While accounting may seem like an unlikely subject for a video game, you’d be surprised how many games revolve around accounting themes. It’s simply because many typical accounting skills are desirable in every occupation making them omnipresent in our daily lives.
What skills do accountants need?
Before we put this list together, we asked around to find out what skills accountants need, besides being stellar at numbers, charts and spreadsheets.
The most common answers included organisation, planning, time management, decision-making, and analytical skills among the most important ones to succeed as an accountant. And we couldn’t agree more! In fact, we believe they’re extremely handy for all business owners.
There are plenty of games that help you hone these skills or merely use them well to succeed in a virtual environment.
1. Capitalism 2
Capitalism is one of the few games attempting to recreate the mechanisms of how today’s corporations are built and run.
Available for iOS and PC, Capitalism 2 lets you create a business empire of your dreams and take the role of its CEO. The game is about careful planning, organising, and experimenting. Players control every aspect of their virtual businesses, including marketing, manufacturing, purchasing, and retailing.
The best recommendation for this game’s in-depth nature and brilliance is probably the fact that it’s been used by many renowned universities to teach students about core business mechanics, including Harvard, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina.
The latest instalment in the series, called Capitalism Lab (2012), introduces new mechanics and support for modern screen resolutions.
2. Transport Tycoon
Transport Tycoon is one of the most addictive and time-consuming games ever created. It’s a simulation game where the player’s role is to build a transportation empire that connects various points on the map transporting cargo and passengers to make money and expand market reach.
Available through iTunes, now it’s probably best to play Transport Tycoon on an iPad. There are more games available in the series, such as the Rollercoaster Tycoon which was also redesigned to suit modern iOS and Android tablets.
3. Football Manager 2018
Football Manager (FM) is a dream come true for an accountant who happens to like football as well. Full of numbers, statistics and charts, the game lets you take the reins of a football club or national team of your choice. It has always been an excellent playground for players who love to experiment and then spend hours analysing data that show how these experiments went and what to do to make them work better.
The most famous edition is the PC version released once a year with updated squads, graphics, and mechanics. There’s also an FM Mobile available for iOS and Android-based devices.
4. Cities: Skylines
An open-ended city-building simulation is arguably one of the best ways to hone your planning and management skills. While SimCity used to be the go-to choice regarding city building sims, Cities Skylines has recently received somewhat better reception compared to the venerable SimCity series.
Available for Windows, Xbox, and PS4, Cities Skylines focuses on urban planning, placing roads, taxation, managing public services, and expanding public transportation. The focal points here is creativity–players build their cities and observe how their creations play out in the virtual world.
Initially bereft of natural disasters, Cities Skylines now includes a handful of events destroying the city available through DLC. Albeit, they’re not as extreme as a terrifying Godzilla wreaking havoc on the streets of your virtual city which was possible in the SimCity universe.
5. Civilization VI
Careful planning, organisational skills, analysis and curiosity are some of the skills needed to succeed in a game of “Civ VI”. Somewhat simplified and more accessible than the older instalments in the series, Civilization VI takes you on a journey from pre-modern times of early agriculture, all the way to the space travel and nanotechnology.
The slow-paced nature of turn-based strategies and simplified warfare mechanics make it arguably the most accessible to non-gamers of all strategy games. If your laptop can’t handle the latest edition, you may also consider Civilization V which is also easy to play and received similarly good reception.
6. Faster Than Light (FTL)
If keeping tax records in order feels like managing a spaceship trying to save the galaxy, there’s a simple game that simulates exactly this.
Faster Than Light is a universe exploration game where players give orders to the crew, manage ship power distribution and choose weapon targets during battles. Exploring randomised galaxies, players can upgrade their ships or unlock new ones, as well as encounter alien lifeforms and their technologies. FTL is available for PCs and iOS.
7. Accounting (VR game)
This game has not much to do with an accountant’s profession but hey, there aren’t many games that have “accounting” in the title!
Accounting is an interactive adventure game that starts as a typical job simulator for VR goggles but quickly turns into something a lot different. The player begins as a candidate for a new experiment that’s supposed to make accounting a lot more efficient through using VR.
Given that the person behind the game is Justin Roiland, the co-creator and writer of Rick & Morty, you may expect a lot of bizarre humour and weird situations thrown at players.
Initially available for HTC Vive only, now the game is available for PlayStation VR as well titled Accounting+.
8. Arena.Xlsm — an entire RPG in a spreadsheet
A spreadsheet is one of the most powerful weapons in an accountant’s arsenal used for calculating, storing, presenting, and analysing data. In fact, it’s so powerful that an entire RPG was built only using spreadsheet macros.
Built by an accountant Cary Walkin, Arena.Xlsm is a full-grown, turn-based RPG where players can level up, collect items, battle enemies, and cast powerful spells. Players face over 70 monsters with distinct combat skills and special abilities. There’s also a story with four different endings revealed in a series of letters that the in-game character receives.
You can download Arena.Xlsm for free from the creator’s blog.
More: Creator’s blog