Last year forced many to suspend a variety of real-world activities, and simulation games provided a much-needed chance to explore. Part of Twinfinite’s game of the year awards, here are the best Management/Simulation games of 2020 voted by our staff.
Best Management/Simulation Games of 2020
Honorable Mention: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
Contributor Cameron Waldrop: While the main facet to progression in Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is undoubtedly the platforming and exploration, without the simulation and management that comes from growing (and eating) rice, you would never get anywhere.
The game is certainly a farming simulator, but that description isn’t enough and doesn’t tell the whole story.
It’s not the type of farming game where you plant seeds and then periodically water your crops. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin goes several steps beyond that while displaying great respect for the tradition of growing rice.
It does this to the point of changing movement controls around so you are required to interact with the rice as would a real-life rice farmer.
As for your duties, it is in every way your rice. The player is tasked with tilling, planting, adjusting the water level, fertilizing, harvesting, threshing, and milling.
As you progress, new tools can be introduced which streamline the process. This becomes an almost therapeutic routine, but at no point does it stop being intensely satisfying to have the fruits of your labor given back to you.
The end result of the rice each cycle is what provides stat boosts. It’s an RPG where the love put into the simulation aspect is what makes you, in turn, better at the game. There might be only one crop to grow and manage, but it provides one hell of an experience once you get the hang of it.