Simulation games excel at taking mundane tasks and occupations and turning them into satisfying gameplay loops.
While some sims set out to be as authentic as possible, others throw realism out the window entirely. The result is a bizarre parody of a real-world occurrence that pokes fun at the simulation genre.
Here, we’ll be highlighting the best weird simulation games to check out when you need a break from reality and more serious sims.
Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new games and while you’re here, consider reading through our other curated lists:
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Developer: EmpyreanrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
House Flipper serves both as a parody of popular home-renovation TV shows and a legit house flipping simulation. In it, you purchase and sell virtual properties in hopes of making a profit. However, before homes can be ‘flipped,’ you’ll have to apply a bit of elbow grease to make them appealing for potential buyers.
This includes pressing needs such as rewiring sockets, changing fuses, and cleaning windows in addition to extreme challenges such as roach infestations and built up trash left behind by squatters. If you want to get really invested, you can even go about demolishing walls, repainting rooms, and buying new furniture. Each client will have their own preferences, so knowing how to cater to their needs is an essential ingredient for success.
Two Point Hospital
Developer: Two Point StudiosrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Although managing a hospital may not seem inherently fun or all that weird at first, Two Point Hospital keeps things light by skipping all of the boring stuff. Staff management, décor, and upgrade systems are all streamlined and remove a lot of the guesswork typically found in management sims. Instead, you’re free to wander around your hospital and watch as patients get treated for a variety of ridiculous ailments.
For example, ‘Lightheadedness’ is a physical illness in which a person’s head turns into a light bulb. To treat it, you’ll need to have trained a physician to operate a special machine that unscrews the light bulb from the patient’s head before attaching a brand-new 3D-printed cranium. There 15 scenarios included in the campaign, and as you progress, even weirder illnesses get introduced.
Developer: Owlchemy LabsrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Meta Quest
Job Simulator changes the routine of a regular 9-5 job with unexpected twists. Each part has various jobs like an office worker, a cook, or a mechanic. While trying hard to satisfy bosses and clients, you’ll be amazed by the game’s funny and surprising story.
Each role you take on has been designed by robots that appear to be terrible at interpreting human work culture. Whether it’s the office garbage bin shooting out confetti every time you land a paper ball inside or a microwave that lets you combine items to produce strange foods, nothing in Job Simulator works as you would expect.
Developer: Monomi ParkrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What could be better than becoming a rancher and raising cattle for profit? The exact same thing, but on an alien planet populated by adorable creatures made of slime. Inspired by farming sims, Slime Rancher tasks you with building up an army of cute and cuddly slime monsters that produce rare materials when fed.
The greater amount of items you collect and trade, the greater sum of money you have for improving your farm’s buildings, ornaments, and equipment. Where things become strange is the game permits you to feed goo creatures to one another, also referred to as cannibalism. The advantage of this action is creating fresh types of goo that can fetch a high price. Nevertheless, if you make an incorrect decision, you might unintentionally erase the whole group.
My Summer Car
Developer: Amistech GamesrnrnPlatform: PC
If you’ve ever sat and thought, “I wonder what summertime in Finland was like in 1995,” then My Summer Car has the answer for you. Presented as a car mechanic simulator designed by one guy, the game features some of the jankiest controls and AI we’ve ever seen. It all appears to be intentional, for the most, we’re sure.
The point of the game is to take your time slowly building a car from the ground-up using parts scattered throughout your garage or at the local shop run by a jerk named Teimo. However, things never seem to go according to plan as your character’s hunger and thirst levels continually drop, and NPCs try to ram you off the road.
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Developer: Landfall GamesrnrnPlatforms: PC, Xbox One
As its name suggests, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is a game where you can simulate battles using a poorly-optimized physics engine. The game allows you to recreate wars from throughout history, ranging from medieval battles to modern warfare, and even dabble with witches and skeletons. Each faction comes with an array of bizarre units that are placed manually in exchange for resource points.
There’s something so enticing about coming up with a ridiculous strategy, such as using seven wheelbarrows to defeat an army of Roman soldiers, but it’s even better to witness the chaos unfold firsthand. At any given moment, you’re able to possess one of your units, and either swing the odds in your favor or make things much worse.
Developers: Team17, Ghost Town GamesrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Overcooked 2 takes the concept of a cooking video game, mixes it with multiplayer, and sprinkles a heavy dose of mayhem on top before hitting puree. In it, up to four players try to manage an assembly line of tasks in hopes of getting as many plates out the door before time runs out. The result is a frantic race against the clock to prepare dishes without losing your mind or your friends.
Each map is filled with multiple stations designated for different tasks like chopping, frying, boiling, and plating and increase in difficulty as more orders come in. If that wasn’t enough, the sequel also adds the ability to throw ingredients at your fellow chefs from far away, giving you the perfect outlet for voicing your frustrations.
Developers: SMG Studio, Devm GamesrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Similar to Overcooked 2, Moving Out takes a standard concept, moving furniture, and uses it as the starting point for chaotic multiplayer action. The game sees up to four players training to become Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technicians (FARTs), highly unskilled movers with a knack for haphazardly transporting furniture.
