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Planning is an essential element of running a business. But creating new strategies doesn’t come naturally to every entrepreneur. Games can actually help you develop these essential skills. Read on for a guide to the best business simulation games for entrepreneurs.
What is a Business Strategy Game?
A business strategy game is an exercise that requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills, similar to what an entrepreneur may use while running their daily operations. Some business simulation games actually put you in the position of a business owner, but others have varying storylines or themes that let players hone these skills in a different environment.
How a Business Strategy Game Will Help You in Your Own Business
Not sure how gaming can help you run a successful business? Here are some benefits of playing business simulation games:
- Improve creative problem solving
- Learn to manage resources efficiently
- Try new things in a risk-free environment
- Use games as a team-building exercise
12 Best Business Strategy Games
Not every business lesson must be taught during the workday. Games can help you build useful skills and keep your brain active even during your off-hours. If you’re looking to hone your business skills in a fun and risk-free way, here are some business simulation games to consider.
1. Space Company Simulation Platform
Space Company Simulator is a business simulation game for space enthusiasts. The game starts on Earth. But your goal is to research and create new ways to explore different starts and planets, all while going up against rival companies and trying to earn as much profit as possible. You don’t need to be launching rockets to the moon to benefit from the concepts in this game. Businesses in every industry deal with things like new tech developments, limited resources, and heavy competition. The game is available on Steam.
2. Two Point Hospital
In Two Point Hospital, you learn about all aspects of running a hospital. It’s one of the top resource management games for business owners. The objective is to work toward your goal of curing diseases and treating patients all while managing the practical elements of a business like your finances and staff. You even get to design and build your own facilities and upgrade your equipment over time. Some of the concepts are specific just to healthcare businesses, but other elements like team management and marketing are universal. So companies in nearly any field can use this game to achieve their goals. This game is available on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.
3. RollerCoaster Tycoon
RollerCoaster Tycoon is one of the classic theme park tycoon games. From Atari, the game allows you to design your own park and coasters from scratch. You can also manage customer service elements like staffing and adding enough kiosks to support guests during their visit. And there are fun elements like entertainment and branding as well. The classic RTC game is available as a desktop game on both PC and Mac. And RTC Touch is a slightly pared-down version of the original game, which is available in mobile apps on both iOS and Android platforms.
4. Dawn of Discovery
Anno 1404, which is known as Dawn of Discovery in North America, is a city-building game. The goal is to discover new lands and build everything you need to create a thriving community. This requires managing resources, communicating with other explorers and settlers, and dealing with unexpected challenges. Basically, you’ll need to use all the skills required to manage a small business team, but you get to apply them in a unique historical environment. There are various versions available, including those in different historical settings. Players can access various titles on Steam.
5. Project Hospital
Project Hospital is a healthcare business simulation game. You manage all aspects of your hospital, from designing the facilities to creating dress codes for your staff. You can also help your doctors serve patients and diagnose cases to provide the best possible care to patients. This game is obviously most relevant to those running businesses in the health care field. But there are several concepts that can be applied to other industries as well, from training staff to resource management. Developed by Oxymoron Games, Project Hospital is available on Steam.
6. Tropico 6
Tropico 6 is a construction management and government simulation game. Basically, players are responsible for creating new infrastructure and managing community resources. In addition to the business elements of managing money and investing resources, there’s also a political element to the game. Players use influence and confer with other players to gain power and create successful communities. This may simply add an extra level of fun and intrigue for some players. Or it may be a useful element for certain entrepreneurs who want to work on networking or people management skills. This game is available on Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and desktop versions.
7. Wall Street Survivor
Wall Street Survivor is a popular website and online course for investors. The site also offers a free investment simulation game. Basically, you get $100,000 in virtual cash to invest in a risk-free environment. Track the stock price of different options, consider factors like market share, and learn about real-world situations that investors deal with before actually investing your own cash. Even seasoned investors may enjoy this game, as it allows you to try different investment options without risking your own hard-earned money. It’s an online game, and users can sign up for free. There are also various challenges you can join to earn real cash. Or create your own challenge for others to play.
Virtonomics offers some of the best simulation games for those interested in general business administration. There are various options available depending on what skills you want to work on or what industry you’re focused on. For example, Virtonomic Entrepreneur offers a general yet realistic view of business ownership. And Mafia Manager brings some power and politics into play. There’s also a tycoon version where you can start your own empire from scratch, choosing your own industry and market to serve. Many options even let you compete against others in real-time. Games are available for download free on the company’s website.
9. Youtubers Life
For a very 2022 look at business ownership, Youtubers Life 2 lets you create your own virtual YouTube channel business. You’re responsible for producing content, promoting it online, managing reviews, and upholding your brand over time. You can even post to other social networks and monetize your content to build your own online empire within the game. And some famous YouTube stars make appearances throughout the game. Youtubers Life 2 is currently available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
10. Catan Classic
Catan is one of the best business board games around because of the strategy involved in gathering resources and protecting your settlement. Catan Classic is a mobile app version of the game. The purpose is to create settlements all over the map, gather resources for your infrastructure and army, and protect your land from other players. You can even play with members of your own team, so you can all benefit from the strategy involved in playing. And it may even serve as a fun team building or bonding experience. The mobile version is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
11. Escape Room Simulator
Escape Room Simulator offers a virtual version of an escape room team-building experience. There are various levels and rooms that you can play, with the goal of using what’s already available to get out of each space successfully. Each level includes puzzles and riddles, or you can get creative to use existing objects in new ways. You can even play with others on your team to improve collaboration skills and cooperation among teams. Escape Room Simulator is available for purchase on Steam.
12. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is one of the top virtual farming games that also relates to business in several ways. Even if you don’t plan to enter the agricultural industry, you must manage resources, customize your farm, and interact with others in the community to find success. The slow pace and simple graphics also make this one of the most relaxing games available. So it’s perfect for those looking to unwind after a long week of hard work. Stardew Valley is available on Steam, Humble Games, Gog, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.
What are the best business simulation games for strategy building?
The best business simulation games for strategy building may depend on your industry and the skills you intend to work on. However, there are a few that offer a multifaceted approach to problem solving and management. A few of the top options include:
- Space Company Simulator
- Project Hospital
- Stardew Valley
How do you start a business simulation game?
If you’re interested in creating your own business simulation game, you first need a market or niche. For example, some games focus on farming, healthcare, or even space-related businesses. Then come up with a storyline and objectives for your game. Work with a gaming or app development company to bring your vision to life.