Simulator games are nothing new. They’ve been around for years, gaining popularity with the occasional infamous flight sim. Driving sims followed and then they moved into incredibly elaborate train simulators. Over time we started getting into things like the incredibly popular Farm Simulator games, Truck Simulators, and a slew of similar games.
More recently people have come to learn that even the most mundane of chores can be a chill simulator experience. It’s honestly become one of my favorite genres of game. Power Wash Simulator is an incredibly relaxing game where, as the name might give away, you go to a job with a pressure washer and clean everything.
My ALL time GOAT is House Flipper where you go to a property and, based off the request of customers, you remodel houses. You clean up trash, mop the floors, paints the walls, order and move around furniture, wear down walls and build new ones, explore various types of lighting. And you can even create your own house to use as a home office. Recent updates have gone so far as to let you build your own house from the foundation up.
There’s even more sci-fi ones including ones where you manage life in a space station, mine for materials, and more. I recently got into Mech Mechanic Simulator where you own a futuristic garage where people drop off their massive mech suits and you have to take them apart, remove broken pieces and either remove rust, wield cracks, or just replace the piece entirely.
They’re fantastic games that steadily drip small bits of serotonin into your brain. House Flipper was especially good for me because it gave me the confidence to want to remodel my own house and even allowed me to build a replica of my home so that I could imagine what things would look like if I moved furniture around before I actually do it.
I even invested the time to detail out my horribly obnoxious galley kitchen, as seen below.
Despite the fact that all these games cover a wide range of topics from driving different types of vehicles to harvesting crops to making sure a war mech has a functioning shoulder servo, there’s one thing they all have in common. Quality.
This is because most of these games are made by very small companies. Many like Frozen District (House Flipper) and Polyslash (Mech Mechanic Simulator) max out at 50 when fully stocked with employees. The biggest one, appropriately named GIANTS Software, who makes Farming Simulator (which is unbelievably successful) maxes out at about 200 employees.
I love small companies and I love the freedom they have to create their own ideas and so many unique things come from them. But because of the small companies and small budgets the games are always pretty mid in terms of quality.
Anyone who has a simulator they enjoy will know full well that there will be an issue in their game where it could be potentially game breaking and the community goes in with a “it’s just going to be like this, we’ll have to deal with it” kind of attitude. House Flipper had a problem for the longest time where you couldn’t sand furniture on most versions of the game and jobs that required you to refinish something meant you weren’t going to get 100% on that job. I can’t tell you how many times I had a job in Power Wash Simulator where I wasn’t able to move on for hours because I couldn’t find the quarter sized piece of something I forgot to spray down with water.
So while I’m not looking for larger companies to replace the smaller companies and their ideas, I do, absolutely, think it is time for one of the big guns to try making a AAA sim