Sim-type games were all the rage at one time – if there was an industry, business model or commercial enterprise, there was a sim game for it, whether it be funfairs, airlines, zoos or pizza factories.
And - despite the fact that of all PC games, they tend to feel most like 'work' - I must have played the vast majority. But the one I tried first was Bullfrog's 'Theme Hospital':
Long before 'The Sims' really hit the scene, this quirky little game, with its bright graphics and childish sense of humour really was the ultimate timewaster. I could spend hours in front of the PC (my brand-new Pentium, no less!), managing my little hospital, trying to avoid epidemics and survive earthquakes.
And best of all, it's now free! Give it a try. You might be surprised.