Purpose: The article presents the essence, characteristics and types of simulation decision games, as well as the effectiveness of their use in academic conditions in the theoretical context. Design/methodology/approach: The article is based of analysis of research results published in national and world publications. Findings: The didactic process carried out at universities with the use of direct forms of teaching can be supported by additional tools, including simulation decision games, because it brings many benefits in different areas. By playing we are able to learn many issues in a natural way, to refer to the mechanisms of the organization's functioning, and to use – sometimes dormant – soft competences of game participants. Research limitations/implications: It is advisable to carry out further scientific research in the field of using simulation games due to the fact that they are increasingly used as a tool to support the process of practical learning. Despite its popularity, the assessment of the effectiveness of using simulation games as an educational or training tool is still unclear. Social implications: Game-based learning (GBL) is used not only in higher education (especially in a wide range of economic and management disciplines, such as: marketing, economics, international business, project management, strategic management or human resources management), but also in other fields, including: army, education, advertising, trade, medicine and employee training. Originality/value: The work is theoretical. However, the problem raised in the article, in the context of new challenges posed by teachers in the teaching process, is an inspiring introduction to further research.