Moving jobs start simple enough, but quickly take a turn for the bizarre as you’re tasked with moving furniture across a factory, a moving airplane, and even meteors in space. Combine this with the game’s ridiculous physics-simulation and cumbersome controls, and things get weird really quick. Its co-op focused gameplay means you can expect to share plenty of laughs and quarrels with your buddies from start to finish.
Viscera Cleanup Detail
Developer: RuneStormrnrnPlatform: PC
In Viscera Cleanup Detail, you take on the role of a space-station janitor assigned to clean up some hilariously-awful messes. To aid you in your task, the game provides standard cleaning supplies such as mops, brooms, and buckets in addition to more out-there tools like a laser gun that’s used to repair bullet holes.
Be prepared to roll up your sleeves as most rooms are filled with dismembered bodies and alien guts that can stick to your shoes and create even bigger messes. Your performance is reviewed at the end of each level, so it’s important to clean thoroughly. Underperform repeatedly, and you may find yourself tossed into deep space with the rest of the trash.
Developer: Bossa StudiosrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Android, iOS
While we wait for the release of a sequel, the original Surgeon Simulator can still be counted on for a few chuckles as you clumsily dig your hand inside a dead guy’s innards. It’s probably not the best option for training to become an actual surgeon, but for anyone else who’s wanted to perform a heart transplant on an alien or that one dude from Team Fortress 2, it’s some of the weirdest fun you can have.
Once you’re at the operating table, Surgeon Simulator asks you to perform delicate procedures on patients, making sure they don’t lose too much blood during the operation. This wouldn’t be so tough if not for the game’s notoriously tricky controls, which make it all too easy to drop your tools, accidentally poke an artery, and generally turn every procedure into a bloody crime scene.
Developers: Weather Factory, PlaydigiousrnrnPlatforms: PC, Android, iOS
Cultist Simulator offers you a chance to live out all of your Lovecraftian fantasies as you become a master manipulator and bring about a new age apocalypse. Set during the 1920s, the game sees you taking on the role of a Seeker, recruitment agents for a secret society that worships ancient gods in exchange for power, knowledge, beauty, and revenge.
Presented as a roguelike card-RPG, the game involves combining cards in order to spread your influence and affect those around you. Whether it’s turning your neighbors into minions, thwarting investigations into your clan’s activity, or performing sacred rituals, there are several different paths to take with varying outcomes. Every card you play is laid out before you, allowing you to trace every decision you make and use it to predict the future.
PC Building Simulator
Developers: Claudiu Kiss, Irregular Corp.rnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
This next one may not be weird in terms of gameplay but is definitely bizarre in the context of a video game. PC Building Simulator lets you build virtual PC towers by hand with the ability to pick your components, case design, and power supply. There’s a surprisingly wide selection of customization options ranging from liquid cooling to RGB lighting and more.
When you consider this is all being rendered on a game console, or more likely, a gaming PC, the entire experience starts to feel real meta. However, you can take things even further by booting up a simulated operating system, performing 3D benchmark tests, and running antivirus to make sure your shiny new virtual PC remains malware-free.
Developer: Gibier GamesrnrnPlatform: PC
Developer Gibier Games identified a major underlying issue with the Grand Theft Auto series that wasn’t being addressed by Rockstar: there simply aren’t enough deer in GTA. Instead of whittling away the days complaining about said lack of deer on GTA 5 forums, they decided to make their own magnum opus in the form of DEEEER Simulator.
In it, you play as an unassuming deer looking to cause trouble and build a loyal army of human followers. Using the deer’s innate tools such as its sharp antlers and stretchy neck, you make your way around the city trying to convert humans into deer-believers while making sure to avoid any run-ins with the police. Along the way, you can pick up weapons to defend yourself, drive cars, or even swing from building to building like Spider-Man.
Developer: Washbear StudiornrnPlatform: PC
History has not favored the dinosaurs and it’s about time humankind step in to honor their legacy the right way. Instead of fancy exhibits at museums, these creatures deserve to be immortalized in their very own theme park. Not the Jurassic disaster you’re thinking of but instead a vibrant ecosystem where they can genuinely blossom while still bringing in loads of cash.
Parkasaurus is a tycoon management sim that lets you build eye-catching dinosaur exhibits, scientific research facilities, and a plethora of amenities to keep guests happy. Still in Early Access on Steam, the base game includes over 24 species to discover and care for by constructing unique habitats to meet their needs. Or you can just set them loose in the park and watch the AI lose its mind.
Developer: MediatonicrnrnPlatforms: PC, PS4, Android, iOS
If we had to make a bet, we’d say Hatoful Boyfriend is both the best and weirdest bird dating simulator on the market. A bold statement, but one we’re willing to stand by. The game sees you enrolled as the sole human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation’s Institute, where gifted birds go to spread their wings and fall in love between classes.
You’ll meet a diverse bunch of avian companions, many of which will try to woo you with promises of romance and good vibes. It’s ultimately up to you to decide which birds are worth the trouble of possibly getting your heart broken. Despite its bizarre premise and off-beat humor, the game is surprisingly well-written, featuring a genre-bending storyline, hidden subplots to discover, and several possible endings.