Time for another list, friends. This time I’ve decided to go with a weird theme just to see what we can do with it. You see a lot of games today with the word ‘Simulator’ in their titles. Some of them are realistic simulators. Some of them are bonkers, to say the least. What I’ve opted to do is grab my ten favorite Nintendo Switch games with that word in the title and put them in a list for you. These are just my personal choices, and the games aren’t put in any particular order. If you’ve got some suggestions, make sure to comment below. Let’s go!
Goat Simulator: The GOATY ($29.99)
No list of games with ‘Simulator’ in the title would be complete without Goat Simulator, arguably one of the games that popularized the idea of stupid simulators. Be a goat! Do lots of annoying things! Check stuff off of lists! Explore a fairly chunky amount of content thanks to all the included expansions! Is this an accurate portrayal of a goat’s life? Probably not. Real goats aren’t quite as… durable as these fellows. But it’s an absurdly good time that parodies reality and video games in equal measures, and a very hard game to dislike.
Cooking Simulator ($19.99)
A little more realistic than Goat Simulator, but there are certainly lots of opportunities here for stupid things to happen. Look, we all know how to cook, even if for some of us it’s only a little. But given some clumsy arms and a bit of awkward movement, even making toast and eggs can lead to disaster in this game. While it doesn’t exactly lend itself well to marathon sessions, this is an amusing game to fire up now and then. It’s also hilarious for other people to watch you play, so there’s that going for it too.
Farming Simulator: Nintendo Switch Edition ($19.99)
While the topic matter isn’t going to be for everyone, this is a very well-made farming simulator that offers a lot of depth and realism while still being quite enjoyable to play. It feels a lot like a proper sim game, and this list could certainly use a little of that. Explore a big piece of land, drive tons of authentic farming vehicles, raise crops, take care of your livestock, and do whatever you can to keep your farming business running smoothly. While there is a newer version of the game on the eShop, I feel like the price on this one makes it an easier jumping-in point for newcomers.
Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition ($19.99)
There’s no doubt about it: this is a game that takes a bit of investment to warm up to. It’s a card game with a rich narrative and a Lovecraftian edge to it, and it seems to believe that the best way to learn is through the school of hard knocks. The patient player will eventually sort out this opaque game’s rules, little by little, and as they do, they will find richer rewards. Just be warned that it’s not afraid to go in on its horror elements.
DEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game ($19.99)
You know, it takes a lot to be the weirdest game on a list that includes Goat Simulator, but here we are. DEEEER Simulator chooses stupid at every possible turn, and the end result is something you’re either going to hate to pieces or find oddly charming. Whether you just want to chill out or go full-on destructive deer kaiju on the town, you can rest assured that things will unfold in a wholly unexpected fashion. I’m not even sure what this one is simulating. A bad trip, maybe?
Thief Simulator ($19.99)
This burglary simulation game is really, really rough around the edges. I’d say its interface is practically a nightmare, and nothing works quite the way you would ideally want it to. You’ll run into countless bugs as you play. And yet, there’s something compelling here. The premise is strong, having you case houses and pull off a variety of approaches to abscond with the loot in each of them. You unlock a bunch of neat gadgets that help keep the thievery fresh as you play through the story. If you need your games to be polished, this one won’t make you happy. But if you can appreciate a good idea clumsily executed, you may like this.
Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator ($29.99)
I really dig this kind of thing. It’s odd, because I was never that into drinking even in my younger years and I’ve had maybe three drinks in the last twelve years. But I am fascinated by games about making alcohol and running a business around it, and Hundred Days is a very good one. Like, full-stop, this might just be the best game on this list in a pure sense. It’s satisfyingly deep yet not too difficult to pick up, and even if you’re not interested in the topic matter, you’ll still be engrossed. It feels like one of those well-kept secrets of the eShop, and it deserves more than that.
Bus Driver Simulator ($29.99)
All the kids love the bus driving simulators, so I would be remiss if I failed to include one here. This one appears to be most people’s favorite of the selection on Switch. What is the appeal of this particular strain of simulator? I think learning how to manage your schedule can be very relaxing, and there’s something somewhat calming about the movement of buses. This game gives you lots of buses, plenty of areas to drive around in, a variety of upgrades, different weather conditions and time of day changes, and lots of interesting bits that add texture to the overall experience.
Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator ($9.99)
This is far from the best child-raising simulation game on the Switch, but it’s the only one with ‘Simulator’ in the title. We’re hand-cuffed here, folks. This is a very mundane game in a lot of regards, but the loop is satisfying enough and the infrequent rewards interesting enough that you can likely find enough to keep you playing until the game’s end. Just be prepared for the fact that the daughter-raising parts of the game are by some measure its weakest, dullest sections.
Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator ($19.99)
Let’s go out on a weird note, shall we? This is just your average, plain simulator about buying, selling, and trading organs on the stellar black market. It has a lot of the flavor of those trading simulation games that were so hot in the early days of BBSes and their kin. There’s also a story here, and it’s one worth experiencing if you aren’t too squeamish about the basic theme of it all. It handles it all with a dark sense of humor, but at the end of it all you are involving yourself in the organ trade. Probably not the game to play with the little ones.
And that’s the list! Remember, if you have any suggestions or just want to talk about your favorite games with ‘Simulator’ in the title, I encourage you to comment below. This was a fun one for me to write, as I had to sift through games that a lot of people probably wouldn’t consider very… you know, good. But there’s fun to be had in unusual corners of the eShop, and this is assuredly one of them. Seriously though, check out Hundred Days. Thanks for reading!