Currently available in sandbox early access, this cold and lonely survival simulation puts you in the Canadian wilderness with only the clothes off your back after a geomagnetic storm brings about the end of the world. The Long Dark has the potential to be amazing, but some players may find the way it sacrifices realism for video game difficulty too much to ignore.
Tongue firmly planted in cheek and, um, assets spilling out all over the place, this dungeoncrawling RPG translated by vgperson and created by Tachi follows Ralph, a hero busted back down to level one, as he summons powerful female companions to help defeat the Dark Lord.
Available free or pay-what-you-want, this gorgeous indie visual novel dating sim starts you off in a new city filled with a wide variety of people. Shy Conor resists the efforts of outgoing Oli to get him to date, flighty Lily is desperate to save the family business, and more. Though on the short side, it's a fun, smile-inducing romance game with a ton of charm.
Ever dream of making your fortune in California during the gold rush? Try it out in this excellent simulation game. Grow your fortune by populating cities with workers and putting them to work mining, farming, or making wine. Mange the town resources and set up profitable trading routes to earn your way to a life of luxury.
Finally, a game which answers the age-old question, "what would it be like to be a goat?" This is Goat Simulator, the action sandbox game which parodies infamously "realistic" simulation games. Headbutt cars, do flips on trampolines or bleat at unsuspecting pedestrians... you can do it all!
Max and Anne are two very different young people, but they've both found themselves at the same college in the same student housing. Your choices will determine their lives, grades, and even their love-life in this funny, light-hearted, and addictive visual novel simulation!
Life is slow in Banished, the civilization-building simulation from one-man indie studio Shining Rock Software, but it's anything but easy. It's up to you to take your tiny settlement of cast-out villagers and slowly build up their home in the wilderness into a sprawling civilization. Just watch out for winter. And typhoons. And famine. And cholera. And your own impatience and lack of planning.
The sun hangs unmoving in the sky, and the threat of the creatures known as the dredge puts even more strain on an uneasy truce between the humans and the giants known as varl. In this stunning and challenging turn-based strategic RPG/visual novel, the choices you make determines who lives and dies as you take an epic journey that will change the face of the world and the people who live in it.
Chucklefish's hotly anticipated indie sci-fi sandbox sim finally reaches playable beta. Fight, mine, craft, and explore your way, along or with friends, through a boundless procedurally generated universe aboard your own spaceship. When each planet has its own randomly created monsters and environments, you never know what you'll find.
Life aboard a space station... it's both more exciting and more normal than you might think! In this unique indie simulation, you'll manage your personal and professional life by interacting with friends, co-workers, and maybe even lovers on Spacebook while you increase your skills... but what could that mysterious countdown be about?
Nicole's just started college, but the recent kidnappings of young women mean she has more to worry about than her grades. The school seems to present opportunities to make a lot of friends (and maybe more!) but who can she trust, and is anyone really what they seem in this engaging visual novel?
The XBLA indie zombie survival simulation comes to PC. Blending action and adventure with RPG elements, surviving after the end of the world strands you in a remote mountain town with limited resources is harder than you'd think. Gather unique survivors with distinct personalities and build and upgrade your facilities, trading with nearby stragglers and surviving day to night against an increasing variety of the undead.
Zombies and Cheepies and Succubbi, oh my! It's so tough being a landlord in the mythical 21st century. You have to contend with groups of creatures who can't stand each other, and everyone has constant demands. On top of that you have groups of adventurers who want only to steal your hard-earned money. This storyline is the genius behind Petit Depotto's simulation/defense hybrid, Unholy Heights. Be you a hard-nosed landlord or a more gentle, giving one doesn't matter as long as they fight your enemies at your every beck and call.
Lucas Pope delivers a bleak dystopian thriller in the form of a simulation in this game where you play a newly assigned border agent to the first immigration checkpoint opened in your rigidly controlled country in years. As restrictions rise and tensions mount, checking documents for accuracy and forgery becomes harder... especially when you find yourself forced to juggle the health and well being of your family against your own humanity.
