Simulation video games (“Sims”) describe a wide range of video games, generally designed to closely emulate real life activities. Examples of this genre include operating a copy of a real-life vehicle, or participating in recreating historical events. Sims differ from other PC games in that their raison d’être isn’t always to entertain, at least not primarily. Simulation games remain popular among gamers, offering players the experience of the real world.
The game frequently credited as the first simulation game is Fortune Builder, a ColecoVision game which let you plan, build and run your own community. The popularity of the genre accelerated with the releases of the classic SimCity, an open-ended city-building computer and console video game series.
From three basic types of strategic, planning, and learning exercises: games, simulations, and case studies, a number of hybrids may be considered, including simulation games that are used as case studies.
All of the simulation games below are highly addictive, immersive, fascinating, and hugely satisfying. The key is not to concentrate on games with breathtaking graphics, or the highest presentation. Instead, these are recommended simulation games which have great gameplay coupled with the urge of always having just one more play. And as the source code is freely available, users can pick up, modify, and expand upon the games.
Let’s explore the 10 games. For each game we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screen shot of the game in action together with links to relevant resources.
|A/B Street||Traffic simulation game|
|Endless Sky||2D space trading and combat similar to the classic Escape Velocity series|
|FlightGear||Highly sophisticated flight simulator|
|LinCity-NG||Polished and improved version of the classic LinCity game|
|Naev||Space exploration, trade and combat|
|OpenPatrician||Naval trade simulation in the North and Baltic sea|
|OpenTTD||Reimplementation of the Microprose game “Transport Tycoon Deluxe”|
|Simutrans||Transportation simulation game|
|Speed Dreams||Motorsport simulation and racing game|
|Vega Strike||3D space simulator|
Note: The games are listed in alphabetical order.
Free to download. The project must be available to download without charge but the authors may accept donations.
Published under an open source license. Popular open source licenses for games include MIT License, GNU General Public License, and BSD License.
Not in an early stage of development. The game must be in a stage of development where it’s playable but not necessarily complete.
Does not rely exclusively on data from proprietary software. The game must not require purchasing or owning proprietary data from a different project.
Game media (such as graphics/sound) is released under an open source license or a Creative Commons license.
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
|Open Source Games|
|2D Shooter: Part 1, Part 2 - They are a subgenre of shooter game, which in turn is a type of action game. It’s difficult to exactly define which specific design elements make up a shooter game.|
|Action-Adventure - They combine core elements from both the action game and adventure game genres. Expect both your reflexes and problem-solving skills to be tested.|
|Arcade is a video game genre with a focus on gameplay rather than story or content. They reached their peak in the late 1970s and 1980s.|
|Board - This genre of game is a device of social interaction, they challenge the mind and, most importantly, they are great fun to play.|
|Card - They offer many positive attributes. They can improve mental skills, memory and logic. They can test your patience, help you focus, and are popular for all ages.|
|Chess: Apps, Chess Engines, Online Chess Clients - Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between two players. It is a very popular game, played by millions across the world, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.|
|Educational - These games designed to teach people, typically children, about a certain subject or help them learn a skill as they play. They are sometimes known as games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment.|
|First-Person Shooter: Part 1, Part 2 - This is a computer game genre focused on guns and other weapon-based fighting using a first-person perspective. Fast and furious gameplay guaranteed.|
|Platform: Part 1, Part 2 - Subgenre of action games in which the core objective is to move the player character between points in a rendered environment. They are also known as jump 'n' run games.|
|Puzzle - They make up a broad genre of games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles can test problem-solving skills, including logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, spatial recognition, and word completion.|
|Racing - This is a video game genre in which the player participates in a racing competition. The most common types of sub-genres are arcade-style, simulation, futuristic and kart.|
|Real-Time Strategy - A time-based game which typically focuses on finding resources, managing resources, and building an empire. You can engage other players and make alliances, and find different ways to conquer foes.|
|Rhythm - Music-themed action video game that challenges a player's sense of rhythm. Games in the genre typically focus on dance or the simulated performance of musical instruments.|
|Roguelike - A subgenre of role-playing games characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, grid-based movement, and permanent death of the player character.|
|Role-Play: Part 1, Part 2- Players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. There are several forms of role-playing games.|
|Sandbox - This genre provides the player a great degree of creativity to interact with, usually without any predetermined goal, or alternatively with a goal that the player sets for themselves.|
|Simulation - A simulation video game describes a diverse category of video games, generally designed to closely simulate real world activities. These games do not necessarily offer entertainment, at least not primarily.|
|Sports is a video game genre that simulates the practice of sports such as football, golf, pool. and more.|
|Text Based: Part 1, Part 2 - These games often receive little coverage in the Linux press. However, there are some real ASCII gems out there waiting to be explored which are immensely addictive and great fun to play.|
|Turn-Based Strategy: Part 1, Part 2 - We examine games that require intelligence, and the ability to come up with an innovative plan that will leave the competition mesmerized. Players take turns when playing, strategically seeking to outsmart the enemy.