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I'm sure you've played The Sims at least once in your life, if not to escape your own uncertain existence then likely to trap your Sims in the pool or set the house on fire and remove all of the doors. What? No, of course I've never done that… *ahem*

Whichever version of the game you've played or picked up there's always a similar pattern. Make your Sim, figure out what their aspirations are, build up your house (probably use motherlode in the cheats menu), and make friends with other Sims as you go.

These five games will give you that familiar feeling of managing your new non-existent dependents whilst also getting something out of it yourself – whether you want to build a successful life overall or just revel in a bit of drama

Avakin Lifedownload on iOS

Exactly as you'd expect a Sims-like game to be, Avakin Life lets you work through the fundamentals of the popular simulation game. Make your avatar, build a career, get your dream home, and maybe raise an imaginary pet.

The difference here is that you can actually be sociable with real-life people online. There's a heavy focus on fashion and adhering to the latest trend, so there's plenty of time to swap advice and show off your goods.

Home Street: Dream House Simdownload on iOS

If you're not so into the fashion-side of things, Home Street focusses more on home sweet home. Have you ever played The Sims and spent way too long building and kitting out your own home? You'll probably have a ball with this one then.

You pick your own avatar, have a mess around with your hairstyle, body shape, etc., meet other members of the community, play the special in-game events, and build up your house exactly how you like it. Sounds pretty ideal, right?

Stardom: Hollywooddownload on iOS

Think if you were in The Sims, but seriously wanted to be an actor or actress you'd probably end up with something like Stardom: Hollywood. As the name suggest you're an aspiring actor and have to experience a whole lot of the industry's ups and downs before making it big.

Star in awesome films and TV shows, buddy up with popular celebs, deal with over-eager paparazzi, customise your pad with neat furniture, and more on the pathway to fame. Whilst it may have more of a solid story, you're still deciding the fate of your would-be-celeb self and living out an alternate existence.

The Sims Mobiledownload on iOS

As we're talking about games like The Sims on mobile how could we NOT include The Sims Mobile? Pretty much everything you love about The Sims is here for you in one tidy, free-to-play package. Pick your Sim's style, their career, their friends, their loves, and basically just run their lives for them.

It's the ultimate escape from reality and really does a good job making you feel in control. The most amusing bit is obviously making your character, but the rest of the game's a treat too.

Fallout Shelterdownload on iOS

You might not think that Fallout Shelter deserves a place on this list, but when it comes to controlling lives and managing your own collection of – er – people, this game's got it all.

Protect your Dwellers from the harsh realities of the Wasteland and make sure they're kept happy and comfortable for the sake of humanity. Build and expand your vault, choose who goes off to explore the Wasteland, pick out some cracking jobs for them, and match people up with their ultimate loves.

Oh, and don't be surprised if something mutated and scary tries breaking down your doors. That isn't part of any Sims game (aside from getting burgled), but it'd make it more fun, eh?

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