Simulation games are those video games or computer games that play realistic situations in game settings. Examples of these types of games include taking care of virtual people or pets, such as Sims games, developing cities of companies like Civilization or SimCity, and building amusement parks or zoos in games like Roller Coaster Tycoon or Zoo Tycoon.Some of these games can take hours and can be incredibly complex. In fact, some games are not played to win but are instead played because you can develop multiple right solutions or different game permutations depending on your choices. Other simulation games are structured on a multiple win/defeat basis or require the completion of certain tasks before they can advance to another level.
People may remember that long before video games became so popular and so complex there were roots of simulation games in other activities. Astronauts performed mission simulations so as to make sure they were acting properly. Many former teenage drivers remember the simulation labs where they watched movies that would allow them to practice driving with the steering wheel, possibly with the brakes and other car controls.
However, as a genre of video games, many consider SimCity the first real simulation game marketed to the public, although there have been some driving games that preceded it that can also be considered simulation models. SimCity was released in 1989 and since then there have been many updated versions that allow you to plan cities, raise money through taxes and develop communities. You could choose to build your city from scratch or choose to play in a specific city that was facing certain types of problems you had to deal with.
When building your city, you should also take into account problems with population growth, natural disasters (including Godzilla’s appearances), citizens’ unhappiness, and lack of electricity. A game could go on for pretty much as long as you want, and if you really hate your city, you can always start over. SimCity was seen as the beginning of a revolution in simulation games and inspired numerous competitors in the following years.
Since the release of the first version of SimCity, numerous games have arrived that have expanded the genre. Some realistic fighting games are called simulation games. Some fantasy war games also fall into this category, especially if they are those that involve the use of meaningful strategies and tactics to engage in battles. Another big change in simulation games occurred with the introduction of games like the original The Sims, released in 2000.
Instead of controlling big cities or defeating worlds, the Sims were people you could control. The game allowed you to find work for the Sims, teach them how to cook, tell them when to sleep and find their companions or friends. Other games are followed quickly, some of which are more child-friendly like Nintendo’s wonderful Animal Crossing. There are also games for children that will allow them to breed virtual animals, design clothes or learn how to cook.
Perhaps the next development in simulation games was the introduction of the Nintendo Wii. Instead of controlling games via a simple controller, Wii games allow you to use the movements of your arms and hands to more realistically simulate the activities that characters might perform in a game. Wii Sports, for example, allows you to play bowling, golf, boxing, or playing tennis in a realistic way. The new aspects of the Wii controller have added a more complex level to simulation games, and in essence almost all Wii games have some elements of simulative behavior, although they really belong to different game genres. You are using real-life movements that echo the movements performed in the games, which makes the game more immediate and realistic.