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People are weird; like really, really weird. Some of those weirdos go on to be game developers, and that beautiful marriage of madness and digital potential creates the most random simulation games you’ll ever find. Here’s just a few of them, all of which you could play right now if you really had the desire to.
Walk It Out (Wii)
The Wii was truly a revolutionary device: you could get all the excitement of playing a sport while lazily mimicking the basic gestures. Legions of WiiSport fans began a journey of lifestyle change to lose weight and get fit – until they discovered a bit of vigorous wrist flicking was all that was actually required of them. This game is for them: the ultimate walking simulator, for that all too common situation where your front door is locked from the outside, and you just can’t leave the house. Utilising either a Wii balance board, DDR mat, or regular WiiMote and nunchuck, the game has you walking in time to the beat in order earn points and built your island. Pick up a copy now for the ridiculous bargain price of $40 on eBay. Seriously?
Ok, this isn’t actually so ridiculous: once the VR revolution happens, and we all have a motion platform in our living room, we’ll never need to visit the cold, dark, wet outside world again. Viva la revolution!
Things you might say while playing: “I wonder what kind of life choices led me to this situation?”
Surgeon Simulator 2013
Surgeon Simulator isn’t much of a realistic simulator. Your hands are programmed to be deliberately difficult to control, and the operations are firmly on the side of ludicrous – as you cut your way through various organs and wrench out entrails. It is, however, incredibly fun, unlike many (all) of the other simulators listed here. And it’s got native Oculus Rift / Razer Hydra support, which is always a bonus. Available now for just $10 on Steam.
Things you might say while playing: “Don’t worry, it’s only a little bit of your rib cage, I’m sure it’ll grow right back.”
Not just pigeons, but all manner of birds make an appearance in this classic title available for free download on Mac or Windows. It is in fact an otherwise unremarkable dating sim in which the developer seemingly finished a game then decided to change all the tired cliches of attractive high school manga-drawn boys for those of real bird photos – and I mean birds in the literal sense, and not the British colloquialism. Entitled “Ha-to furu boyfriend,” the name is a pun on the Engrish word “heartful” and “pigeon.”
Even weirder is that your player character is a human girl, seeking some cross species loving. Frankly, I’m not sure this is even legal in the Western hemisphere, so download at your own risk. And that’s it for Japanese dating sims in this list, for beyond there lies true madness.
Things you might say while playing: “I can feel the unexpected softness of a pigeon’s rhinophyma…”
“Ever since I was a young boy, I dreamt about what it would be like to run a sawmill” is something no one ever said, but if you’ve reached a midlife crisis, and are considering a career change, this could be the motivation you were waiting for. Chop wood, level up, and buy better wood chopping equipment – it truly doesn’t get much better than this. Intensely character building, perhaps? Steam user tijev wasn’t so impressed:
This game sucks. The chainsaw gives you the most money per tree, everything else earns you less so there is no point in buying machinery. You also move the fastest while on foot, when strafing, the vehicles are super slow.
Unbelievably, the game is a whopping $20 on Steam.
Things you might say while playing: Absolutely nothing. You’re chopping wood, and no one is there with you except perhaps a squirrel. What are you going to say to the squirrel – “Sorry I chopped your house down?”
For some, the thrill of breaking the speed limit as they tear around a fully simulated living city, indulging in drug deals and shoot outs, immersing themselves in an alternative life in the underbelly of society represents the ultimate high. For others, it’s the slow progression of mastering a big rig gear-shift as you tumble down the longest stretch of motorway in Europe within the legal speed limit. It’s not a race, there are no competitors, there’s no power ups, and certainly no missions other than “take this truck from point A to point B.” Riveting stuff.
Also, works with the Oculus Rift, if you absolutely must. A worthwhile $20 if you ask me.
Things you might say while playing: “Ooooh, look at that field.”
Do you have what it takes to rule the world of the sanitation wars? Is your porcelain bowl the best in town? Work your way up from a small allotment (Americans: that’s a small patch of land for growing vegetables) outhouse; research radical new toilet technology; sabotage competitors facilities and spread vicious rumours. Only $9.00.
This review sums up the experience:
I’m not going to go out and say that this is the best game ever
Things you might say while playing: “Ew.”
The Imagine series, which is aimed at young girls and encourages them to do anything but use their imagination, is perhaps the dumbest collection of video games ever to exist – even compared to the likes of Pokemon (oh no he didn’t). But let’s focus on the excitement of this particular instalment –babysitting simulation – and check out the video for a sneak peek at the thrills that await you. If you’re a child of the 90s and remember the classic Catz and Dogz “games,” you’ll be familiar with the tired gameplay of this insta-hit. Only $10 on eBay!
If you enjoyed this title, also consider the sequels – Imagine:Baby Club, Imagine:Babyz, and Imagine Babies 3D.
With possible exclusion of stabbing my eyes out with a blunt rusty spoon, I can’t think of a worse way of spending my time (Imagine developers: feel free to put that on your box art as a gaming press quote), so we’ll just pretend we never mentioned it and move right along?
Things you might say while playing: “Daisy, did you crap on the sofa again?”
Tow Truck Simulator (not to be confused with Towing Simulator, an entirely separate franchise)
This isn’t actually as ridiculous as it sounds: GTA 5 includes a number of tow-truck missions that play remarkably similarly. Only $20 on eBay. “You’ll be hooked!”, they claim.
Things you might say while playing: “Let me just, get that one there, then pull forward like this, and oh yeah baby.”
So – how long before someone invents a real life simulator that plays at real-time speed? I’m kidding, of course, but there are some serious life lessons to be learnt from gaming. Do you know of any more ridiculous simulators that make you question the value of humanity? Tell us about them in the comments!