Struggle Simulator is a quirky life simulation game that has taken the internet by storm. The game, developed by Italian indie studio Schadenfreude Games, puts players in control of an unhappy office worker struggling through their mundane daily routine. With its dark humor and exaggerated struggles, Struggle Simulator has resonated with many gamers looking for an escape from the monotony of everyday life.

If you love the cynical humor and difficult gameplay of Struggle Simulator, here are some other great games that capture a similar vibe.

Papers, Please

One of the clearest Struggle Simulator alternatives is Papers, Please. This acclaimed indie game by Lucas Pope puts you in the shoes of an immigration inspector at the border checkpoint of the fictional country of Arstotzka. Your job is to review each immigrant and returning citizen’s paperwork to determine if they should be allowed to enter the country.

Like Struggle Simulator, Papers, Please uses repetitive and mundane tasks to underline the bleakness of working a dead-end job. As immigration rules change day to day, you struggle to keep up, leading desperate immigrants to be wrongly denied entry or dangerous individuals let through. The game uses its mundane premise to explore challenging moral dilemmas. With a dark Eastern European atmosphere and visuals inspired by propaganda posters, Papers, Please is a must-play for Struggle Simulator fans.

Papers, Please: Best Choice

Cart Life

Another realistic simulation of thankless jobs is Cart Life by Richard Hofmeier. This retail simulation puts you in the shoes of various street vendors trying to scrape together a living. Like Struggle Simulator, the gameplay revolves around repetitive daily tasks, like buying supplies, serving customers, and managing your limited funds.

You can choose from several characters with their own stories, each just trying to get through the day. The detailed mechanics, unique characters, and depressing urban atmosphere in Cart Life capture the existential struggles of Struggle Simulator in a different setting. With its unforgiving difficulty and focus on grinding poverty, Cart Life is a favorite of players looking for a meaningful challenge.

I Am Bread

For a silly physics-based struggle, try I Am Bread. In this game from Bossa Studios, you play as a slice of bread trying to navigate various environments to “become toast” without getting too dirty or wet. The tongue-in-cheek premise makes for hilariously frustrating gameplay as you maneuver the floppy bread slice around obstacles using realistic physics.

Like Struggle Simulator, I Am Bread combines an absurd premise with challenging gameplay to produce laughs. Players need persistence and problem-solving skills to overcome the seemingly simple task of turning bread into toast. With its quirky humor about everyday objects coming to life, I Am Bread captures some of the charms that have made Struggle Simulator so popular.

This Is the Police

For a darker and more narrative struggle, check out This Is the Police by Weappy Studio. In this strategy/adventure hybrid, you play as a police chief on his last 180 days before retirement. It’s your job to manage your police force to earn enough money to retire comfortably while dealing with challenges like gang violence, political pressures, and corruption within your own department.

With its gritty art style and themes of fighting a losing battle against crime, This Is the Police evokes a similar feeling of bleakness and futility as Struggle Simulator. Your choices have consequences, so you must find a balance between keeping the peace and staying on budget. With deep strategic gameplay and an impactful story, This Is the Police provides a more serious take on mundane struggles.

Capitalism Lab

For a more open-ended economic struggle, Capitalism Lab by Enlight is a great choice. This business simulation game puts you in the role of CEO, challenging you to build and grow various types of companies from the ground up. You’ll need to make strategic decisions about things like hiring employees, marketing products, managing supply chains, and researching technologies to stay competitive.

Like Struggle Simulator, success in Capitalism Lab requires learning complex systems, dealing with unexpected setbacks, and balancing multiple factors like employee satisfaction and profit margins. While less cynical than Struggle Simulator, Capitalism Lab provides a deep, system-driven economic challenge for those who enjoy complex simulations. Expanding your company into an unstoppable monopoly provides a power fantasy missing from Struggle Simulator’s pure survival premise.

Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons by QCF Design is a roguelike with simplifed RPG mechanics and puzzle-like gameplay. You need to explore a randomly generated single-screen dungeon, defeat monsters, and collect loot to unlock abilities and stat upgrades. With each run lasting only a few minutes, it’s perfect for short, challenging sessions.

