The best Sim games
Sim games allow us to live out our wildest and most mundrane dreams at the same time. You could just as easily manage a full fleet of starships as you could manage a small farm in the middle of nowhere. Sims put us directly in the shoes of lives we otherwise couldn't occupy and the results are often magical.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a miniaturized and simplified version of its older siblings. You play as a campsite manager, and your job is to design the best possible campsite to attract adorable animal campers. A mix of open area combined with fixed "amenities," like a pool, a treehouse, or even an entire castle, make up your campsite's customizable spaces. The open area allows you to place furniture and other decorations to your liking, all of which have different types associated with them.
Amenities, items, and even campers, also known as Villagers in other AC titles, can be Cute, Sporty, Cool, and many other types! These types dictate what kinds of items and amenities campers will like at your campsite, and fulfilling their requests is how you forge a greater friendship with them and, in turn, unlock bigger and better items and amenities. Most of your daily play-time will be spent doing typical Animal Crossing things like fishing, bug catching, and fruit collecting to fulfill camper requests.
Like any good sim game, Pocket Game is a vicious but delightful cycle-- get more campers to get more materials to get more amenities to get more campers! Unfortunately, there are a few caveats to this, of course. Pocket Camp certainly isn't the worst offender when it comes to microtransactions, but it does give the player ample opportunity to make in-app purchases in the form of buying Fortune Cookies (loot boxes with a chance of giving you rare, themed items) and in-game cash that you can spend to jump the line and make progress on certain objectives more quickly.
That being said, you can still make tons of progress in Pocket Camp without ever spending a dime of your own money. The only end goal of Pocket Camp is to pack your campsite with your favorite villagers and then customize the heck out of it. Believe me; this game is a perfect casual time-suck and a great choice for resource management junkies!
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp
A relaxing and adorable sim game that allows you to build your perfect campsite and then pack it to the gills with your favorite Animal Crossing villagers.
Download from: Google Play Store
Creatures of the Deep: Fishing
Creatures of the Deep: Fishing is a rare example of a free fishing simulator that is neither packed to the gills with ads nor microtransactions. Shocking, I know. What's even more shocking though, is that it's actually a fun, relaxing experience.
The game drops you straight into the action, arming you with a bare bones boat, a crappy fishing rod, and a mostly empty, upgradeable island which acts as your base of operations. A weathered old fisherman guides you through a tutorial, assigns quests and doles out rewards when you bring him the catches he asks for.
Navigating the world is as easy as holding your finger in the direction of the screen you're aiming for, while fishing is a simple tap to cast, tap to reel in affair. The trick with catching fish is that their bite behaviors vary, so you have to carefully gauge nibbles vs full-on bites by watching your bobber like a hawk.
Things start to ramp up the further you make it in the game, gradually upgrading your equipment, gaining access to more fishing areas, and discovering loads of new fish to add to your compendium. Rumor has it that some monstrous creatures can found in these here parts and uncovering the truth of what lies beneath is what the game is all about. Good luck out there, sailor!
Fishing Life is a delightful little game about, you guessed it, fishing. You play as a fisherman out on the seas escaping the woes of the world by catching fish to his heart's content. I love fishing, but most fishing games tend to not be very fun for me. Luckily, something about the gameplay in Fishing Life is highly addictive and surprisingly fun. You hold your reel down to cast your line in an arc and as it descends into the water you tug at your line to try and move it toward the fish you're aiming for. Once you get a bite, you just tap to reel it in and voilà, you've got yourself a fish.
You can upgrade your rod and tackle with gold you earn from your catches, along with upgrading your boat and your fisherman himself. You can also choose to keep some of your fish in an aquarium rather than sell them right away, which is a handy way to earn some passive gold while you're out fishing. There's a huge variety of fish to catch and many different areas that you can eventually navigate to try and catch even bigger and better fish (and sharks and whales and more).
The one big tick that we can take away from Fishing Life is the incredibly pervasive ads. A free title needs to monetize somehow, but Fishing Life throws ads at you anywhere it can. Soft ads will pop up in-game every few catches, you have to watch ads to collect gold from treasure chests, and you have to watch ads to feed your fish in your aquarium. Any of these on their own wouldn't be that bad, but combined they can really ruin the relaxing vibe that Fishing Life is going for if you play for long enough. You can pay to remove ads, but the cost seems incongruously high at a whopping $7.99.
In spite of the ads though, I still find myself picking up Fishing Life, so it clearly hasn't been bad enough to keep me away from this unusually engrossing fishing sim.
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A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.