Want to launch a business without the risk and hard work? Play a business simulation game. These apps can help your strut your skills without all the drama that comes with a real business. You can manage an amusement park, head a gaming development company or start a farm. Here are the best business simulation games of 2019.
While there was a time that operating a YouTube channel might not have been considered running a business, it's hard to argue that in 2019. Youtubers Life puts you in the humble shoes of a YouTuber who is just trying to get a channel started with some basic equipment. Like real-life YouTubers, you are motivated by subscribers and views, building out your arsenal of equipment to make better videos, building your following and growing your channel. In addition to building a social media presence, you must also manage a social life, education, and eventually employees.
Youtubers Life is a single-player video game that was released in 2016. It can be purchased on Steam and can be accessed via Microsoft Windows, OS X, Android OS, Linux, IOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Used for both entertainment and training development purposes, Virtonomics is a series of multiplayer business simulation games – coupled with Virtonomics Entrepreneur, Virtonomics Business War and Virtonomics Tycoon. In the Virtonomics series, there are no predefined rules to winning or losing, and the game does not end. Although users choose their own goals in the game, the most common goal is to build a successful business in a competitive society. Players can work within a multitude of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, retail, finance, marketing, science and other business processes.
Virtonomics is a massive multiplayer game that was launched in 2006. It is available in several different languages and is free to play online with the creation of an account.
Two Point Hospital
When you play Two Point Hospital, you're put in the role of a hospital administrator. You build and manage a hospital, cure diseases, and continually improve your hospital and staff. Along with building a hospital and designing it to improve patient happiness, you'll be tasked with finding a cure for highly unusual illnesses.
If you've been dreaming of running a hospital or want an idea of what being a doctor is like without going to medical school, try out Two Point Hospital.
Two Point Hospital is the successor of the popular simulation game, Theme Hospital, and was released in 2018. It is available on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating systems.
Tropico 4 is one of the most highly reviewed simulation games in the eight-part Tropico series. In a game that combines city management and political manipulation, you are tasked with building an ideal nation across several islands. As the game progresses, you must learn how to cope with being framed for a murder and clear your name to eventually rebuild your nation once again. The game combines strategy, humor and intellect to successfully accomplish 20 missions spread out over 10 different maps.
Tropico 4 is a single-player game that was released in 2011. It can be purchased on Steam and can be accessed on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and OS X.
As a successor of Train Fever, Transport Fever adds airports and harbors to the mix, allowing you to become a true transportation magnate rather than simply master of the rails. The game starts in 1850, and as time marches forward, so do your transportation options. Your goal is to facilitate transportation both within and between settlements.
You need to make decisions regarding the most cost-effective vehicles to get this done and when to upgrade to new vehicles. You can either run a campaign in the U.S. or Europe, with both offering missions based on historical transportation challenges.
If you want to take a break from the business management aspect of things, there's a sandbox mode that lets you be a big kid playing with your train, plane and boat lines. Transport Fever was released in 2016. You can purchase the game on Steam and access it via Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems.
As part of an amusement park simulation series, Rollercoaster Tycoon takes you through the adventures of building and managing a theme park. As a member of management, you are tasked with constructing and customizing your own rollercoaster and thrill rides. Build the ultimate theme part with a variety of coaster types and in-park attractions.
Rollercoaster Tycoon was originally released in 1999. It is available for purchase on Steam and can be played on Microsoft Windows and Xbox platforms.
Rise of Industry
Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to live in the early 20th century? When you play Rise of Industry, you become an early 20th century industrialist. During the game, you build and manage a growing empire. You can build factories, transport lines, keep an eye out for the next big thing, find gaps in the market and strike business deals.
Rise of Industry was released in 2018. It is available for purchase on Steam and can be played on Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS and Macintosh operating systems.
