Top 10 Android Simulator Games To Play on PC With BlueStacks (Part 1)
Although video games have traditionally been a medium to explore creative impulses of different kinds, and create new and fantastical worlds with weird, scary creatures, sometimes all you need from a video game is for it to mimic real life as closely as possible. Simulator games do exactly that. Made to replicate and predict real-life scenarios, simulator games allow you to accomplish various real-life tasks that are usually not very easy to do, such as fly an airplane, or perform surgery. Sophisticated versions of simulators such as the aforementioned airplane simulator are also used in real life to train budding pilots and to test how they would react to unfavorable conditions.
Another sub-genre of these games allows you to make sense of different phenomena and their worldwide effects, such as with the game Plague Inc., which allows you to unleash a deadly virus on the world and see how long it takes for the entirety of the world’s population to be infected. You also have a whole host of games that allow you to simulate running a company, running a country, etc., allowing you to get a simulated experience of real-world scenarios.
This article is divided into two parts, with each part containing 5 different games.
1. The Escapists: Prison Escape ($6.49)
Initially released for Windows, macOS, and consoles such as the Playstation 4 and Xbox One in 2014, The Escapists: Prison Escape hit the mobile video game market in 2017 and was an instant success, with most game reviewing websites praising the creators for their approach to the game and the simple, yet effective gameplay and game design. Developed by Mouldy Toof Studios, The Escapists: Prison Escape is a top-down perspective, 8-bit graphics game, where the main objective is to escape the prison in which the inmate (the character controlled by the user) is serving time. The game has six different levels, with each level being a different prison from which the inmate must escape. Primarily a strategy game with elements of simulation, the player must use all the resources at their disposal – from stealing and trading with other inmates to using weapons to beat up guards- to get out of the prison. The game begins with the user needing to select the name of their character, and the other inmates and guards if need be. This helps the user identify the different inmates and guards, which makes escaping a little easier, or, at least, a little less chaotic.
Morning roll calls in the game are the time of day when the inmates are told what they’ll be needed to do throughout the day, and also which inmates will have their cells inspected for contraband items. This is also the time when the user can break into other inmates’ cells and steal from them what they require. Mealtimes are when the inmates get to socialize, and also the time when the user can recruit the help of fellow inmates to aid in their escape. There are various ways in which other inmates can be useful to the user, including distracting the guards during roll-call, helping the user acquire hard-to-get items, etc. When socializing with other inmates, the user also gets the opportunity to complete various small tasks for them to gain their trust and to get something in return that will make their prison escape easier. This can include retrieving stolen items or causing a scene at roll-call. Items can also be acquired through crafting. Crafting includes mixing and matching different items and putting them together to get a new item that will aid in the prison escape. Mixing toothpaste and talcum powder, for example, gives you putty, which can be used to take an imprint of the prison guard’s key, from which a fake key can be molded using other items.
The simulation part of the game comes in when you have to do various, seemingly menial, tasks to level up your character. This includes spending time in the library, working out, eating, browsing the internet, etc. All of these play a role in building up your character’s level and increasing their intelligence, strength, speed, and power levels. Each prison has its own set of daily objectives for the user to complete, such as work, exercise, and showers. Although users can skip some of these without heavy punishment, skipping roll call, which is an essential and non-skippable part of the daily routine, will cause prison lockdown. The user must also be sure to hide their weapons or any other item which will aid their escape since guards regularly check the inmates’ cells for contraband. If any such item is found in the user’s cell, they are sent into solitary confinement which causes the contraband to be confiscated, and any other progress made inside the cell, such as chipped walls or broken vents, are repaired.
There are various ways for the user to escape their particular prison including through vents, roofs, inciting riots, etc., and the method of escape will depend upon the level of security in the prison. The six different prison levels all have a distinct style and feeling to them, with different layouts, added layers of security, etc., which keeps the game interesting, since completing the same tasks over and over again can get boring and repetitive.
With over one hundred thousand downloads, The Escapists: Prison Escape is rated 4.1 out of five stars on Google Play Store.
2. Fallout Shelter (Free)
The Fallout universe has been gaining steady popularity ever since the release of the first-ever Fallout game, Fallout (1997). The games in the series have all been set in a post-apocalyptic world whose existence is under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. While most of the games in this series have been role-playing games, Fallout Shelter relies heavily on simulation. The game is an extension of the Fallout universe, where the main aim is for the user to be in charge of a vault in which survivors of nuclear fallout survive and live. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, and released by Bethesda Softworks in 2015, the game has received mostly positive reviews amongst critics, and also support from the general public, with gross revenue upwards of five million dollars in the first two weeks.
Fallout Shelter’s gameplay is extremely simple, which is one of the major points that both critics and users worldwide praised. As mentioned, the user is in charge of a vault that holds survivors of nuclear fallout and must balance between producing different resources and amenities essential for the survival of everyone living in the vault- things such as food, water, power, etc. The number of citizens in the vault increases through reproduction, and the user must dig into the mountain in which the vault is built to create living quarters for new members. Water Treatment Plants are necessary for clean drinking water, and cafeterias for food. The user must also create Power Plants to supply energy to the vault and to keep all resources functioning.
