Contrary to popular opinion, simulation games don’t always have to emulate real life as we know it. These days, developers don’t shy away from taking it up a notch, literally conjuring strange, brave new worlds for you to immerse yourself utterly and completely in. They may be fictional or draw inspiration from history. Others take bits and pieces of humanity and interpersonal relationships to design spaces where you can truly escape from reality.
With Steam, you can enjoy a massive selection of simulation games. They’re often unique and different from each other, catering to every type of gamer’s taste and playstyle. While sifting through all the simulation games on Steam can drain your much-valued peace of mind, let’s sort through the clutter for you. Among all the simulation games we could find, here are the best simulation games on Steam you’ll want to check out for yourself.
5. Poly Bridge 3
Have you ever taken a step back to marvel at the way the Bay Bridge works? It’s a complex network that, without deep thinking and physics methodology, can easily crumble under the weight of its needs. With Poly Bridge 3, you can put your engineering and bridge-building skills to the test. Thanks to a charming and vibrant color palette, you won’t feel a wink of sleep creeping in as you work toward getting vehicles safely and in one piece to their destination.
Moreover, Poly Bridge 3 has perfected its craft over the years to infuse wildly challenging puzzles. It also imbues creative worlds in its scenarios that really push your creativity skills to their limits. It’s never as simple as building a bridge from point A to point B, but rather a tenacious climb up the 100-level ranks. Engineering graduates can have fun stretching their knowledge boundaries. However, anyone else can feel free to see how far they can go.
With a slight learning curve, each moment spent with the goofy physics in Poly Bridge 3 will prove worth the dime. Both young and old players can have a crack at it, with your expectations going in often leading down unexpectedly fun roads.
4. Escape Simulator
Escape rooms never grow old, provided the puzzles and tension build-up continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. You can play Escape Simulator solo or with online companions. Either way, intense escape room scenarios await your ever-tenacious mind. With each level completed, the escape rooms grow more interactive and complex.
At its core, Escape Simulator mimics an everyday escape room concept. You find yourself locked in an elaborate room with friends (if you choose to). The only way out is to work together to solve increasingly challenging puzzles. Each successful run leads to another escape room and another until you reach the end.
While many escape rooms may feature horrific detail, Escape Simulator takes on a more fun art-style approach. You do get hints that charge up when you’re stuck. They even lead up to the solution, but none of the puzzles are obtuse enough to get you that far.
3. Two Point Campus
If you ever thought about building and managing your own university campus, now’s your chance to have a go at it. Two Point Campus picks up where Two Point Hospital left off. Depending on how you look at it, one is crazier than the other. The hustle and bustle of campus life is as intertwined as a ball of yarn. Pulling a thread without making knots isn’t as easy, as you’ll soon find out.
Two Point Campus takes you through a deep and rewarding simulation journey. It’s more fun and fresh compared to the predecessor, lifting off the weight of micromanaging every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Instead, you focus on building and outfitting rooms with supplies. It even imbues an interpersonal approach to campus life, where romance and partying are just as important as the construction side of things.
2. Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator
Different chemicals mix to create entirely new concoctions. In Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator, you’ll put your wizardry skills to the test. Your job is to brew potions using a variety of tools and ingredients at your disposal. Described as an “atmospheric management simulator set in a medieval fantasy world,” Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator is far from your everyday recipe-based games.
Clients will come to you requesting to buy all sorts of potions. You’ll meet their needs to the utmost customer satisfaction, creatively blending different ingredients to your heart’s desire. Some customers are needy and will come to you with long-winded recipes. But it’s your job to fulfill their expectations, as any master alchemist should aim to please them. In no time, you’ll get lost in the art of alchemy, which is well worth the time.
1. Anno 1800
No matter the creativity and ingenuity that go into designing unique simulators, city-building games simply never go out of style. Check out Anno 1800, a city-building RTS that features all three gameplay pillars of a good entry: multiplayer, a customizable sandbox, and a compelling story-based campaign. With its visually stunning environments, Anno 1800 quickly draws you into an addictive gameplay run.
You’ll take on a leadership role, building a booming metropolis from scratch. It takes a village to run a metropolis successfully. So, you should have a relatively easy time delegating logistics, diplomatic, and warfare tasks to your subjects. To reap a bountiful economy, you’ll need to trade with hostile and friendly nations. Meanwhile, you’ll need to scoop up resources to advance your nation’s technological and political standing.
Among most city builders, Anno 1800 thrives on a rich and deep gameplay system. It can be very relaxing after a long day, growing your nation's resources and boosting the economy. Yet, sometimes, the gameplay picks up pace in high-risk combat encounters in an effort to protect your city from all who threaten your success.