Should the title of Most Boring City Simulator go to garbage collection, toilet cleaning or European bus driving?

Although the gameplay in Road Construction Simulator might not make you physically go out and lay in front of an advancing steamroller, it comes close. The very first mission involves marking a road with red-striped warning signs so virtual motorists can drive by safely. "That's all you do," complains a dismayed reviewer in the play-through below. "The length you have to do it for is looooooong."

Still, running around building highways is a blast compared to the grim duties in Toilet Tycoon, a game that involves keeping a city's nasty restrooms sparkling clean. Or what about European Bus Simulator, which allows players to motor their coach around "Freyfurt" while obeying traffic laws and collecting passengers' tickets? The internet is full of these weirdly banal municipal simulators, many originating out of Germany for some reason, and they're all so decidedly un-fun that it's difficult to stop watching players suffer through them on YouTube.

Seeing as how these games (in the loosest sense of the word) have been getting some attention recently, let's try to suss out which one is at the absolute bottom of the heap in terms of entertainment value, beginning with that Road Construction Simulator. This video has racked up more than 136,000 views on YouTube, by the way. Let that sink in for a minute:

Are idle shut-ins spending their evenings smoking weed and watching these dreary tutorials? This Woodcutter Simulator has logged an amazing 195,000-plus views despite its successful attempt at capturing the extremely irritating noise of power saws. YouTube commenter phatcarz hits the nail on the head here: "Wood cutting simulator? WOW WTF...what next, toilet cleaning simulator?"

Yup. According to German game developer Anvil-Soft, "Toilet Tycoon is an unusual economic simulation in which you can proof your skills as a leader of the saniterian installations of a whole town!"

This European Bus Simulator lets you feel the rush that veteran European motor-coach operators get every time they release the parking brake. I can't wait for the American version where you dodge projectile vomit and fight zombie tweakers on Greyhound buses:

Garbage Truck Simulator has the whole shebang, with “horrible controls, an awful premise and really annoying micro-management,” according to this reviewer, who nominates it for "not only the worst PC game of all time, but the worst game of all time, period."

Let's not forget the Street Cleaning Simulator that Nate Berg wrote about last year. In it, you can check a virtual employee work computer for invoices and e-mails from the mayor and... GAAAAAAAH SO BORED. I agree with this player that a few minutes of removing clutter from virtual streets makes me want to "jab my eyes out with a rusty spoon":

Lots of explicit language in this trial run of Tow Truck Simulator. What is it about municipal-work simulators that makes people unleash torrents of profanity?

Finally, the Utility Vehicle Simulator 2012 puts all the decade's other utility-vehicle simulators to shame, with nail-biting tasks like trimming tree branches and blasting out clogged sewers with high-pressure hoses. As Krone Video Games reports, you can even "cordon off areas such as events or road construction sites with barrier bands and warning beacons. There always will be plenty to do!" Like delete it from your hard drive, maybe?

So which is the most boring municipal simulator of all time? Sound off in the comments section, if you haven't fallen asleep from tedium already!

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  2. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  3. People standing in line with empty water jugs.
    Environment

    Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ Water Crisis, One Year Later

    In spring 2018, news of the water crisis in South Africa ricocheted around the world—then the story disappeared. So what happened?

  4. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  5. Environment

    Why Flood Victims Blame Their City, Not the Climate

    Cities may struggle to gain support for climate action plans because they haven’t dealt with infrastructure issues that regularly afflict residents.

×