Simulation games are one of the most expansive and popular game genres the world over. It’s also one of the most popular on mobile because the controls work very well on touch screens. They’re easy to play, fun to engage with, and some of them can last for years. If you want the best bang for your buck, here are the best simulation games for Android!
Fallout Shelter dominated headlines back in 2015 when it came out. It’s lauded for its fun game play, classic Fallout quirkiness, and excellent freemium strategy. In this one, you build a fallout shelter (roll credits) and populate it with dwellers. The dwellers do various jobs to keep the vault going. They also interact with each other in a variety of interesting ways. The idea is to create the best vault ever, explore the wasteland, and create a thriving community of living people. Even in 2017, it’s one of the best simulation games there is.
Farming Simulator 18 is the latest in the long running sim series. You build and maintain your own farm. That includes crops, animals, and all kinds of other stuff. The game features dozens of machines to collect and use. Additionally, there are AI helpers that make some stuff a lot easier. There is actually a second yearly farming sim game. Both of them are above average when it comes to sim games. Both of them also come with a price tag along with downloadable content.
Flight simulation games are wildly popular on Android. However, there aren’t a ton of really good ones. Thankfully, Flight Pilot Simulator 3D seems to fit the bill. It features a variety of planes in different configurations along with excellent graphics, partially realistic physics, and more. You can play in open flight mode and just cruise the breeze, participate in timed races, put out forest fires, and, of course, there is the obligatory perfect landing task. The in-app purchases can get a little expensive, but the game is pretty good overall.
Game Dev Tycoon is one of the newer simulation games on mobile. It’s technically a port from PC, but that doesn’t make it bad. You start out with nothing and slowly build a huge game studio. You improve your skills, make various decisions, and try to sell the best games. It’s one of a few game developer sim games. However, this one seems to check all of the right boxes. It’s also a rare pay-once game with no in-app purchases. The mobile version includes a piracy mode, an updated story line, and touch screen controls.
Goat Simulator is a series of simulation games. You play as a goat in a world where physics don’t really apply. The original game just lets you fling a goat around the world. As the series progresses, you’ll fight off zombies, play an MMO, and then eventually colonize space. They aren’t overly serious games. They’re also a little expensive for what you get. However, there is no in-app purchases and they’re good for some laughs.
Godus is one of the more active simulation games available. You are in charge of building a new civilization. Except you also play God. You can move landscapes around to fit your needs. You’ll also be responsible for the well-being of your inhabitants. However, you can also throw meteors and cause natural disasters if you want to. It’s almost like a light version of the popular PC series Black and White. It is a freemium title, though, and has many of the same pitfalls as other freemium simulation games.
Kairosoft is a developer on Google Play. They have a number of very good simulation games. The most popular is Game Dev Story. You’ll manage a game development office and try to make the ultimate hit game. Other titles in their Story series include Pocket Arcade Story, World Cruise Story, Grand Prix Story, and others. Additionally, they have The Manga Works (manage your own manga studio). Perhaps their best overall title is Ninja Village. You build a village, fight against other villages, and try to unite the region within a certain time limit. All of the simulation games they make are pay-once games with no in-app purchases.
Infinite Flight Simulator is another excellent flight sim. It features 35 total aircraft (18 available as in-app purchases) along with 14 regions to fly through. You can customize your conditions by changing the time of day and the weather. You can also have online multiplayer as a paid add-on. There is also a logbook, achievements, and more. It’s a fairly extensive and good looking flight sim. However, it’s also one of the more expensive simulation games.
Plague Inc has been around for a long time but remains one of the best and most in-depth simulation games available. In this one, you’ll be in charge of creating a disease and then orchestrating its spread in order to wipe out humanity. You’ll have access to 12 disease types, an AI that makes it challenging to infect everyone, and you’ll have 50 countries to infect. It also comes with leaderboards, achievements, and the developers have added some expansions over the years. Most of the in-app purchases just unlock more content to play with.
Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic is a port of two very popular simulation games. This title includes Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2 in their entirety. In addition, you can purchase DLC as in-app purchases. The game is easy enough to pick up and play. You start a scenario and then build a theme park that fits the restrictions of that scenario. That includes designing your own rollercoasters. One of the expansions also comes with a level editor where you can make your own parks and scenarios to play through. There is a freemium version of Rollercoaster Tycoon on Google Play. However, we’re confident saying that this version is way better.
SimCity BuidIt is about the best SimCity experience you can get without an emulator. It plays like the old games. You’ll build a city, deal with acts of God, and solve problems like brown outs and fires. The game includes decent graphics, a social element with a gift system, and various rewards. The developers also hold contests and events to help keep things interesting. The freemium strategy on this one is a bit heavier than most. However, you can still enjoy this one for a while before they get really annoying.
The Sims FreePlay is the best mobile experience for fans of the series. It follows the same central premise as most Sims games. You create a life. Your job is to feed, clothe, entertain, and otherwise take care of your Sim. Like the normal games, you can have relationships, kids, and even pets. On top of that, the game has quests to play through, a civilization to play in, and more. There is a real Sims game on Google Play (The Sims 3), but it’s not very good. Until they try again, this is the best Sims experience on mobile.
Star Traders is technically a strategy game. However, we included it here for the same reason we included Godus. You are essentially simulating the career of a space inhabitant. You’ll explore new planets and new sectors while you form alliances with various factions or go at it as an independent contractor. The game is very deep and allows you to play in a variety of ways. You can be a pirate, a military combatant, or even just trade stuff if you want to. It’s wide open and a really fun world to be a part of. The game has a free version and a paid version. Neither of them have in-app purchases or advertising.
Surgeon Simulator is one of the most ridiculous simulation games on the list. In this one, you act as a surgeon and you must fix what ails your patient by whatever means possible. If that means beating them over the head with an EKG machine or hacking away like a butcher gone mad, then so be it. Much like Goat Simulator, this game is really about seeing just how far you can go before the game stops you and, as it turns out, the game lets you go pretty far. You may want to skip this one if you have a weaker stomach.
Transport Tycoon is another of the original PC simulation games. The premise is that you must build modes of transportation, dictate their routes, and get your cargo and passengers to their destinations. It follows the PC version rather faithfully. However, the game includes added features, larger worlds, and more vehicles. It’s a tad expensive, but there are no in-app purchases. If you’re low on cash and don’t mind a slightly lesser experience (in terms of polish, anyway), OpenTTD is an open source version of the game that’s free.
If we missed any of the best simulation games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest app and game lists!