Five of the best work simulation games for anyone who wants a new job

Time to log on: "Farming Simulator" involves running large agricultural machines and also managing your finances. — Photo: GIANTS Software/dpa

BERLIN: Ploughing fields, brewing barley, fixing cars: If there are careers you always fancied trying your hand at, these video simulation games are the easiest way to quit your day job without actually quitting your day job.

They might not be your typical action-packed games but what's not to like about the chance to get your hands (virtually) dirty with some honest hard work in your down time?

"Farming Simulator"

The rural game has been finding fans since 2008, some 25 million in fact. A new part comes out every two years, each one slightly bigger and prettier, courtesy of Swiss development studio Giants. The best thing though is that the principle stays the same, namely planting and ploughing fields with a tractor.

It is a little more complicated than that, however, and your missions also involve running large agricultural machines and managing finances.

Over time, you expand your vehicle fleet, hire employees, manage biogas plants or greenhouses. You need to plan in the future, given the economy and the weather system - after all, the seeds need to be planted at the right time of year. You are hopefully rewarded with a flourishing agricultural empire by the end of the game.

Back in 2008, no one could have imagined what a phenomenon the farming game would become. The latest edition, "Farming Simulator 22", is not that visually impressive, the tutorial only gives rough tips and the controls are fairly awkward. Maybe it is exactly that rough charm that appeals to so many millions of gamers.

Good hard work is needed if you are to succeed at this game, with rewards for dealing with the small details. If you want success to follow hard work and your efforts to come to fruition, then "Farming Simulator" is the game for you.

Worth playing because: The raw charm of "Farming Simulator" has won millions of fans. The level of realistic detail will reward gamers keen to do some serious tinkering in a slightly different kind of video game.

"Farming Simulator 22" (Giants Software, Focus Home, Astragon) for Windows, macOS, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series.

"Brewmaster "

Brew the beer you want to drink with "Brewmaster," a sophisticated beer brewing simulation you can try at home. Whether you decide to brew in line with the German purity law or cook up a British ale, this is an uncompromising game that introduces players to the complex world of beer.

It is not as easy as many may think, with far more to it than putting water in the pot, heating it to precisely the right temperature, chucking in the ingredients and waiting. It's a good thing that there's an exact recipe for each beer, accompanied by a full shopping list. To achieve the desired result, players have to follow the instructions exactly, and pay meticulous attention to temperature and time. The smallest mistakes can swiftly transform all that hard work into an undrinkable brew. There's a rating at the end, too.

"Brewmaster" is not for fans of the big spectacle - instead you just follow the individual work steps meticulously, a business that requires attention, effort and the absolute desire to ultimately create a delicious beer that, let's face it, you'll never get to actually taste (nothing is stopping you from rewarding yourself with a real can from the fridge, however).

This sim reflects something of the honour that comes with brewing beer. For everyone else, this is a very distinctive game experience that requires a lot of patience.

Worth playing because: If only for the lack of real competition, this is a must for beer fans. It's a detailed beer brewing simulation that doesn't cut any corners.

"Brewmaster" (Auroch Digital, Fireshine Games) for Windows, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, Nintendo Switch.

"Car Mechanic Simulator"

Slide under the vehicle with "Car Mechanic Simulator" where you get to fiddle around with your favourite cars, from small compact vehicles to cult classics. The joy of the game is the variety of car models, each with their own individual problems and tics. Time to get out your wrench and look under the hood.

Players slip into the role of an aspiring car mechanic, who changes the oil, puts on new tyres or checks the engine for defects. Each screw has to be turned individually and spare parts are available in the online store.

All these individual jobs for customers don't only generate an income, you also clock up experience points. Like any other role-playing game, that improves your crafting skills and over time, the workshop becomes larger, with high-tech tools and more demanding jobs.

The "Car Mechanic Simulator" is packed with thrills for car nerds. The basic game might look unassuming but this is a simulation that is as rich in detail as it is educational, meaning it is fun and also introduces you to the basics of car mechanics.

Worth playing because: Wannabe mechanics can let off steam with the "Car Mechanic Simulator". Zero oil stains guaranteed.

"Car Mechanic Simulator" (Ravenscourt, Red Dot Games, Playway) for Windows, PS4, Xbox One.

"TrainSim World 3"

All aboard train fans, whether it's freight or a bit of passenger shunting you fancy. This sim delivers the whole bandwidth of experiences and unlike in other games from this genre, fans may also explore the tracks on foot and can set the points by hand, for example, or refuel the diesel engine.

Before you get started, you get some training at a driving academy. There, players are introduced to the basics of driving a train. It takes time to figure out how to handle brake pressure, directional converter and power, but only after that can they get into the driver's seat and head down one of the routes in Germany, Britain and the US.

The details really make the game. Often, these kinds of simulations are all about career advancement. Here, the joy is really in the driving. Weather conditions or timetables present fans with tricky tasks that they can only master after a lot of practice.

"Train Sim World" is a game for purists who are looking for an authentic simulation rather than a big fancy spectacle. One annoying thing though is that if you want to try out all the tracks, you have to pay a lot of money to access the additional content.

Worth playing because: Complex and detailed, "Train Sim World" is a feast for fans who want to lose themselves in the world of trains.

"Train Sim World 3" (Dovetail Games, Astragon) for Windows, PS4, Xbox One.

"Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020"

This is one of the oldest and most successful simulation series in the world of computer games. Since 1982, 13 increasingly complex spin-offs have appeared so far. "Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020" from French development studio Asobo is the most complex part of the series to date and delivers pretty much all you could hope for.

You get to fly around for hours, checking your instruments and you also have to watch the weather: Realism is a top priority in "Flight Simulator." From the small propeller plane to the jumbo jet, the sky is the limit - you get to enjoy the whole wide world of aircraft.

You need a lot of patience and time to figure out how to control the 20 aircraft types and the challenging take-offs and landings and 37,000 airfields. Your reward is a bird's-eye view of a beautifully detailed game world.

The 2020 version is the first game in the series to offer such a precise representation of the earth, right down to the last centimetre. You could not possibly store all that data at home, so the landscape is generated in the datacentre and streamed to players' computers.

That requires a permanent online connection, but it offers a unique level of detail. Plus, ongoing updates provide fans with further improvements, new airports and sights. Flight simulation doesn't get any better than this.

Worth playing because: Dreamlike and complex. Climb into the cockpit for this unrivalled flight simulator, a genre heavyweight that glides through the clouds.

"Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020" (Asobo Studio, Xbox Game Studios) for Windows, Xbox One/Series. – dpa

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