Top 8 Facebook Sim Games

Simulator games, or "sims," are an exceptional common genre represented on the Facebook platform. Anything you can think of that could possibly make a sim game is probably out on the Facebook platform somewhere. Fancy starting a new religion? Check. How about running a town full of gnomes? Check. Becoming a millionaire from running a lemonade stand business? Check. The trouble with sim games, as it always is with Facebook games, is finding games that are actually any good. Here are eight that we love.

The Sims Social

Electronic Arts' most popular franchise has finally come to Facebook and is close to knocking CityVille from its long-standing position at the number one slot. The Sims Social is ridiculously popular, with some 51 million people playing it, so a good chance some of your friends are already onboard. As the title suggests, it's a simplified version of the Sims, with less focus on the minutiae of daily life like going to work, eating and sleeping and more on the social aspects. To progress with the game, in fact to do pretty much anything, you're going to need a little help from your friends or your wallet. Want to make a new room? You'll need three of your friends to agree to help before you can build it. Want to buy a new bath? Well, you'll need a mountain of collectibles to install it. Best way to get those? Either wait endlessly for them to come up as random drops, buy them or rely on the kindness of your friends. As a long-time Sims fan I found this incredibly frustrating and would rather just play the Sims, but it's worth checking out.

My Tribe

In Big Fish Games' My Tribe you take charge of a tribe of simple villagers living on a small island of your choosing. You can assign your tribe members jobs like fishing for food, building new structures and collecting materials to make them productive members of society. Your tribe members will slowly grow old and die, so it makes sense to have more babies to replace them -- just try not to think too hard about how everyone's related to each other when you do. Goodies like shells and stork feathers (which you need to make babies) appear randomly on the island and scouring the shores for them is a fun way to pass the time while you're waiting for other tasks to complete. As you play through the game you'll also get to place game machines that you can use to open up mini games (you get a certain amount of mini game plays free every day or can buy more with cash). My Tribe's a great little game in the same vein as Virtual Villagers​... if you're into that kind of thing.

Airport City

Can't afford a holiday this year? Not to worry, you can still the frenetic feel of traveling by playing an airport management sim instead-- no packing required. You get two sections of land to manage -- an airport part, and a city part. You use the city section for housing (which creates passengers) and shops (which create money). In the airport area you build hangers, buy planes and give permission for flights to land and take off on your runways. There are three currencies in the game -- passengers (you get them from houses), fuel (this recharges over time like energy does in other Facebook games) and gold (which you get from shops or from accepting flights). Although you level up fairly slowly, there's always something to do, as planes are constantly asking for permission to land and a steady stream of missions (mostly of the build x or collect x variety) will keep you busy. After a while it starts to ask you to hassle your friends or spend real cash, but so far -- quite a way in -- there are other ways round this to keep playing if you prefer.

Dirty Dancing

With a remake of the 1987 film in the works (why? why??) and the fact that the Dirty Dancing Facebook fan page has 10 million fans, Lionsgate has decided that now is the perfect time to release a Facebook game based on the original movie. In this sim game, you get to run Kellerman's and try to make it into a successful resort. You buy attractions like dance floors, magicians and hotdog vendors to amuse your guests but the trick is that people will only spend money if they're part of a couple. To get them to hook up, you'll need to strategically drop 'romance waves' which bounce off decorations like topiary dogs, flower beds and duck ponds. You get romance waves from completing quests and by putting on dance shows. You can also buy watermelons which you can exchange for various special items or use to speed the action up. Despite its silly premise, it's actually a pretty solid game and rather addictive as Facebook sims go and is well worth a look if you like that kind of gameplay.

Social Empires

Social Point's Social Empires is a cute little game where you build a small town with useful buildings such as farms, lumber mills, gold mines and houses. But you'll also need to add military buildings like barracks to create different types of soldiers including knights, archers and spear men. All of this planning for war will pay off, as every four hours or so, a camp of trolls will appear on your land along with a mission. These missions include rescuing captured princess and sending your soldiers to obliterate the invading trolls. You can also attack your friends (hey, what are friends for?) or random people you don't like the look of. Social Empires is a very popular sim game, with 3.8 million users, and there's plenty to do without friends playing or spending real cash.

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail​ has been around in various incarnations since 1971 -- essentially it's an educational game that aims to teach people what life was really like for the pioneers in 19th century America. But don't let the educational focus put you off. Oregon Trail has endured because of its combination of decision-making, strategy, hunting, and role-playing. You start off in Independence, Missouri and must recruit a merry band of friends to travel with you on the Oregon Trail to your eventual destination in Willamette Valley. For the two thousand mile journey, you\'ll only have your bare-essential supplies, a Conestoga wagon, and your wits to survive.

Once you've loaded up your wagon, it's time to boldly go, but be warned -- the journey is brutal. You'll probably find many of your party die long before you reach your destination, perhaps of exhaustion, dysentery, measles or typhoid -- or perhaps something even more grisly. If you're really lucky you might just make it to the end.

The Facebook​ version of Oregon Trail is by Blue Fang and The Learning Company and offers plenty of mini games to play, including the classic "hunting" game so associated with the iconic series.

Simply Hospital

A game about sick people doesn't initially sound like much fun, but give 6 Waves' Simply Hospital a chance. The patients here don't have real-life, depressing problems like cancer or horrific traffic accident injuries, but instead have amusing issues like becoming zombies, lamp men and chain smokers. You must build treatment rooms, research diseases and hire doctors. When you're ready you can start a shift, which brings in money, but be careful, as if you can't treat enough patients your hospital reputation will fall. With the money you've earned you can buy more rooms, decorations, hire better staff and learn how to deal with weird new diseases. The gameplay will be familiar to anyone who's played Theme Hospital​ or other similarly silly hospital management sims. If you have friends playing, you can hire them as doctors and save on money but you won't need to annoy them constantly to play.

Pocket God

While most sim games are all about nurturing your virtual citizens and growing and caring for your virtual populace, that\'s definitely not the case with Bolt Creative's Pocket God​. In Pocket God the idea is to kill as many people in as many inventive ways as possible. You play as a god with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and are given a small island with an unlimited supply of pygmies to rule over with an iron fist. To level up, you need to sacrifice them in different ways, for example throwing them in the sea (they can't swim), hurling them into a fiery volcano or feeding them to the sharks. You can also build a few little luxuries to keep them happy, like a hot spring or a fridge full of ice cold beer, if you're feeling generous. If you have friends that are also playing, you can find ingenious ways to kill them, too. A real antidote to all the fluffy games out there.

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