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p55carroll
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Just to promote some discussion for the fun of it, I thought I'd do a series of forum posts based on the 53 genres listed in VGG.* Here's a GeekList of all 53 threads.

This thread's genre: Simulation

Listed below are the top-ranked games in this genre. How does the list fit with your experience?


Have you played any of these games? Which ones? Do you agree or disagree with the ranking? How would you rank the games listed? Are there other games in the genre that you think should be in the top ranks?

And by the way, what do you think of this genre in general?

Papers, Please
Twilight Struggle
Stardew Valley
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
SimCity (1989)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
Battle of the Bulge
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries


*In case you don't know how to find the VGG genres and rankings, hover over Browse at the top of the screen, then click Genres. Click a genre, and scroll down to Linked Items. Click the Sort window, and sort by Rank.
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The listed games don't interest me. I never liked Sim City.

My kind of simulation game, at least lately, is the submarine sim--e.g., Silent Hunter III or even the much older Silent Service II.
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+1 for sub sims.

And I like Cities: Skylines

Papers, Please amused me, some hours. Very well done game! A bit too well done, maybe, it felt like work.
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The few simulation games I play are pretty highly rated... coming in at 10s.

Favorites:

Princess Maker 2
Plague Inc: Evolved
Stardew Valley - just started this week, and I already love it.
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The Persona games are on my list after I get through more of my backlog, but I haven't played many games of this genre. I enjoyed Hacknet, though. I'm also interested in Princess Maker 2.
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I play through Papers, Please at least once a year. The concept is so...boring, but I really love it. I sometimes enjoy doing menial tasks, so maybe that explains it. I've never played the video game version of Twilight Struggle, but I enjoy the board game.

As simulation games go, however, something like Euro Truck Simulator 2 is more to my taste.
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I wonder if Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim counts as a simulation. It's called that, but to me the Simulation genre should only include games that simulate real-life stuff--and in a realistic way, not a cartoonish one.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
I wonder if Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim counts as a simulation. It's called that, but to me the Simulation genre should only include games that simulate real-life stuff--and in a realistic way, not a cartoonish one.


Majesty is kinda RTS, and I think that places it more as Management like Tropico.
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yaverot wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
I wonder if Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim counts as a simulation. It's called that, but to me the Simulation genre should only include games that simulate real-life stuff--and in a realistic way, not a cartoonish one.

Majesty is kinda RTS, and I think that places it more as Management like Tropico.

Wow--we just covered three genres in a sentence or two, and we were only talking about one game.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
I wonder if Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim counts as a simulation. It's called that, but to me the Simulation genre should only include games that simulate real-life stuff--and in a realistic way, not a cartoonish one.

Ooo... I'm of a very different opinion! I don't want to simulate real life at all. Which is why I'm more than happy to raise a daughter in a fantasy kingdom who could potentially marry a dragon prince after her carrier as a street magician (Princess Maker 2) or genetically engineer a disease to wipe out all of humanity (Plague Inc: Evolved).

Even Stardew Valley has enough fantasy mixed in with the farming to make me enjoy it.
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adularia25 wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
I wonder if Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim counts as a simulation. It's called that, but to me the Simulation genre should only include games that simulate real-life stuff--and in a realistic way, not a cartoonish one.

Ooo... I'm of a very different opinion! I don't want to simulate real life at all. Which is why I'm more than happy to raise a daughter in a fantasy kingdom who could potentially marry a dragon prince after her carrier as a street magician (Princess Maker 2) or genetically engineer a disease to wipe out all of humanity (Plague Inc: Evolved).

Even Stardew Valley has enough fantasy mixed in with the farming to make me enjoy it.

Don't get me wrong; I don't object to fantasy at all. It's just that the word "simulation" suggests some real-life thing is being replicated. You can't simulate something that doesn't actually exist.

For example, Farming Simulator appears to actually simulate farming. It models and portrays the real thing. It gives you vicarious, hands-on experience with being a real-world farmer.

But Stardew Valley simulates nothing. It's set in an imaginary place, and the game actions are only very loosely mapped to real-world actions.

I'm not going to argue about it, though. It's just that I come from a board-wargaming background where the term "simulation" (or "conflict simulation") has a very precise meaning. A wargame that realistically models a historical battle or campaign (or an apocryphal modern one--something that could happen) is a conflict simulation. A "wargame" that portrays something fictional (e.g., Starship Troopers) is not called a simulation--and some won't even call it a wargame. And even if a "wargame" does have a historical setting, it's not considered a conflict simulation if it exaggerates or distorts real-life facts and physics for a comic-book or Hollywood-style effect. The aim of a true conflict simulation is the accurate modeling of what really happened (or could happen).

In the 1980s and 1990s, I think the term "simulation" meant something similar in computer games. Flight sims were a good example; they were designed to model actual aircraft and give the player the experience of what it's like to fly that aircraft.

But gradually I guess things changed, and somewhere along the line the word "simulation" started being used more loosely, to refer to most anything a player pretends to be doing. That's a little weird to me; it seems to make the word almost useless. Why not just call it pretending or portraying or telling the story of something? To my mind, if something is "all made up," it ain't a simulation.

But by the time The Sims came out, I guess the old meaning of "simulation" was already lost to all but the grognards of wargaming and the fans of true-to-life flight sims.
 
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