From prevalent games like The Sims and RollerCoaster Tycoon to niche games like Street Cleaning Simulator and German Truck Simulator, simulation games have always been popular.
With an increasing portion of our computing dedicated to mobile apps, however, the simulation world is beginning to look a little different, though no less compelling.
Here are four apps simulating real life that we can’t put down.
For Budding Chefs
Do you love spending time in the kitchen? Take the kitchen with you with Order Up!! To Go, an app that puts you on the line at a restaurant while pushing you through time management tasks. This game offers nuanced details, including an array of spices, distinct customers you’re expected to recognize, and a focus on the structured development of your restaurant’s reputation and quality over the course of the game. Available for both Apple and Android devices, who knows, maybe Order Up!! To Go will inspire your next dinner.
For Your Favorite Cat Lady
For every devoted cat lady out there, there are even more living in apartments with restrictive pet policies, yearning for more cats. Finally, Japan has found the answer to the conundrum that is not enough cats. Neko Atsume, the cat collector game, is a very simple and satisfying simulation. Cats visit you on their own schedule, playing with toys or sleeping on mats in your yard, or eating the food you’ve set out. They also leave you fish to buy them new treats, and better treats equal more cats.
Cat collector can run in the background of your phone or be left off and cats will still visit. If you spot one in the yard you can also snap its picture to add to your cat book that lists their names, favorite treats, and personality traits. You can never have enough cats, right?
For The Blind Date Fanatic
Most people seem to be of the opinion that blind dates are an unfortunate form of torture that we endure at the hands of well-meaning friends. But we all have that one friend who really likes to spend her time in the strange corners of the dating world. Well, for that friend, My Killer Boyfriend has stepped in to fill the ever-important simulated dating app void. On My Killer Boyfriend you can spend your last ten days of life dating one of five attractive soul collectors.
To be clear, this “choose your adventure” style dating app may be scarce in the U.S. market, but it’s actually very popular in Japan (a Japanese company created My Killer Boyfriend). Japanese apps tend to be less realistic, but if you’ve grown tired of dating in the real world, you can attempt to foster love between a teenage boy and a human-sized cricket, a teenage boy and an alien pretending to be Chief of State, or even between yourself and female versions of major historical figures. Sure, we generally think of simulations as adhering a bit closer to real life, but if your dating life hasn’t been going great, maybe it’s time for something new.
For The Economist
Embracing the slogan that even simulation games are better with friends, Empire Avenue is a business simulation app that uses your social network activity to craft a unique local economy. In a complicated premise, you – or at least your activity – are the commodity being traded, but you’re also the investor. That means you can also into the activity of others and trade in their activity. You can also purchase luxury items – if you’re tired of being broke in real life, you may find some pleasure in this side of Empire Avenue.
There’s so many great things to do in the simulation world, why ever look away from the screen? Here’s your chance to be whatever you want to be, even if what you want to be is yourself dating a female version of Napoleon while managing a burger shack.
Dream it and live it with these apps.