The 12 Best Games for Engineers
Engineers are only human and they occasionally need to pass some time, too. Luckily, with the advancement of software and gaming technologies, there are plenty of options available to meet the needs of engineers with different tastes. These games on the list range from building games to collaboration and management games. Today’s game developers have created entire worlds on the computer screen. With a simple click, players can jump into these imaginary worlds for many hours of gaming fun. If you’re looking to unwind after a long day at work or university, here are the 12 best games for engineers.
If you're currently still searching for the perfect PhD for you, check out our program listings.
Chemical engineers will go nuts over this one as the puzzle-based game does a wonderful job at making chemistry fun. That’s because it uses the principles of automation along with chemical bonding to run a chemical manufacturing plant. To play, a player must refine raw materials to turn them into usable chemicals. This can be achieved by setting up complex factories to synthesise chemicals from raw materials. The game is available on both Windows and Mac operating systems and includes over fifty puzzles to keep you entertained.
This online phenomenon has achieved worldwide recognition and is a popular choice among engineers as well as teenagers for a good reason. Falling somewhere between a survival game and a digital Lego simulator, Minecraft allows you to perform extensive interactions with the objects such as breaking, exploring, and collecting them. From these actions, the player can create a world of their own.
To begin playing, the player starts out in a world with plenty of raw resources which can be used to create more complex objects such as pickaxes, shovels, and swords. Each day will eventually turn into night, in which the player must then take shelter to avoid getting attacked by monsters which come out after sunset. Minecraft can be played in five modes: creative, adventure, spectator, hardcore, and survivor. One of the more popular modes is the creative mode, which allows players the freedom to create objects without the risk of getting attacked.
The use of Redstone, which serves as an energy source in Minecraft’s creative mode, makes things entertaining for engineers. That’s because the player can use these blocks as logic gates and make complex devices such as a functional digital computer. The game is available on a variety of gaming consoles, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
This is the latest addition to the Fallout series of games, which allows players to explore a post-apocalyptic world and complete various missions. This 2015 release can be played on three different platforms – Windows operating systems, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. In addition there’s a virtual reality version of the game which was released in 2017. Fallout 4 employs a lightweight building system to create settlements, towns and factories. Players can collect materials to build machinery, hoppers, power generators and more. The addition of logic gates and switches makes complex settlement building in Fallout 4 an entertaining, albeit time-consuming, experience.
Originally designed by game developer Will Wright in 1984, SimCity is one of the most iconic computer games of all time. The game allows players to become the master builder of a city, starting from the planning stages to the building of the city’s intricate inner workings, such as infrastructure systems.To play successfully, the player must install proper transport links throughout their cities as well as pay constant attention to the city’s water and pollution levels. Preventing the meltdown of the local nuclear plant is another one of the players’ tasks – which illustrates the complexity of running large-scale industrial operations in an urban setting. SimCity 4 is the latest update to this popular game. Players can now create massive cities complete with downtown centres, bedroom communities, and commercial hubs. Complex transportation systems can also be built to meet the demands of the city’s ever-growing population, keeping players entertained for long periods of time.
When an engineer is stranded on an unknown planet with plenty of resources, he or she starts building! In Factorio, the goal is to build enough infrastructure and technology to create a rocket to leave the planet. The player achieves this by mining raw materials, building infrastructure to accommodate the colonists, fighting enemies attacking the colonies, and managing the overall production process.
Compared to some games, Factorio is light on story as its gameplay focuses more on strategy. The player must pay attention to resource management as well as consider defence strategies to protect the colony against enemies and alien inhabitants. In addition, the game can be played in multiplayer mode, allowing the player to collaborate with friends to create huge factories. It can be played on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
This game was inspired by a game called Dwarf Fortress and lets players control a colony of settlers as they fight for survival on a faraway planet. The player must carefully manage their colony to prevent disasters from wiping out the settlers, while at the same time interpersonal relationships between characters must be well maintained to avoid potential conflicts.
To start off, the player controls three characters who have shipwrecked on a strange planet. Throughout the game, random events such as thunderstorms, raids, and crazy colonists are generated for the player to deal with. The end goal here is to keep the colony at peace. It can be played on both Windows and Mac operating systems as well as on Linux.
This is another game set on a sci-fi planet in which the player must navigate their way through an underwater world to stay alive. The main goals of the game are to ensure your character has enough food and water as they explore this new world and establish a comfortable base. The game starts when the player has crash-landed on an ocean planet full of strange creatures, some of which are completely harmless, while others are deadly. The player must then leave the safety of their pod to look for the required raw materials such as copper ore and acid mushrooms to stay alive. As the player becomes more technologically equipped, they can try to explore more of the backstory behind this strange planet, with the goal of creating the right equipment to leave it. The game can be played on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Portal is a puzzle game that requires the player to navigate through a series of test chambers located in the building of a company called Aperture Science. The testing chambers give the player the ability to create portals which can transport them from one place to another. The player must use the principles of momentum to shoot portals at strategic positions in order to solve difficult puzzles and ultimately escape the Aperture Science building.
Throughout the game, the player interacts with an AI named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) and who is the brain behind Aperture Science’s enrichment centre. The player must work through GLaDOS’s instructions, which often conflict with the player’s best interests. The game is available on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
This is the fifth edition of an iconic game series featuring the player as the leader of a civilisation on the edge of decline. In this fifth instalment, the player must lead the population of the settlement starting from prehistoric times all the way into the future. The end goal of the game is to achieve victory conditions by excelling in fields such as research, diplomacy, and economic growth.
In this edition, the city-states are mini civilisations which are also controlled by AI. The player can choose to trade or engage in diplomacy with these city-states or crush them using superior military might. The map has adopted a hexagonal design for the first time. This new design allows the player to expand their territory in six different directions compared to the four directions available on the square tiles in previous editions.
This is a unique game which involves a rocket simulator. The player must help an aerospace industry take off into space by using various parts of aircraft and rockets to build a flying machine with enough power to escape the planet’s gravity. Throughout the game, the player must consider factors such as the settings for the various stages of a flight, how much fuel to load for the missions, and calculating the path of the spacecraft to ensure it can enter and maintain its orbits around various celestial bodies.
This fun little iOS game received the Apple Design Award in 2014 and was also rated as the best Apple Game of 2014. Complete with complex puzzles and colourful artwork, the game prompts the player to navigate seemingly impossible architecture reminiscent of the works of M.C. Escher. The player controls a silent girl named Ida as she walks along beams, columns, and hidden pathways within cleverly-designed structures.
The Incredible Machine is a game based on the ideas of Rube Goldberg, an American cartoonist and inventor who created drawings of various machines that performed simple tasks through complicated ways. For example, one such machine – designed to move a paper towel towards a diner’s face – is made up of a series of strings, pulleys, hooks, and even a live parrot to set it in motion.
This digital iteration of Rube Goldberg’s machines involves simple 2D gameplay in which a variety of tools such as levers, balloons, trampolines, and windmills can be manipulated to move a series of balls to their final destinations. Made with cartoonish illustrations and a simple blue background, this game is sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia in those who grew up playing computer games in the 1990s. It is also a great game for budding young engineers who are interested in learning about engineering processes and machines.
So there you have it: 12 great games to explore when you next find yourself with some free time on your hands, or simply need to take 20 minutes out from your engineering project. There are plenty of new games popping up all the time, so you’re bound to find something that keeps you entertained while making you think. And remember, if all else fails, there’s always Tetris.
7 of the Greatest Challenges Engineers Will Face in the Next Decade