Although things in the game build instantly, the game requires you to spend Caps for building. These Caps take a while to recover, and, keeping the game truly free-to-play, the developers of the game do not provide users with any options to pay to increase Caps. The citizens of the vault are put to work in various parts of the vault, and each dweller has stats that work well with a specific type of factory. If work is assigned correctly, keeping dweller stats in mind, your factories begin to work more fluidly, producing more goods, most of which your community of dwellers desperately needs. This is where the game gets fun. At one point in the game, you realize that you do not have the resources or the manpower to simultaneously work every factory. This means trading off on different resources. When labor and resources are in shortage, the user must decide whether they want their dwellers to have clean drinking water or food.
You will also have to face random raider invasions, radroach attacks, or fires, and all of these keep the game from getting boring and repetitive. Handling all these different aspects of the vault at once and making decisions on which is most important and should be on the top of your priority list keeps you on your toes. Keeping with the theme of randomness, users are also provided with “Lunchboxes” randomly which contain cards that reward you with items, dwellers, or other resources.
The game is designed in the traditional cartoon-ish art style that the Fallout franchise is known for. There is one critique of the game, though, which should be kept in mind, which is the lack of a clear end-game. Fallout Shelter is endless, in the sense that you can continue building your vault for as long as you want, but after a while, once you’ve maxed out your resources, the game becomes a little repetitive. Maxing out your resources and having everything work as smoothly is, in itself, kind of the end-game, which can leave some users slightly dissatisfied.
With over ten million downloads, Fallout Shelter has been rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store.
3. Flight Pilot Simulator 3D (Free)
Next on our list of the best simulator games for Android is Flight Pilot 3D, created by Fun Games For Free, and which, at the time of this article being written, is one of Google Play Store’s Editor’s Choice games – a highly coveted tag that very few apps receive.
As the name suggests, this game is a flight simulator, allowing you to simulate the experience of flying an airplane through different weather conditions, different airports, and even using different aircrafts with unique specifications.
Flight simulators have been around for a long time, and there is no dearth of such simulators on mobile app stores right now. What sets a good simulator apart from a mediocre one, however, is how well it translates the real-life experience of flying an aircraft onto a mobile screen. Do the visuals look realistic enough? Are the controls easy to use, yet based on real-life flight controls? How much variation is there between the different available aircrafts? Do weather conditions play a part in the simulation experience? All of this and more are the deciding factors that separate every other flight simulator from a simulator like Flight Pilot Simulator 3D.
First things first, Flight Pilot Simulator 3D’s graphics are probably what set it apart the most from other simulators of its kind. The game offers vivid scenery, from snowcapped mountains to large cities underneath you. The plane itself looks incredible, and visual quality is maintained throughout your flight course. The same is with the sound effects of the game. You can hear the hum and vibration of the plane as you fly it. If you fly a plane with a propeller on it, you can hear it start and stop when taking off and landing. In case of a crash, you can vividly hear the crash of the plane as it nosedives into the ground. The detail put into both the graphics and the sound design help you completely immerse yourself in the game.
The game controls are extremely simple to understand and use, and allow you to play the game without much of an introduction to it. As long as you understand the basic controls, you’re good to go! A gearbox allows you to shift acceleration, and to double the speed of the airplane once you have taken off, all you must do is simply press a button. You are also provided with a set of brakes for when you need to slow the plane down for its descent. The game is motion-sensitive, so to move the plane from left to right or vice versa, you must simply tilt your device. If you prefer to have touch-based controls, you can go into the game settings and change the movement controls at your convenience.
The game functions on the basis of missions, which get progressively harder as you move through the game. The first mission is a simple one and is meant for the user to learn the controls of the game. Every mission has a clear objective that you must accomplish to move ahead, and before the beginning of every mission, the user is provided with explicit instructions on how to complete the mission. For every mission completed the user is provided with coins, the in-game currency which can later be used to unlock accessories in-game. Coins are also required to take part in the missions. If you’re running low on coins you can take part in the free flight simulator which allows you to simply simulate the experience of flying an aircraft without any particular objectives. The game comes with a ton of in-app purchases as well, such as additional aircrafts, etc., but if you don’t want to spend money on in-app purchases, the game provides you with enough free content for it to be an enjoyable experience.
With over a hundred million downloads, Flight Pilot Simulator 3D is rated 4.2 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store.
4. Plague Inc. (Free)
One of the most popular simulator games of the last few years, next on our list is Plague Inc., developed by Ndemic Creations. The idea behind the game is very simple – to develop a deadly pathogen that can wipe out the world’s population before a vaccine for the disease can be created. There are various pathogen types for the user to choose from including virus, fungus, bio-weapon, parasite, nano-virus, and prion. The game also offers fictional pathogens such as the Zombie Pathogen, Necroa Virus, or the mind-controlling Neurax Worm. All of these pathogens have different specifications, and how the pathogen infects people, what climates it can survive in, and what sort of mutations can occur to the pathogen are all dependent on the type of pathogen the player chooses. Initially, at the beginning of the game, the only pathogen type that can be used is bacteria. Other pathogen types are unlocked by winning games in Normal or Brutal modes. The difference between these modes, and how they affect your game is also of note. For example, the game states that in Casual mode, which is the easiest mode available, “Sick people are given hugs”, while in the Brutal game mode, “Sick people are locked in prison”. This tells us that in Brutal mode the pathogen will be a lot harder to spread because of the low amount of contact between sick and healthy people, and the user must tweak their strategy accordingly to ensure the maximum spread of the pathogen.