When we say 'Love Hotel', we don't mean some tawdry motel off the highway. We mean luxurious themed suites, haute cuisine and state of the art hot tubs. Well, eventually, anyway. Love Hotel is a mischievous, fun-loving management simulation in which you strive to get the coveted six stars by constantly improving your services and catering to your passionate customers' needs.
A girl, a guy, and an after-school get together that could turn into something more. Sounds familiar, right? Wrong! Made in just two days, this short and silly but also surprisingly earnest little visual novel dating sim is weird in all the best possible ways.
It's a monster's life for you in this casual yet engaging indie simulation from Dejobaan Games! Going from a lowly morsel swimming in a vat of goop to (potentially) a respected elder that can influence the course of history, it's a whimsical, weird, and occasionally gross cross between a choose-your-own-adventure story and a visual novel that offers lots of replay value and laughs.
Everyone likes to think they'd be a leader and a hero if a zombie apocalypse started, but this surprisingly challenging indie strategy sim proves it's not that simple. Take control of a group of five extremely different survivors who may or may not hate each other and make them work together to eventually escape the city... if you can keep them away from each other's throats. With randomisation of characters and locations, as well as a user-friendly content creation system, there's endless replayability to be had.
Destiny works in unexpected ways, and Heileen, a young girl in the 17th century who has always longed for adventure, is about to find her life and her future turned upside down when her uncle takes her on a voyage to the new world. In this big indie visual novel series from veteran developer Winter Wolves, the choices you make will shape not only Heileen's life, with romance and peril on the horizon from all directions, but Heileen herself as well.
Quick, the patient needs a heart transplant, and a doctor! Too bad all they have is you in this hysterical, gory, and very challenging simulation where you control each finger of your hand individually as you attempt to perform life-saving surgery... without dropping a bonesaw into his chest cavity!
Tossed into a hostile, dark fantasy world that hates you and wants you to die with only your wits and the clothes on your back, how long can you stay alive? Klei Entertainment brings us a gorgeous indie survival exploration adventure as your scavenge for food and supplies, craft weapons and armor and more, and learn the rules of a strange land filled with stranger creatures.
Last Day of Work loves virtual sims. I mean seriously loves them, at least according to their lead designer. And, well, their product line, which includes the massively popular Virtual Villagers series. For those of us who love messing with the lives of little virtual people without all that faffing about on an island, Last Day of Work created Virtual Families, a game which featured the animated people without the exploding volcanoes. Now they've come out with the sequel to that fabulous game, Virtual Families 2: Our Dream House, which deepens the gameplay of the original in new and interesting ways, and all for your handy portable iOS device!
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a simulation and time management game from Vertigo Games, creator of the similarly spectacular The Oil Blue. If you see a restaurant game and immediately think "casual diversion", let Cook, Serve, Delicious! change your mind. This isn't a light and simple easy to win time management game. It's a full-on simulation that makes you work for your money, pushes you to play faster than you thought possible, and teaches you to strategically plan menus to maximize income without turning the ever-picky customer base away. It's not an easy game to excel at, but it's an easy game to get hooked on, and the challenge of building and running your own restaurant from front to back is going to captivate you for weeks on end.
Scheherazade "Sadie" Keating has just graduated, but with famous (and missing) adventurous parents as her legacy, she has a bit more to live up to than most young women. When a thief reveals a secret and a mystery she never suspected has been under her nose all along, Sadie sets out on a massive globe-trotting adventure to uncover the truth... or, depending on your choice, forge her own legacy, become closer with families, kindle a romance, or much, much more in this huge, engaging visual novel simulation set in the 1930s.
ScrumbleShip is an in-progress sandbox-style game of ship construction and combat simulation, all accomplished using a massive list of building materials and a surprisingly smart heat simulation model. Built around simple block placements, you have complete freedom of movement in this game, allowing you to jet yourself in any direction so you can construct the most accurate (or most hilariously inaccurate) piece of space-faring machinery you've ever seen. Want a tiny escape pod all your own? Done. How about a massive star base? Orbital station? Or maybe even a Death Sta— er, moon?!