Motorsport Manager takes you from behind the wheel and puts you behind the team. In this simulation game, you manage the team that is responsible for putting a driver on the podium. You will quickly find, as is so often the case with business simulators, that there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than you could have imagined. The early portion of the game is heavy on tutorials to ease you into things, so you aren't just left spinning your wheels. From minute details, like the components of your car and race-day decisions, to big-picture tasks like assembling your team and voting on rules and regulations for the sport, there is a wealth of content at every level.
Motorsport Manager is a single-player game that was released in 2014. It is available across several platforms, including Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, Linux and macOS.
If you love transportation and trains, you may want to check out Mashinky. Develop a transport business on a procedurally generated map, manage your empire and improve your assets. You start the game in control of a transport company. During the game, you lay tracks on hard terrain, buy new vehicles, manage routes and make as much profit as possible.
While the full version of this game won't be released until later in 2019, you can be on the forefronts and play in early access mode while the game develops. It is currently available on Microsoft Windows.
There's probably no game title that suggests business simulation more than the simply named Job Simulator. Unlike most business simulators that put you in charge of everything, Job Simulator places you in the role of an office worker, a chef, a mechanic and a convenience store clerk. The game takes place in 2050 where robots have replaced all human jobs, so humans who want to get a taste of what work was like hop into the "Job Simulator." The game is a hilarious reimagining of all these jobs, with office workers tapping away at two keys on a giant keyboard, store clerks firing roman candles at customers, chefs hurling food and mechanics jamming bananas in tailpipes to help cars pass emissions tests.
Job Simulator was released in 2016 and is available on all three of the current VR platforms. It can be accessed via PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.
Game Dev Story
Making video games for a living is a dream job for many, but if you aren't ready to take the plunge on that career change, try Game Dev Story. This game puts you in charge of a small game studio with big aspirations. You build from a few employees to dozens looking to sell millions of games or eventually create your own game console. Despite the simple 16-bit graphics, the game is remarkably deep with responsibility for every aspect of the business beyond simply creating games, including advertising, conventions, licensing, office space, hiring and training of employees. Gamers familiar with the console wars of the '80s to the early 2000s will particularly enjoy <em>Game Dev Story</em>, as there are many nods to classic consoles and events.
Game Dev Story was initially released in 1997 on Microsoft Windows and has since been added to other platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Nintendo Switch.
Farming Simulator 17
Business simulation does not always mean you are going to find yourself in an office. Farming Simulator 17 lets you go hands-on and spend some time driving a variety of vehicles while doing jobs on your own farm or other farms. However, this is still a business, so at some point, you are going to need to attend to those spreadsheets. These will show your profits and loss on every crop, livestock and forestry. Make the call on when to net the biggest gains from your goods, and you can buy or lease new equipment to make the next season even better.
Farming Simulator 17 was released in 2016. It is available for purchase via several outlets and can be played on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
Running a city can be a lot like running a business. While SimCity started this genre, Cities: Skylines is the reigning champ. In this game, you wield vastly more power than any mayor or city planner possesses, with the ability to build and destroy as you see fit. However, the basic strategy is operating within your budget and keeping your workers and customers (in this case, the population) happy. The scale of Cities: Skylines is truly astounding – while most city builders feel like densely populated islands, if you build out the full nine regions available to you in this game, you will have a sprawling metropolis on your hands. You can even add an extension pack such as <em>Industries</em> where players can customize industrial areas.
Cities: Skylines is a single-player game that was released in 2015. It is compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Office, macOS, Macintosh operating systems and Linux.
Anno 1404, also known as Dawn of Discovery, is part of the seven-game Anno series. It is a city-building and economic simulation game that takes place in an era that mimics medieval and renaissance history. The main strategy of the game focuses on engaging in trade, stockpiling building material and constructing monuments like a Gothic cathedral and an Arabic mosque. As the leader, you must colonize islands, create factories and farms for your citizens, embrace diplomatic relationships with AI players, and eventually take part in combat to protect your empire.
Anno 1404 can be a single-player or multi-player game. It was released in 2009 and is available on Microsoft Windows.