Like Struggle Simulator, Desktop Dungeons takes a common video game premise – the dungeon crawl – and condenses it into a minimalist, hard-hitting experience. With randomized dungeons, unlockable classes, and diabolical enemies that react to your moves, Desktop Dungeons requires you to fully understand its systems to succeed. It’s the perfect dungeon crawler for players who appreciate Struggle Simulator’s tightly focused challenge.


For royal struggles, try the swipe-based narrative adventure Reigns by Nerial and Devolver Digital. In this unique game, you make binary choices about running your kingdom by swiping left or right. Your decisions affect four stats representing the church, people, army, and treasury. Keeping all four in balance over your reign is key to staying in power.

Like Struggle Simulator, Reigns uses simple mechanics and short play sessions to create an engrossing challenge. Your choices have consequences, so rational decision making is required to keep your kingdom stable for as long as possible. With its medieval setting and royalty theme, Reigns provides an interesting narrative backdrop to its reign simulation and card game inspirations.

Don’t Starve

The indie survival game Don’t Starve by Klei Entertainment is a great choice for players looking for a more open-ended survival struggle. You play as scientist Wilson who finds himself trapped in a strange wilderness and must stay fed, healthy, and sane as long as possible. With hand-drawn Tim Burton-esque art, quirky side characters, and environments brimming with secrets, Don’t Starve provides an immersive world to get lost in.

Like Struggle Simulator, Don’t Starve excels at making basic tasks like eating, staying warm, and crafting equipment into engaging challenges full of risk and reward. With its random generation and permadeath, each session presents new environmental struggles. Don’t Starve captures Struggle Simulator’s theme of pitting man against nature in a desperate bid to survive just one more day.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

The ultimate game about struggling against pointless challenges is Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. In this indie sensation by Bennett Foddy, you play as a man stuck in a cauldron who must climb up an enormous mountain using just a hammer. The physics-based climbing is extremely finicky, meaning you can lose hours of progress in an instant.

With its philosophical voiceover and intentionally frustrating gameplay, Getting Over It is firmly in the same family of cynical struggle simulators as Struggle Simulator. Like life itself, the challenge is giving meaning to a repetitive, Sisyphean task. Players drawn to Struggle Simulator’s existentialist themes and satisfying difficulty will feel right at home.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is an iconic indie platformer centered around overcoming intense challenges. You play as a living cube of meat trying to rescue his girlfriend from the evil Dr. Fetus. To do so, you must complete over 300 levels of hardcore 2D platforming focused on precision jumping, fast reflexes, and thinking quickly on your feet.

Like Struggle Simulator, Super Meat Boy embraces monumental difficulty. While more action-packed than Struggle Simulator, it evokes the same feeling of overcoming seemingly impossible challenges through persistence and pattern recognition. With tight controls, nuanced physics, and mountains of gory charm, Super Meat Boy is a must-try for challenge-seeking fans.

Progress Quest

On the surface, Progress Quest by Eric Fredricksen is the opposite of a struggle – a RPG that plays itself, complete with randomized stats, items, quests, and combat. But that’s exactly what makes it such a cynical commentary on video game tropes and the illusion of progress. Without any player input, Progress Quest lays bare the Skinner box-like progression loop underlying many RPGs.

Fans of Struggle Simulator’s wry tone should get a kick out of Progress Quest’s absurdist premise. It provides a similar feeling of going through the motions without any actual control over your destiny that Struggle Simulator skewers so effectively. Sometimes a break from struggling can be strangely therapeutic for fans of these cynical game experiences.

With its drab visuals and depressing atmosphere, Papers, Please nails the mundane yet difficult struggle of a thankless job that Struggle Simulator depicts so well. Making it through each day while maintaining your humanity is a powerful, thought-provoking challenge.

Cart Life

In Cart Life, you play as street vendors trying to survive another day running their humble businesses while balancing personal struggles. By simulating the minutia of being a food cart owner or retail shopkeep, Cart Life provides a realistic window into precarious poverty.

Like Struggle Simulator, it uses mundane tasks and repetition to create a bleak yet powerful experience. The attention to detail makes the daily grind of its characters all the more sympathetic and real.