Described as a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" by its developers, Subset Games, you won't be doing a whole lot of boldly going where no one has gone before in FTL: Faster Than Light. In fact, most of your time will be spent directing crew members and putting out engine room fires. But scifi strategy fans will love every minute of it, even with the hardcore difficulty.
A cinematic simulation of hacking that owes more to Wargames and Sneakers than Kevin Mitnick and Adrian Lamo, Uplink: Hacker Elitecyberpunk intrigue. Originally released by Introversion Software in 2001, and streamlined into the Hacker Elite version for the US market, the latter is now available for purchase from the lovely indie and retro game outlet GOG, and it's a worthy addition to any gamers library.
As the new girl transferring for her final year of school, you've got a lot on your plate, especially if you want to get into a top-tier university. But in Roxanne Chen's gorgeous, funny, and charming visual novel simulation, you've also got the potential to make friends that will last you forever... and maybe even find love, too. Packed with colour, energy, and tons of replay value, this is well worth checking out. You've only got one year... make it count!
To quote the intro of Fallen City, Channel 4 and Big Robot's educational puzzle/real-time strategy game: What is a city? It is a machine; a machine for living in. But all machines can break down. The inhabitants of Fallen City (Angries) have become distracted by their individual lives and dreams and have let the once gleaming metropolis fall into disrepair. Frustrated by their inability to live the lives of fame and fortune they were told could satisfy them, many of the Angries fell into boredom or rage... and the city sunk ever deeper into its gloom. But broken machines can be fixed, right?
In this massive, complex visual novel simulation, you're given a chance to change your life some people may dream of but most never get to experience. When a particularly fierce fever breaks, you awake to find yourself back in time at the beginning of high school, watched over by the excitable but well meaning angel Satsuko. Will you make something of yourself? Find the close friends you've always wanted? Have an impact on someone's life or maybe even find... love? If you have the time to invest in it, Shira-Oka has the engrossing experience and production values to deliver.
Natalie's got big problems. Or at least, to her they're big. With her parents threatening to cut her off unless she gets her priorities straight, the college student has no choice but to take a job over winter break in the sleepy little burg of Fairbrook. Will Natalie emerge at the end of 12 weeks just as aimless and self-absorbed as when she started? Or will the people she meets and the things she experiences drag her kicking and screaming into emotional maturity? A sweet and sentimental little visual novel simulation from Winter Wolves packed with charm and likable characters.
One part strategy, one part text-driven choose your own story adventure, King of Dragon Pass is exactly the game you want on your mobile device. Ported to iOS from the original PC/Mac release of 1999, this storytelling experience is rich in its own history and affords you a vast amount of control over what happens within. Wage war, explore the land, trade with your neighbors, manage your tribe, and read pages upon pages of text explicating the world you're actively participating in. It's great to see a title like this brought back for a new wave of gamers to play, and it works quite well on the iPhone platform.
From the study halls of Digipen, whose alum include parts of the teams behind Portal and Portal 2, comes an epic tale of digging, rigging, and more digging. Sounds as exciting as bathwater, right? But I'll bet you a load of rare minerals that once you get started in Dig-N-Rig, you'll lose your evening. Maybe more!
Your life takes a drastic change when you discover that you're no ordinary teenage girl; you're a witch, and there's a place at the secretive Iris Academy waiting for you! Will you bury your nose in your schoolbooks and become the next great magical prodigy? Develop friendships (and rivalries) to last a lifetime? Or maybe you'll find... someone special? This latest visual novel RPG simulation from Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar is not only tremendously addictive and engrossing, it's packed full of charm, replay value, and a magic all its own.
