Updated: Original list by Matt Thrower, Updated by Jupiter Hadley on March 25nd, 2021.
If you are a fan of simulation games, we strongly recommend you to keep reading. These are the best simulation games for iPhone and iPad!
Simulations used to give PC owners the chance to prove just how dour and serious they were. Simulations used to give PC owners the reasons to justify shelling out large quantities of cash for their expensive rigs.
Well, most of the time, anyway.
And while it might seem that these realistic simulacra would be poor fits for mobiles - requiring bags of computing power and complex input devices - they're actually proliferating on iOS.
112 Operator is a simulator game unlike any other. You are put in charge of emergency services, starting off as someone who answers phone calls when people call for an emergency. You then need to talk things through with them and decide what action to take. Once you know what places need, you will need to route different vehicles to these places. But there is so much more to the game.
You will need to plan out what vehicles are in the area, decide what workers are in each one, upgrade their tools, hire more people to answer calls, and start to solve major crime through your direction and guidance. It's an intense game that I love.
Sticking with our tactic of avoiding 'customary' simulation material, here's an even odder one. In this game, you play as a virus attempting to wipe out the entirety of the human race (strikes too close to home right now, huh?).
While realistic, it's a lot less grim and a lot more challenging than it sounds. In effect, you're trying out different combinations of diseases and infection vectors in your quest to render the earth a sterile husk. And once the body count starts rising, you can tinker further with your DNA to ramp up the seriousness of the plague to biblical proportions. One of the cruelest simulation games for iPhone, as it depicts our current state perfectly, but that's exactly why it's one of the best games out there!
Speaking of PC ports, let's get this obvious candidate out of the way before we go any further.
While it might not strictly qualify as a simulation in the traditional sense of the term, it deserves a spot on the list for being an incredibly rich and fun game that - unlike the previous entry - has lost virtually nothing in its transition from desktop to handheld.
And anyone doubting that there's not some genuine real-life replication value in this game ought to read the story of Alice and Kev.
If you like football and want to manage an entire team and rooster to make sure they end up being the best of the best, you will find that Football Manager 2020 mobile is the best game for the job. You will need to build up your team, win matches, adapt against other team's play style and continue to become the best football manager you can!
There is a touch of strategy involved and a lot of management in this simulation.
People tend to assume that 'simulations' have to be based on either transportation or the military. Or both. So, here's an oddball sports sim to start us off. Anyone scoffing at the idea that you can make a realistic copy of any physical sport really ought to try True Skate. Because this is the closest thing to real skating you'll find on the App Store. Well, short of adding wheels to your iPad and heading down the skatepark.
As you might expect, it's fiendishly difficult. That just makes it fiendishly satisfying, though, when you pull off the stunts with style.
If you'd like to become the owner of an indie beer brewing industry, then Brew Town is your game. You can do almost any job behind creating your own beer brand, from designing your own labels to upgrading buildings, to researching new tastes. You can also rate other people's bottles, deliver orders, and otherwise attempt to create the best craft beer out there.
It's a really colorful and fun game - and designing the bottles are easy and fun too!
We're moving toward more familiar territory here, sure, but I challenge anyone to tell her friends she's been wasting hours on a game in which the noble art of bridge design is simulated without raising a round of snorts and derision. But it's true: this is an astonishing time sink.
Raising crossings over a bewildering array of different chasms using a limited palette of materials for each is more engrossing than you could possibly imagine. You'll learn a surprising amount about physics and suffer from a surprising amount of indigestion as you nervously load traffic onto your bridge here. Guaranteed.
Let's face it: however much you might want to pretend that your simulation tastes run to strategically micro-managing transportation, what you really want to do is get in a virtual tank and blow stuff up. Well, unsurprisingly enough, there's an app for that. And it's called Battle Supremacy.
While Atypical Games's tank battling game does includes unrealistic features like enemy lock-on, it's still an exciting, detailed, and challenging affair (especially once you throw multiplayer in the mix). And it's probably a GOOD idea that the game developer doesn't try to replicate being stuck in a small hot metal box with a sweaty driver who's eaten too many military-issue beans.
Startup Panic puts you in the role of an owner at a new Startup. You've quite your job, you are sick of working for a demanding boss, and now you are trying to become your own boss and correctly run an office. Your job within this game is actually to create a game studio, using skill trees to create different aspects of the game and doing freelance contract work to boost your cash flow.
Unlike other similar games, you will need to give your workers vacation time and manage how often they are in the office if you want to be successful - no longer can you work people into the ground.
The Sky Gamblers series has gone through various iterations, with its creator improving the accessibility and graphics each time until it's become the benchmark aerial dogfighting game on iOS.
Go back a few versions, however, and you'll find Storm Raiders, an incredible mixture of thrilling combat and demanding realism set during World War II. This represents arguably the pinnacle of the franchise so far. And it just goes to show that ramping up the simulation qualities of a title can make it all the more exciting, rather than just making it less approachable.