Obscure simulation fans have found a new home in Gas Station Simulator (opens in new tab), a niche sim which has quickly become one of the best-selling games on Steam, sitting comfortably at the number five spot at the time of writing.
Sure, that new home is a rickety gas station in the middle of nowhere that's in desperate need of a paint job, but it's a fixer-upper, darnit. And fixing things up is a big part of the appeal of Gas Station Simulator. Painting, renovating, furnishing – there's so much to do, and we haven't even gotten to the gas part.
Gas Station Simulator challenges you to breathe new life into an abandoned pit stop on Route 66, and it gets deep into the nitty-gritty details. You've got cars to fuel, customers to attend, employees to hire, snacks to stock, and plenty more. What will go in the ice box? How much fuel do we need for the week? Who's gonna take the trash out? Also, what's up with the teddy-wielding biker and straight-up flying saucer in the trailer?
Developer Drago Entertainment is leaning into the vaguely oxymoronic fun of these kinds of sims: seeing your efforts improve something slowly over time, and savoring the catharsis of a process which might seem tedious to those outside this niche. If you're not sold on the idea, you can always give the free prologue (opens in new tab) a play.
It's certainly struck a chord with some people. The opening to this review from Steam user Pumpkin Luna about sums it up: "After thinking I could check it out for about half an hour before bed, I ended up playing this till nearly 4 am."
With Alaskan Truck Simulator still in our rear-view mirror, now's a good time for weirdly specific sims.