As mentioned above, the main role of the user is to create and mutate their pathogen in such a way that all of the world’s population is infected by this pathogen. This involves employing various strategies to infect people. The user can choose to be ultra-aggressive, creating a pathogen that kills people as soon as they catch it, or the user can choose to first increase the infectivity of the pathogen, spread it amongst a large percentage of the population, and then evolve the virus to mutate into something deadlier.
There are different aspects to the mutation of the virus as well, including the propagation of the virus, its resistance to climate, which parts of the body it affects, and which diseases can occur once a person has been infected by the pathogen. The virus can be transmitted through birds, rodents, livestock, air, water, insects, or blood. All of these have different specifications and affect what areas of the world the pathogen will survive in. For example, a pathogen that is largely transmitted through water will do well in warm, humid countries, or countries with busy docks. It won’t do well in landlocked countries or countries that have colder, more arid climates. To make it so that your pathogen can spread even to such countries and survive under extreme climates, the game lets you evolve the pathogen’s abilities. These abilities include heat resistance, cold resistance, drug resistance, etc.
There are also tons of different symptoms that you can develop in your pathogen, including harmless symptoms such as a cough, which goes relatively unnoticed by doctors and also helps the disease spread faster, to more serious illnesses such as Pulmonary Oedema which can be potentially fatal.
Once you have selected a country in which you want to infect your first patient, the game provides you with DNA points which is the in-game currency used to buy all the different pathogen mutations mentioned above. The more people and countries you infect, the more DNA points you receive.
As you evolve your pathogen, there will come a point when it is discovered by medical experts, leading to a cure being manufactured for this disease. You must evolve your pathogen at such speed and efficacy that all of the world’s population succumbs to the illness before the cure is finished.
With over a hundred million downloads, Plague Inc. is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store.
5. Rebel Inc. (Free)
As with the worldwide hit Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations has got a new bestseller on its hands with Rebel Inc. Released in December of 2018, Rebel Inc. rose to instant success due to the worldwide acclaim of its predecessor, Plague Inc., and also because of how good it was as a strategy/simulator game. The game’s main objective is for the user to act as a Governor in a recently war-torn region, and to bring it back to stability. This is done by funding different government initiatives, warding off insurgents, and making sure that there is peace and stability in the region. There are also economic aspects that must be taken care of, such as keeping corruption in check, and ensuring that not too many things are built at once since that can cause large amounts of inflation, making everything more expensive for both the citizens and the government. Different maps provide different terrain to work with. More mountains and forests on a map mean longer intelligence collection time, and also more insurgent activity.
There are different types of Governors in the game, including Civil Servant, Economist, General, Banker, Smuggler, etc., each with its unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, using the Economist as the Governor allows you to access your yearly funds at once, instead of receiving funds monthly. This allows the user to deploy their funds systematically, saving for what they might need in the future, and also having enough money at their disposal to make any big purchases if necessary. Another advantage of using the Economist as the Governor includes their ability to freeze non-essential government spending, which massively reduces inflation. The disadvantage of having an economist as the Governor is the rise in corruption that often takes place due to the deployment of large amounts of money in a short time. On the other hand, using a Smuggler as the Governor completely flips the script on its head, since the Smuggler’s specialty is his tolerance to corruption. The Smuggler can bribe insurgents, sell military weapons for money, and cut corners from military funding, all to increase the annual budget which can then be used for development purposes or to deploy airstrikes and troops on insurgents. The only disadvantage to using the Smuggler is that there is potential for the corruption to get out of control, hence causing a large loss in reputation, which, when depleted to zero, means the end of the game.
The initiatives that Governors must roll out are of several kinds, including outreach programs to both rural and urban areas of the map, anti-corruption initiatives to help curb government corruption, local security programs which help build local militia, which, in turn, help lower insurgent activity. Other branches include the PR and the Intel branch.
The game ends once you have brought stability to the region, and to achieve this you must also bring peace to the region. Once insurgents attack, you must deploy troops, drones, and airstrikes to destroy their bunkers and to lower both their strength and morale. Once this is done, peace talks will be initiated and a bar will appear on the right side of your screen showing you how the peace talks are going. Weakening insurgent militancy will lead to peace talks accelerating since the insurgents will feel threatened. Once a peace accord is signed, you must focus your energies on bringing about civil and government initiatives such as the building of infrastructure, access to clean water, sanitation, education, etc., and also economic initiatives such as the building of banks, and land reforms. Once this is done, you will slowly win over more of the population, the percentage of which will be displayed on the bar above you. Once all areas of the map are stable, the game ends.
For more information on Rebel Inc’s updated campaign mode, check out this article.
With over five million downloads, Rebel Inc. is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store.