The world is in your hands in Red Redemption's sequel to 2007's Climate Challenge. Assume control of the newly formed GEO in this complex and challenging strategy simulation game that forces you to cope with the needs of not only the environment but the people who live in it in order to change the future, dealing with the issues afflicting each country throughout the world as you try to bring about change. Real science and research guides your decisions, and Fate of the World offers up a challenging, complex experience that might get you thinking in more ways than one.
Following in the tradition of the classic sandbox games (Sand Sand Sand and Powder Game), The Powder Toy by HardWIRED is a small download which stretches the boundaries of what is possible with a few simple elements. In fact, you can do almost anything with it, the only limit is your imagination.
Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers is a brilliant addition to the genre and ramps up everything that is fun about the series. The puzzles are tougher as are the challenges, which is a good thing for those who love this series of village sims. The story has a darker, more sinister edge as you explore what the destruction and grief have done to the original inhabitants of Isola. There's much to love and recommend in this fantastic new adventure. Go explore!
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
The road to magical greatness is difficult, littered with dragons, enchantments, adventure... not to mention test scores, rival students, detentions, and trying to keep your ghostly familiar in check. This incredibly ambitious text adventure from Black Chicken Studios is one part life simulator, one part fantasy RPG, and a whole lot of fun if you have the patience to let yourself become immersed in the tale of the making of the greatest mage of all time... you.
Originally released in Japan back in 2007, Recettear is the story of an item shop, a girl, and a fairy. Recette's father took out a loan and then skipped town, leaving her to pay off the debt. Soon, she meets Tear, a fairy who is as persistent as she is... well, persistent. She teaches Recette to run an item shop out of her house, purchasing stock for adventurers who head out into the world to slay monsters. Buy and sell swords, shields, food products and more, haggling with each customer and placing items in ideal locations to attract business.
REVENGE. That's the only thing on sixteen-year-old Merui's mind when a valuable item is stolen from her... inside a popular online game, that is. The thief, Alistair, offers her a deal; if she can figure out his identity before a month is up, he'll return the stolen item. Of course, that's easier said than done when Merui's schoolwork and personal life keep getting in the way of this polished, charming visual novel from developers Sake Visual.
The Oil Blue is a clever mixture of a time management game and a tycoon simulation where you lead a crew of workers who strike out into the sea to discover new locations to drill for oil. Each island you reclaim opens the way for your employer, United Oil of Oceania, to establish a permanent operation there. All you have to do is manage the drills, sell the oil, and do everything as efficiently as you can.
It's time to travel back to Isola! Yes, that magical island paradise with the odd wildlife and mysterious ruins is back in Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life, the latest installment in the Virtual Villagers casual sim series by Last Day of Work. The powerhouse of the field, the game by which all other village simulations are measured, is back to delve deeper into the secrets of the island!
Developed back in 2003 by Moonpod Games, Starscape may be considered an "oldie" by the gamer crowd, but it's a goodie. Launched as a shareware game without the distribution support that it has today, Starscape flew under the radar, gathering a respectable following slowly but surely. Today, it's been finally starting to hit the major distro sites and people are either discovering or taking a second glance at this little space shooter/strategy game created half a decade ago.
Virtual Villagers is back, and we're so excited we couldn't wait until the weekend to tell you! With Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City, the surprisingly addictive real-time simulation game sticks with its proven formula and makes a few minor tweaks to freshen up gameplay. With new secrets to uncover, new technologies, real-time weather effects and a whole new island to explore, Virtual Villagers 3 has all the ingredients that made the first games so compelling, plus more.
It's here! The next chapter in the captivating virtual island village sim is available to download. The follow-up to the monumentally successful Virtual Villagers game keeps the same formula as the original but adds all new puzzles, events, collectibles and more. It's the perfect follow-up to one of the most amazing casual games ever released.
Virtual Villagers is a downloadable real-time simulation game developed by Last Day of Work, the creators of Fish Tycoon and a number of other casual sim games. Take charge of a village of crash survivors and help them carve out a living on a jungle island. Teach them to farm, help them research scientific advancements and expand their population. It's a remarkably addictive game that's easy to play but impossible to stay away from!