Whether managing a theme park or heading up a gaming development company, these business simulation games help burgeoning entrepreneurs hone their management skills without the stressful workplace. Available as mobile apps and console games, these fun tools are perfect for boosting soft skills in a safe space where mistakes won’t hurt your career prospects.
1. RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
The 1999 classic RollerCoaster Tycoon made waves as millions gained home internet access for the first time, opening up a world of niche hobbies like obsessing over theme park design and message boards. But the game itself hasn’t changed much since.
RCT2 retains the isometric perspective and gameplay of its predecessor but adds a new scenario editor and user-created scenery items, as well as a licensed promotion with Six Flags that includes content and scenarios from the company’s parks. However, the game still lacks a sandbox mode, and its graphics are dated compared to contemporary games in the genre such as Planet Coaster and Parkitect.
Still, the game is fun, and it stands up well to the test of time, with players able to create their own gravity-defying roller coasters and elaborate parks from scratch in this isometric business simulation.
2. Farming Simulator
Unlike its predecessors, the latest Farming Simulator has little in the way of tutorials or guides to point newcomers in the right direction. This is a game that requires careful strategy, and it’s not for everyone.
One of the biggest additions to this year’s edition is a seasonal system that has crops following the real-world schedule (for example, barley can’t be planted in fall and won’t be ready for harvest until the summer). There are also other subtle animations like chaff spewing from tractors and dust blowing from tires, which add to the feeling of being in a real-life simulation.
In terms of realism, GIANTS Software has once again exceeded expectations. But there are still a lot of fussy hangups in the mechanics and visuals that are likely to turn off newcomers.
3. Theme Hospital
A classic tycoon game that puts you in charge of building and managing a hospital that will attract and treat patients. Each level starts with an empty hospital to design and fill with rooms, diseases, treatments, and staff. Various disasters can occur such as fire, earthquakes, and epidemics. Getting the hospital to be more popular will make patients willing to spend more on treatment.
Developed by Bullfrog, Theme Hospital has a quirky sense of humor and is full of hilarious illnesses, emergencies and disease. At times the game can get repetitive and tedious but it’s worth it for the hilarious experience of running a hospital where bloaty heads and Elvis syndrome are the norm. This game inspired the spiritual successor Two Point Hospital which released earlier this year.
4. Port Royale
Business simulation games have become some of the most intriguing mobile game genres. They are ideal for learning about the dynamics of a particular industry or even just for enjoying the fun of starting and managing a business from scratch.
For example, AdVenture Capitalist is an idle title all about building piles of cash along the lines of Adam Sandler’s haphazard golfer. Or, there’s Tropico 6 which puts you in the shoes of the President as you build a nation from the ground up or RimWorld which is a sci-fi management and development sim.
Another great option is Merchant of the Skies which adds a bit of high fantasy to your gameplay as you search the skies for new cargo. The game’s surprisingly detailed with weather conditions and wind direction actually impacting travel times just like in real life.
If you are looking for a real business simulation game where you will be able to develop your own global company, check out this fascinating option. You will be able to explore a huge world full of industries, products and competition.
You can choose from different modes, such as entrepreneur, business war and tycoon. Then you can start a new virtual startup in any industry and expand it into a profitable empire.
Each game round lasts a day. Then the game server recalculates the results of your managerial decisions. This process takes place automatically. You can play the game at any convenient time of the day, minus the hours when the server is doing recalculation. Moreover, there is no limit to the number of rounds you can play in this business game.
6. Capitalism II
The business simulation game genre has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years. These games help players develop their business skills whilst having fun and can be great for teambuilding.
One of the best known of these is Capitalism II. This Enlight Software and Interactive Magic production is a highly complex and detailed simulation of real-world business economy, making it suitable for the more serious player. This sequel features two new campaigns (Capitalist and Entrepreneur) plus a comprehensive tutorial.
Another good option is Factorio, which was developed by Wube Software and received a full release after four years in early access. This isn’t a traditional business sim, but it does encourage teambuilding through working together to create a thriving factory and survive an alien planet.
7. City: Skylines
The award-winning city-building simulation from Paradox Interactive is getting a sequel. Cities Skylines 2 builds on the robust city-building gameplay of its predecessor and looks to up the ante in every way possible.
With a deeper economy simulation, trading and politics alongside a new traffic system and even more city events to manage this game promises an experience unlike any other. The iconic parks are a welcome return in Cities Skylines 2, as well as an expanded system of public transportation to cut down on the number of vehicles on your roads.
The upcoming expansions for this game promise to push the boundaries of the city-building genre even further, with new map tiles and climate-based weather systems that will affect citizens schedules and traffic patterns as well as a whole new level of detail to your buildings.