I Am Bread

I Am Bread is a zany physics game where you play as a piece of bread trying to turn itself into toast while navigating realistic environments. The silly premise makes for delightfully difficult gameplay that echoes the physical struggles of Struggle Simulator in comedic fashion.

This Is the Police

This Is the Police puts you in the role of a soon-to-retire police chief managing a city wracked by gang violence and corruption within his own department. Finding the right balance between keeping the peace and making enough money to retire comfortably is a constant struggle.

With themes of compromise and losing battles, This Is the Police captures the bleakness and futility felt in Struggle Simulator’s daily office routine. Your choices carry weight in this stylish struggle of morality versus material gain.

Capitalism Lab

Capitalism Lab is an open-ended business simulation that gives you the power and struggles of a CEO. You make strategic decisions and manage complex corporate systems to run a competitive company. It provides a deep economic challenge for those who enjoy Struggle Simulator’s complex simulations.

Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons is a roguelike distilled into quick, challenging single-screen dungeon runs. With randomized levels and clever enemies, it requires pattern recognition and strategy to overcome skillfully designed struggles.


In Reigns, you make decisions as a medieval monarch, balancing the needs of the church, people, army, and treasury through simple card game mechanics. Keeping your chaotic kingdom stable is a unique narrative challenge.

Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve is an immersive survival game set in a strange wilderness. It excels at making basic tasks like eating and crafting equipment into deep challenges full of risk and reward. Its random world generation and permadeath options capture Struggle Simulator’s ethos of pitting man against nature.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

In Getting Over It, you control a man climbing a mountain with just a hammer. The intentionally frustrating gameplay filled with loss of progress tests your patience and resilience through meaningful struggle.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is an iconic indie platformer defined by overcoming tremendous difficulty through pattern recognition. Its hardcore platforming and monumental sense of satisfaction in conquering challenges make it a must-play for Struggle Simulator fans.


Struggle Simulator’s unique brand of cynical yet meaningful gameplay has clearly struck a chord with players looking for challenge. Thankfully, many other great games provide thoughtful struggles to overcome, from grueling economics sims to philosophical platformers. Titles like Papers, Please, Cart Life, and This Is the Police capture working-class drudgery and futility with empathy. Extreme solo challenges like Getting Over It and Super Meat Boy test perseverance against daunting skill barriers. And oddities like Progress Quest and I Am Bread provide laughs through their absurd takes on struggle.

While the struggling everyman premise is Struggle Simulator’s claim to fame, it represents just one facet of human hardship. These games offer diverse experiences of struggle – bleak, humorous, frustrating, and inspiring. Embark on the flamboyant journey of self-discovery with RPDR simulator: A drag race experience, where the struggle to snatch the crown mirrors the diverse challenges found in great games. Just as overcoming both mundane and extravagant obstacles adds depth to the gaming experience, conquering the virtual runway in this drag simulation mirrors the multifaceted struggles we encounter in life, making the entire adventure irresistibly compelling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Struggle Simulator?

Struggle Simulator is an indie game created by Italian studio Schadenfreude Games. In the game, you play as an office worker in late stage capitalism, struggling through mundane tasks and monotony. The dark humor and cynical tone struck a chord with many gamers.

What platforms is Struggle Simulator available on?

Struggle Simulator is available for PC on Steam. A mobile iOS version is also available.

What are some key features that define Struggle Simulator’s gameplay?

  • Repetitive tasks: The core gameplay involves performing boring, repetitive office tasks over and over. This amplifies the feeling of monotony.
  • Time pressure: You need to complete tasks efficiently to meet tight deadlines, adding challenge.
  • Resource management: You have limited energy, focus, and morale to manage, forcing you to prioritize different needs.
  • Cynical tone: The writing and visuals look darkly comedically at office life and modern drudgery.

What genre does Struggle Simulator fall under?

Struggle Simulator is considered a “struggle simulator game.” It also falls under genres like life simulation, business simulation, and experience games. The cynical humor aligns it with “anti-games” that subvert traditional game tropes.

What are some key alternatives to Struggle Simulator with similar themes?

Some top alternatives include Papers, Please (border agent sim), Cart Life (street vendor sim). This Is the Police (police chief sim), Getting Over It (climbing challenge), and Super Meat Boy (tough platformer).