There isn't currently a C# equivalent and, as you point out, the Explorer service relies on messages that the simulated differential drive doesn't implement.

Writing an equivalent service in C# would be a good exercise. If you leave the XInputController part out, Then the service just needs to partner with a generic differential drive and the SickLRF and subscribe to the SickLRF. The processing that VplExplorer does on the laser data is very simple, merely dividing the laser data into three fields and finding the lowest point in each field, something that is much easier in C# than in MVPL

Service Tutorials 4 and 5 cover subscribing to a service.

Setting the manifests up correctly to run in the simulation will take some work, but you can use existing manifests (for example the one that ships with vplexplorer) and edit them to add your own service.