollercoaster rides have been praised in the game’s reviews. According to critics, this is one of the best visual novels out there, especially for consoles. Even if it’s only a simulation, it offers a glimpse into a bleak future that some players may find appealing.
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale (86)
VR games have the ability to provide some of the most lifelike simulation experiences currently accessible when they are at their peak performance. VR Virtual reality can give you the sensation of being transported to a different world. This is especially true when the dissonance isn’t resolved. The good news is that Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale appears to be considered a good enough virtual reality experience by the majority of people.
In a fictional world, four players are entrusted with working together to meet the needs of progressively more demanding consumers. Cook, Serve, Delicious is a departure from the more typical cooking games, yet it can be compared to them. Reviews say the game is perfect for groups of friends with multiple VR headsets to play together.
Game Dev Story (86)
Game Dev Story is one of Kairosoft’s Story games, which can be played on PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms. The game is about creating video games, as implied by the title, however the emphasis is on running a studio rather than working on the actual game itself.
You may become the best in the business by shipping better and better games, which can be accomplished in many ways, from recruiting a great team to pre-production genre selection to bug fixing. Consoles come and go, and you have to keep up. This is a great little game for anyone who enjoys business simulations and video games.
The Sims 3 (86)
The Sims 3 was released during the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 generation, which means that there has been a new Sims game every platform generation. It’s not uncommon for simulation game sequences to be bizarre, with little room for expanding ideas and instead concentrate on refining the formula that’s been put in place previously.
When you consider the game’s expansion of customizing capabilities, interactions with other Sims (and people), and life ambitions, it feels like a leap forward rather than a step forward.
Reigns is a mobile, PC, and Switch game that lets you play as the ruler of a fictional medieval nation and decide whether or not to listen to or disregard your advisors by swiping right or left. Every choice has ramifications, and the four pillars of the kingdom—the church, the people, the military, and wealth—must be taken into consideration.
The king’s authority comes to an abrupt end if he or she gains too much power or disappears altogether. Unpredictable scripted occurrences may also affect the kingdom, and a wise king or queen will prepare for them.
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator (88)
When it comes to video game sub-genres, dating simulators are among the most popular, with new titles being released every day. Even if Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator stands apart, it’s fully justifiably so.
It’s the story of a single dad who recently moved to a cul-de-sac with his kid, where he’s joined by several other single dads in the neighborhood. It’s now time for the smooching. When viewed from a superficial perspective, the game appears to be a parody of “dads courting dads,” yet it is actually a well-crafted story about social anxiety and toxic masculinity.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (88)
It’s not surprising that the most recent portable Animal Crossing game was previously the highest-rated title in the franchise, as it was the fourth iteration.
The show understood the pride that people took in their communities and gave them the authority to make a wide range of changes, but it put the player in the role of mayor instead. Having full control over local initiatives was a great addition, and Isabelle was a wonderful assistant and secretary.
The Sims 2 (90)
The Sims 2 has a higher score than The Sims 3 but a lower score than The Sims. This could be because tiny iterations get less and less spectacular as a series advances. With the introduction of horoscopes and goals in The Sims 2, creators were able to give their Sims even more personality definition.
Unlike the original, the Sims can be controlled directly in this version. However, some of the pre-built neighborhoods do have character arcs and tiny plots, even if there is no “story” per se in the game.
Epic Astro Story (91)
Epic Astro Story, a game developed by Kairosoft, is one of their greatest. City management and space exploration are two distinct genres in this video game. In this sci-fi premise, players are responsible with establishing and maintaining a space colony.
Players must venture into the cosmos in order to amass additional resources and land. Kairosoft’s other games have a conventional city management gameplay, but this one has a unique fighting system.
The Sims (92)
It’s brave to name your game after the genre it’s in, but The Sims is there to support you. The 2000 title had a huge impact on the future of video gaming.
The microcosmic vision of SimCity allowed players to control and impact the lives of their Sims, between the activities they could make them perform and the home furnishings they gave. Even though it now seems dated, the game was groundbreaking at the time it was released.
Is there a game like Sims for adults?
So, if you’re looking for a more mature Sims experience, check out 7 Sins.
Is Simulator a game?
A computer game is a game, while a simulation is a combination of strategy and skill. The objectives of simulations and games are vastly different. Simulators, on the other hand, are created for evaluation or computation reasons, whereas games are designed for fun and teaching.
Can Sims realize they are in a simulation?
No one will ever know that you’re running a simulation. Sims are computer-animated characters in video games. There isn’t anything they don’t already know because it’s all defined in the code.