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5 strangely satisfying simulation games to play while in lockdown

By Kara Santos Published Aug 19, 2021 4:50 pm

As the world continues to adjust to life under lockdown, obscure simulation games are becoming more popular.

Simulation video games, like Microsoft Flight Simulator, attempt to painstakingly recreate mundane tasks and copy various activities from real life in the form of a game for various purposes such as training, analysis, prediction, or simply entertainment.

Unlike high-action games or shooters, there's no particular goal or point in ‘winning’ these types of games. They just give players the ablity to take control of repetitive tasks and the freedom to do what they want within that world.

Simulation games are generally easy to play, less demanding, and put an emphasis on daily routines, which people tend to gravitate towards during stressful times.

In fact, Games like Animal Crossing encourage players to enjoy chores they might avoid in real life and take joy in the process.

It's safe to say that these previoulsy niche games have gotten renewed interest as people look for a way to ease boredom, relive ordinary experiences they can no longer enjoy, rediscover new hobbies, or stay connected with friends.

Here are some realistic simulation video games we’ve come across that look and sound extremely satisfying to play while we're still stuck in quarantine.

House Flipper

Addicted to home improvement shows, or scrolling through Home Buddies FB groups and want to take on your next project without actually spending big bucks and ruining your real house?

Build your own dream home and sell it for big bucks in House Flipper. The unique simulator gives players a chance to become a one-person renovation crew. The goal is to buy, repair and remodel devastated houses, give them a second life and sell them at a profit.

Armed with a set of tools and parts, you’ll need to hammer, drill, nail and screw things together, and do whatever is necessary to fit, fix or clean up stuff. You'll have to rewire those sockets, change the fuses, and clean the windows before you can hand over the keys to a buyer. 

You also get to experiment with interior designs and decorating styles you like in the dollhouse-like interior design mode.

House Flipper was originally released in May 2018 and is currently available for macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Have you ever wanted to experience the life of a trucker and hit the open road?

You can kick back, relax and become a real truck driver from the comfort of your home with Euro Truck Simulator 2, which charges you with driving cargo from point A to point B across the European continent.

Don’t expect any high-speed chases in this game. While driving, you have to follow the rules of the road in your huge cargo vehicle, and keep track of fuel, maintenance and toll costs, which may sound dull in concept, but can be unexpectedly engrossing. As any road-tripper who has been house-bound for too long knows, the act of simply cruising through a highway with great scenery is a reward in itself.

The in-game world features numerous landmarks and precisely recreated territories to create the ultimate experience, making you feel as if you were driving the trucks in real life. The game also allows you to customize your vehicle, and even run a business for which you can purchase garages, trucks, and hire drivers. 

While this open world game was first released in 2012, it has gotten expansion packs through the years, with the most recently added content features the Road to the Black Sea in 2019 and Iberia in 2021. 

Euro Truck Simulator 2, which has sold over nine million units as of March 2021, is available on Linux, Microsoft Windos and macOS.

Airplane Mode

Miss the mundane moments that come with boarding a long-haul flight? 

Airplane Mode is billed as "the most realistic flight simulation ever created," where you play a window seat passenger for the real-time duration of a long-haul commercial flight across the Atlantic. The new game comes from AMC Games, an indie games label from AMC Networks.

In this game, you can look out the window, browse through the in-flight magazine which contains crossword and Sudoku puzzles, read the book you brought, order premium beverages and meal service, and even watch movies on the screen in front of you. 

Don’t expect fully uneventful flights. The developer promises randomized events each time you play. You'll have to endure the agony of bad Wi-Fi, experience turbulence, delays, and be treated to authentic ambient noises of crying babies, among others.

With the pandemic still causing real-life travels to be put on hold, Airplane Mode actually sounds like a pleasantly nostalgic game to play to pass the time when we can't go anywhere.

Airplane Mode is available for Windows and macOS via Steam.

PowerWash Simulator

Here’s some good clean fun for neat freaks.

PowerWash Simulator is a game that lets you wash away your worries with the soothing sounds of high-pressure water. Fire up your power washer and blast away every speck of dirt and grime you can find, all with the simple satisfaction of power-washing to a sparkling finish.

This game allows players to “soak away the stress” as they build up their business and complete a variety of dirty jobs across the dusty town of Muckingham.

While the main game involves no time pressure, it also has a Challenge Mode where you need to PowerWash in different scenarios, race against a clock, or test your accuracy using as little water as possible in Water Challenge.

Take on different types of dirt like Graffiti, grime, moss, and mould, with your range of washers, nozzles, cleaners, and extensions. 

Feeling creative? You can also transform ordinary dirt on floors into exceptional artwork and showcase your mud-caked masterpieces to the world. 

Lawn Mowing Simulator 

One of the newest simulator games released that’s being hailed as “surprisingly soothing and meditative” by critics involves mowing lawns. Yes, you heard right.

Lawn Mowing Simulator is the first and only simulator that allows you to “ride an authentic and expansive roster of real-world licensed lawn mowers from prestigious manufacturers” as you manage your business.

Because who wouldn’t want to experience the beauty and detail of the Great British countryside aboard a powerful lawnmower?

Your mission is to execute ground checks, set your blade height, and measure your engine load as you complete a variety of contracts. While it doesn't sound like there's a lot of action to be had in cutting grass, there's something very chill about the act of driving around idyllic gardens and looking back to see it all neat and tidy.

Lawn Mowing Simulator, which was just released this August, is now available for Windows via Steam and Xbox.

(Images via Steam)