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. Simulation games are fairly easy to explain. It’s a game where things happen automatically and you just kind of push things along in certain directions with your decisions. The idea is to emulate a specific activity (often real life) as closely as possible. There are also a ton of mobile games that combine genres with simulation for varying experiences. If you want the best bang for your buck, here are the best simulation games for Android!
The Escapists is a sandbox simulator with some puzzle elements as well. Players break out of prison with a variety of methods. You can tunnel under the prison or steal a guard uniform along with many other scenarios. However, you also have to look and play the part. That means showing up for evening count, hiding your tools, and getting along with the other inmates. The game itself includes six prisons to escape from, a rudimentary crafting system, stats to improve, and more. This is one of the few good simulator games with a single price and $6.49 is quite reasonable for what the game has.
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 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. You can even have them make some babies if you want to. The idea is to create the best vault ever, explore the wasteland, and create a thriving community of living people. Even now, 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.
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.
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.
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is one of the newer games in the franchise. It launched on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch before mobile. Many know about the Harvest Moon franchise. It combines farming simulation with some adventure and puzzle elements. Players grow crops, participate in events, and complete missions from the villagers. This is a pay-once game and the most expensive up-front price on the list. However, this is literally a console and PC game on your mobile device. The list of complaints from other players include long load times and the occasional bug. We hope they get those issues sorted out. However, it’s still one of the best simulation games on mobile.
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.
Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is a racing sim. Players build a racing team, a race car, and and manage things like upgrades and improvements. You then race against the competition. This one gets fairly granular as well. Players have to plan for things like pit stops, weather changes, rule changes, and random crashes on the tracks. Your driver and crew also gain levels and are more proficient in certain things than others. It’s one of the deeper racing sims on Google Play and it’s also relatively new. It goes for $3.99 with some optional in-app purchases as well.
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.
Pocket City is a city builder sim similar to Sim City. Try saying that one three times quickly. It has most of the mechanics of a city builder. That includes the actual construction of a city, the careful mixing and matching of various types of buildings, and the ability to unlock new land as you go. This one also includes fun, random events like block parties and also things like weather disasters. It’s playable in portrait or landscape mode and it’s also playable offline. The free version is the base game with advertisements. The premium version goes for $3.99 and contains extra features, a sandbox mode, and it removes the ads.
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. Thus, those who really don’t like microtransactions should probably skip this one and try something like Pocket City instead.
The Sims Mobile is the official mobile game of the popular PC series. A lot of the elements carry over from the PC versions. You create people, give them names, improve their skills, and live their lives. You can customize stuff like hair and fashion along with accessories. There are also a bunch of activities to play with. Players can even socialize in the online multiplayer mode. Of course, you can also build houses, add decorations, and landscape your property as you see fit. It’s not too far off from a PC Sims game until you factor in the freemium element. However, it’s a simulation game with no competitive elements so you can’t really win anything. Thus, even the freemium aspect isn’t that bad.
Soccer Manager 2019 is a lot like Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 but for soccer (European football) fans. Players take control of a club, improve the players, make trades, and play games. The game includes 800 clubs from 33 countries with somewhat recent rosters. Additionally, players control things like contract negotiations, promotions, and live game adjustments. The are some things we would change, but overall the game is among the best in its genre. It’s a freemium so prepare yourself for that, but at this point almost everyone should be.
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.
Zombie Combat Simulator is a bit of a wild card on the list. It’s actually a decent simulator. Players position living and dead characters around the map and then see what transpires. You can control things like health, damage resistance, and even what weapons everyone carries. Additionally, there is a third person shooter mode where you can control one of the characters you place into the sandbox. There isn’t really any story here or anything that drives the game forward. However, you can simulate as many scenarios are you want. Finally, the game includes online and local multiplayer modes as well as offline single player support.
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!