Sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all – by playing a life sim on your Switch or mobile. This list could be almost endless, but we’ve reined it in and only included the best of the best. There are life sims for almost every scenario you can think of like owning a bathhouse, being a farmer, living on an island full of animals… or being the keeper of a graveyard. Read on to see our picks.
Here are our picks for the absolute best life sims you can play on Switch and mobile.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Stardew Valley is absolutely one of the best life sims out there, and is conveniently available on mobile and Switch, so you can play it wherever and whenever. You’re not limited to farming here, though – you can catch plenty of Stardew Valley fish, chat up the Stardew Valley characters and marry some of them, or mine your days away beneath the town.
There’s so much to do in Pelican Town and it lets you live life however you want. Plus, it’s very relaxing and has a fantastic soundtrack, so there’s nothing to hold you back from trying this game… or starting your umpteenth save file like I am. Check out our Stardew Valley review here, too.
It’s no secret that we here at Pocket Tactics are big fans of Studio Drydock’s Wylde Flowers. Heck, we did an interview with the team and we’ve got a Wylde Flowers review, too. Anyway, we recommend it as it’s a sweet life sim filled with magic and farming with a sprinkle of romance and friendship on top.
Clear up your new abode and settle into the village, then learn the ropes with a cauldron and a wand to help you out as you complete quests and farm to your heart’s content. Oh, you can also turn into a cat, so that’s an added bonus.
OK, sure, it’s not on Switch or mobile no matter how much we want it to be, but I’m willing to bet you have a 3DS knocking around anyway. If you haven’t got Tomodachi Life, I highly recommend it for its wacky and silly fun times. You’ve no doubt seen (or heard) the memes stemming from the song-making minigame, but there’s a lot more going on.
The point is to create Mii’s that resemble who or what you want, move them into an apartment block, and let life happen before your very eyes. Some might want to marry, some might want to have kids, and some may even decide they hate everyone and want to become a writer.
A fresh new addition to the Switch’s library of life sims is Spirittea, where you move to a rural town and discover that spirits exist, and want to bathe in the town’s bathhouse. There is a clear influence from Spirited Away here, and that’s not a bad thing.
Spirittea lets you live out your life while running a bathhouse, making friends, and generally living a peaceful life surrounded by friends and, y’know, otherworldly spiritual beings. Check out our glowing Spirittea review for more information on this lovely game.
I think at some point we all had the dream of living in a world where Disney characters walked beside us. While we can’t talk to Wall-E in real life, you can in Disney Dreamlight Valley, and build up meaningful bonds with a huge range of key characters from Mickey, to Moana, to Mother Gothel.
Dreamlight Valley is yours to decorate as you see fit, including placing your villagers’ houses and planting foodstuffs. Mine, fish, and frolic your days away while humming classic Disney tunes that will get stuck in your head. Check out what’s coming in the next Disney Dreamlight Valley update, and grab some new Disney Dreamlight Valley codes for some free goodies while you’re here.
Clearly, Animal Crossing needs to be on this list. You head to a new and remote island, and build it up from scratch exactly how you see fit while meeting animal villagers and asking them to move in. You can fish, catch bugs, decorate, and design fashionable clothing to your heart’s content while on a delightful tropical beach – but don’t forget to pay your loans off so you can get a better house. Or not, perhaps living in a quaint tent suits you.
If you need a hand getting started in your new paradise life, then we have some guides for that. Here’s a complete ACNH fish list and ACNH art guide to help you fill out your museum, and an ACNH flower breeding guide to populate your island with pretty posies.
If you want a good old farming life sim with a bit of magic and intrigue thrown in, Fae Farm is for you. As you plant up your farm and help the locals, you find more helpful spells to make your daily work a bit easier. Whip up a gale to collect your crops and blast away enemies in the town’s caverns, or summon a raincloud to water your garden.
You can also play Fae Farm multiplayer, and challenge each other to see how many Fae Farm fish you can catch. We’ve also got a handy guide to Fae Farm flowers if you want to breed some new colors. Oh, and, take a look at our Fae Farm review.
It’s not all sunshine and roses – someone’s gotta do the dirty work. Well, it’s you, in Graveyard Keeper. As the title suggests, you now look after a town’s graveyard and must deal with their dead. This game can be a little grim, but if you found Stardew Valley a little too nice, then I recommend it.
The core gameplay of Graveyard Keeper hooks you in as you do daily tasks and complete missions by… you know… dealing with dead bodies. You can also fish, and there’s a little bit of combat sprinkled in as well.
Moonstone Island, releasing on Switch in 2024, is a creature collecting game with plenty of life sim elements in it. As you explore the island you hop into caves, float across the sky on your broom, and battle spirits in card-based combat.
You’re training to be an alchemist, but along the way, you collect plenty of odd critters – and make friends with the locals, of course. That does include flirting. We’re very intrigued and are excited to try it – here’s what we know about the Moonstone Island release date.